Not much has changed for the AFC North this week. However, things have gotten a bit tighter behind the Baltimore Ravens and there is still hope in the Queen City. Cleveland is on a losing streak, and the Steelers will be without their starting quarterback for a while.
As we all suspected, the division and playoff spots will come down to the wire. The AFC North can still claim to be the best division in football, as all four teams still have hope of making the playoffs.
Here are the AFC North Power Rankings after Week 13 for what is still the best division in the NFL.
4) Cincinnati Bengals
Thirteen is said to be an unlucky number. Perhaps it was if you are a Jacksonville Jaguars fan. For Bengals fans, however, Week 13 was anything but unlucky.
With their 34-31 victory over Jacksonville, Cincinnati kept the dimming playoff light on for another week. Also, because of the losses suffered by Cleveland and Pittsburgh, the Bengals closed the gap on those two teams.
Nevertheless, as much as it pains us to do it again, the Bengals remain in the cellar of the AFC North’s Power Rankings. The 0-4 record in the division will be difficult to overcome, as will the mere two conference wins. It would appear that Cleveland and Pittsburgh could struggle heading down the stretch so the Bengals surpassing them is conceivable.
Now, the Bengals go from one must-win game to another. Next up for the Men in Stripes are the Indianapolis Colts. Like the Jaguars, the Colts are ahead of the Bengals in the playoff picture. One of the ways Cincinnati can surpass Indy is with a head-to-head victory if it comes down to a tiebreak. The Bengals now own a tiebreaker against the Jaguars. Hopefully, after Sunday, they will hold another head-to-head advantage, but this time over the Colts.
If that is not enough and Cincinnati Bengals fans still need help hoping for a playoff berth, all they have to do is look at the Pittsburgh Steelers, who inexplicably still hold the fifth spot of playoff seeding.