The AFC North was filled with head-to-head matchups this weekend and we now have some interesting implications on our hands down the final stretch of this season. Both the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals improved to 9-4 overall and are tied for first place in the AFC North.
If the season ended today, the Ravens would win the division due to having the current tiebreaker. Cincinnati defeated the Cleveland Browns 23-10 but lost some key pieces in the process.
Tee Higgins played one snap the entire game. Tyler Boyd left the game in the first quarter with a finger injury and did not return. Trey Hendrickson broke his wrist which will now sideline him for a few weeks. He somehow played through the injury and finished the game.
The Ravens took down the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-14. However, the injury bug is hitting them as well. Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley left the game with a concussion and the Ravens were forced to go to their third-string QB Anthony Brown. The Ravens have not played their best football over the last 3-4 weeks but they are finding ways to win which is the only thing that matters in December and January.
Both the Steelers and Browns seasons could've ended this weekend with both teams falling to 5-8 and now sitting four games back of the Ravens or the Bengals with just four games left. Even if either team wins out a final record of 9-8 still may not cut it to get into the AFC playoff picture.
With the Browns facing the Ravens this week, there is still a chance for each team to play spoiler and finish the season on a positive note. With all that being said here are the current AFC North Power Rankings after Week 14.
AFC North Power Rankings
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8)
The Pittsburgh Steelers just haven't got any really good wins this season outside of the Week 1 victory against the Bengals. The games that they had an opportunity to truly create some momentum and turn their season around they have not been able to win.
This past week against the depleted Ravens. It was a key opportunity for them to get a division win, gain a game on the Browns and the Ravens and put themselves right in the Wild Card hunt. With the loss, they are firmly on the outside looking in, with little to no hope of getting a spot.
Kenny Pickett left with a concussion and Mitchell Trubisky came in and ended up throwing three interceptions in the loss. Currently, it just feels as if this team is not going to change its ways to improve and win games down the stretch of the season. They still have two division games remaining against both the Ravens and the Browns.