Updated AFC North standings after Week 8: Bengals closing the gap

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard (94) high fives fans after the NFL game between the
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard (94) high fives fans after the NFL game between the / Albert Cesare/The Enquier / USA TODAY

The Cincinnati Bengals haven't gotten themselves out of the AFC North cellar all season long and while they're theoretically still in fourth place, at least they're also in a three-way tie for second place. The Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers both lost on Sunday and the Bengals won, meaning all three teams sit at 4-3 on the year.

Unfortunately, the Baltimore Ravens won yet again and continue to increase their lead in the AFC North title race. The Ravens have two losses on the year and own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Cincinnati. The two will face each other on Thursday Night Football in two weeks.

AFC North standings after Week 8

  1. Baltimore Ravens (6-2)
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)
  3. Cleveland Browns (4-3)
  4. Cincinnati Bengals (4-3)

The Bengals are in last due to losing both of their division games so far and failing to win a game against an AFC opponent (all four of their wins have come against the NFC West).

It's wild that every team in the AFC North owns a winning record at this point and of course it has to be the division that the Bengals play in. A 4-3 record in most of the other divisions would have meant the Bengals were either winning the division or at least close to taking it over but not in the ever-so-competitive AFC North.

In Week 9, the Bengals will host the Bills on Sunday Night Football and a win will continue to push them toward contending in the division. The Ravens host the NFC West leading Seahawks in what could be one of the best games of the weekend. The Seahawks beat the Browns in a close game over the weekend and the Browns will follow that up with a home game against the Cardinals. The Steelers open up the week with a home game against the Titans on Thursday night.

There's a solid chance that the Ravens drop this weekend's game against the feisty Seahawks and if they do that while the Bengals take care of business against the Bills, suddenly, the Ravens' chances to win the division will plummet. We've seen this story between these two teams before and the Bengals have come from behind to steal the division away both times. Will it happen again this year?

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