AFC North Power Rankings after Week 5: Bengals in last but at least there's optimism

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
4 of 4

1) Pittsburgh Steelers, 3-2 (2-0 in the division)

No matter the circumstances, it is difficult for a Bengals fan to cheer for the Steelers. Nevertheless, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh wanted the Steelers to defeat the Ravens. And they did.

It was not an offensive clinic put on by either team. But in the end, Kenny Pickett to George Pickens was clutch when it mattered.

Pittsburgh showed why complementary football is so important when Alex Highsmith got the strip sack on Jackson, recovered by T.J. Watt with less than two minutes to go in the game.

After an offensive penalty, while the Steelers were trying to run out the clock, it forced them to kick a field goal and gave Baltimore another opportunity to tie the game with 49 seconds on the clock. But, like the rest of the game, their offense struggled, and the Ravens failed to score. The game was sealed after another sack by Watt.

The Ravens are tied with the Steelers at 3-2. The point differentials would suggest the Ravens are the better team despite their win. The Steelers are -34, tied with Cincinnati for the worst in the division. Baltimore's point differential is +34, the best in the AFC North.

However, due to recency bias and a head-to-head victory, Pittsburgh takes over the top spot in the AFC North Power Rankings from the Ravens.

Now, the division remains close, and all four teams have a legitimate chance at being crowned Kings of the North for the 2023 season. Even after their slow start, the Cincinnati Bengals have as good of a chance as the other teams to sit at the top of the AFC North by season's end.