2) Cleveland Browns
The hottest team in the AFC North right now is the Cleveland Browns. They are tied for the second-longest winning streak in the league, winning their last three games.
They notched their second consecutive win over a divisional rival on Sunday when they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers. A week before that, they knocked off the Baltimore Ravens.
On Sunday, Cleveland’s defense continued to show why it is one of the best in the NFL, only surrendering 10 points to the Steelers. They rank first in the fewest yards surrendered and expected points contributed by a defense.
If they are not the best defense in the NFL, they are second-best behind the Ravens.
While their offense is not setting records anytime soon, they found something to rally behind in rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
The Browns also recently signed veteran and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Flacco to their practice squad, intending to make him active on game days.
The Browns, like the Bengals, are down to their second-string QB. Thompson-Robinson could be considered their third-string QB, with PJ Walker getting the start for a couple of games with Deshaun Watson out.
Unfortunately for Cleveland, they do not have any more head-to-head games against the Ravens to help close the gap. After going 1-1 in that series this season, the Elves can only hope other teams can slow the Ravens before they fly off with the AFC North Championship.
Cleveland must also count on a rookie fifth-rounder, a former Super Bowl MVP out of the league just a week ago, or an oft-traveled veteran like PJ Walker to keep the offense afloat. Their defense will keep them in every game. The only question is if their offense can contribute enough as it did against the Steelers on Sunday and the Ravens two weeks ago.