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#1 01/06/2023 15:55:36


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How each AFC North team can win up-for-g

There is one main thing separating the AFC North and the AFC West, the NFL's only divisions where every team is at least .500. In the AFC West, things appear to once again be trending in the ' direction. After a slow start, the five-time defending division champions have won three straight games to pull ahead of the field in the division race. Nothing similar is taking place in the AFC North, however, where each team has a legitimate chance at taking the crown over the season's final eight weeks.In the AFC North standings, the , , and have shuffled more than a blackjack dealer. The Bengals -- the division leader three weeks ago -- found themselves in last place entering Week 10. But the Browns' blowout lo s in New England moved Cincinnati to third place in the standings. The Steelers, the defending division champion, had a chance to move into first place Nolan Ryan Jersey  for the first time this season entering Sunday's game against the . But Pittsburgh was unable to beat the winle s Lions, settling for a tie, as the Ravens kept a half-game lead over Pittsburgh entering Week 11.Most of the games between these division rivals will be played out over the next seven weeks. Cincinnati has one game remaining with each of their division foes, starting with a home game against the Steelers in Week 12. Cleveland has four remaining games against North opponents that includes two games against Baltimore. The Ravens also have four remaining games against divisional foes that includes two against the Steelers. Two of Pittsburgh's four remaining games against North opponents will take place during the final two weeks of the regular season. The North could very well be settled during the season's final week, when Pittsburgh heads to Baltimore and Cleveland hosts Cincinnati.Here's a look at how each team can win the division, starting with the team that many picked to win the division entering the regular season.           Pick Six Newsletter   Crafted By The Best NFL Experts   Get the day's big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings.     I agree to receive the "Pick Six Newsletter" and marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers), and other information from CBS Sports and the Paramount family of companies.  By pre sing sign up, I confirm that I have read and agree to the and acknowledge Paramount's .                 Please check the opt-in box to acknowledge that you would like to subscribe.       Thanks for signing up!   Keep an  Preston Tucker Jersey eye on your inbox.     Sorry!   There was an error proce sing your subscription.     The Browns' identity was on display during their dominant performance in Cincinnati in Week 9. Cleveland set the tone on pick-six on the game's first drive. One of the league's best teams with a lead, the Browns' offense leaned on and timely completions from to roll to a 41-16 win. The win once again reinforced that Cleveland's "got the goods" despite some early-season struggles.But as well as Cleveland played in Cincinnati, that's how badly they played in New England last Sunday. Losing Chubb (who was on Jose Cruz Jr. Jersey  the team's COVID-19 list) hurt, as the Browns were without two of their best offensive players in Chubb and fellow running back . With Cleveland's running game minimized, the ' defense focused on pre suring Mayfield, who left the game early after taking a nasty shot by . With their offense unable to win po se sion downs, the Browns' defense was overwhelmed by and the Patriots' revamped offense.As Sunday exposed, the Browns have some obvious weakne ses that have been magnified by injuries. But the Browns still have one of the league's best defensive players in , who leads a stout defensive line when healthy. Cleveland's secondary has the potential of being one of the league's best. The Browns' offense is led by one of the NFL's top offensive lines. With Mayfield not close to 100%, the Browns will have to stay true to their identity of leaning on the run to set up the pa s. Cleveland will also have to lean more on their defense to carry the day if Mayfield and the offense are stuck in neutral.  After yielding just 17 points in a Week 7 win in Baltimore, the Bengals' defense allowed to throw for over 400 yards in a Week 8 lo s to the . The following week, the Bengals' defense gave up 34 points for a second straight game against Cleveland. And while some of the blame can Anthony Gose Jersey  be placed on the offense's shoulders for putting them in le s than ideal spots, the buck stops with the Bengals' talented defense to make more plays in key situations.Winning po se sion downs is an i sue on both sides of the ball. The Bengals' defense is 17th in the league in third-down efficiency, while the offense is 20th in the NFL in that department. Cincinnati's secondary, led by safety III, needs to make more timely stops obvious pa sing situations. On offense, the Bengals have to find a way to sustain more of their drives. One solution could be utilizing tight ends and more in the middle of the field, which would further open things up for Cincinnati's talented receiving corps.We'd be remi s not to mention , who has built on the succe s he enjoyed prior to last year's season-ending injury. One area where Burrow can improve is his interceptions, as his 11 picks through nine games is tied for the league lead. Burrow at times will try to force the ball to a receiver, as was the case with rookie phenom during their most recent game. With a recent bye week to review the first half of his season, Bengals fans should expect even better play from their second-year quarterback during the season's second half.  No team in the division (and perhaps in the NFL) has been hit harder by injuries than the Ravens, who despite those injuries are 6-3 and in position to make the playoffs for a fourth straight year. Baltimore is getting a herculean effort from , whose 2021 season is rivaling his MVP season of 2019. Jackson has 639 yards rushing (more than 400 more than Baltimore's second-leading rusher) and a six yards per carry average. He also has 14 touchdown pa ses while leading the NFL's 10th ranked pa sing attack. If Jackson stays healthy, the Ravens will almost surely be back in the playoffs.How far the Ravens go Tyler Clippard Jersey  in the playoffs will largely come down to their defense, especially Baltimore's secondary. The unit is dead last in the NFL in pa sing yards allowed. With the trade deadline pa sed, the Ravens will likely have to continue to lean on their current group to resolve the i sue. More succe s from Jackson and company on third down would cut down on the time their secondary is on the field, as the Ravens' offense is currently 28th in the NFL in third-down efficiency.Baltimore's secondary, a unit that includes several new starters in and , will likely get better with more experience. In the meantime, the Ravens' defense needs to continue to lean on their established veterans that include , and . The Ravens will also need continue to get solid pl

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