After Week 10, the AFC North remains as murky and packed as it has all season. The division has three teams in the playoff picture as the Bengals fall behind. The division also boasts the two best defenses in the league.
As this NFL weekend showed us, what the best division in football will look like at the end of the season is far from being decided. Determining which of these divisional foes will be holding the crown as the King of the North becomes more difficult with each passing game.
But for now, here is where the Bengals, Browns, Ravens, and Steelers stand in the AFC North Power rankings after Week 10.
4) Cincinnati Bengals (5-4)
After two weeks of not being in the cellar of the AFC North Power rankings, that is where the Cincinnati Bengals find themselves after their loss to the Houston Texans.
The Bengals had a promising start against the Texans, but that did not last long. Houston was up 20-7 in the third quarter but the Bengals fought back and tied the game 27-27 with 1:33 left in the contest. The Texans promptly drove down the field and kicked a game-winning field goal with no time left.
Because of the Ravens’ loss, the Bengals missed a golden opportunity to come within one game of the division-leading Ravens. Cincinnati also lost out on keeping up with the Steelers and the Browns in the standings.
Furthermore, not only did the Bengals lose the game versus the Texans, but they also lost their place as the last playoff team to Houston.
Their problems don’t end there. Cincinnati is 0-2 in divisional games and 1-4 within the conference. The Texans, Titans, Ravens, and Browns all hold every conceivable tiebreaker over the Bengals. Every team ahead of the Bengals has a much better conference record than Cincinnati, which sits at 1-4 in conference games.
It is not all doom and gloom for Zac Taylor’s squad. They are only one game out of the playoff picture. They are two games out of first place in the AFC North. So, the Bengals still have an opportunity to salvage this season after a disappointing loss. However, their comeback season must start on Thursday, when they take on the Ravens.