AFC North Roundup: Where do Baltimore Ravens stand?


Nov 2, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) attempts to throw the ball as he is sacked by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison (92) during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 43-23. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Today could prove to be productive for the Baltimore Ravens, but Sunday proved anything but as every competing AFC North team won.

The Cincinnati Bengals upended the Houston Texans 22-13, improving to 7-3-1 and maintaining their lead in the AFC North. Though the Ravens don’t play the Bengals again, Baltimore can’t be thrilled to see Jeremy Hill becoming an emerging threat. He is averaging 4.9 yards per carry this year and has exceeded 80 yards in three of the past four games. If he can continue to excel, the Bengals won’t have to lean on the mercurial Andy Dalton, which should help their playoff odds.

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AFC North Power Rankings: Browns, Ravens, and Bengals making playoff push
AFC North Power Rankings: Browns, Ravens, and Bengals making playoff push /

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  • The Cleveland Browns also won, improving to 7-4 with a close win over the Atlanta Falcons. The Ravens need a win just to keep pace with the Browns. Though the Browns have won four of their last five, three of those wins have been against the league’s bottom-feeders. Further, Brian Hoyer is becoming increasingly turnover prone, having thrown six interceptions in his last four games. The Ravens have to feel good about their chances to knock them off in Week 17.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers had their bye this week. They remain 7-4, which puts them tied for second in the AFC North. If the season ended now, the Steelers would be the fifth seed in the AFC.

    The Ravens are currently ninth in the playoff picture and last in the AFC North, but that would obviously change with a win against the New Orleans Saints.

    One thing is becoming increasingly apparent: The Ravens won’t be able to count on other teams to lose. The Ravens will need to reel off a big winning streak to keep pace in this very competitive AFC North race, not to mention the playoff race. The Ravens are still contenders for the AFC North crown, and they still have a good shot at the playoffs.

    On Monday Night Football, though, the Ravens need to keep pace. As strong as the AFC North is this year, any loss from here on out could prove catastrophic.