AFC North Week 7 Recap: Steelers Exit Bye Week As Division Leaders


The Pittsburgh Steelers opened Week 7 of the 2018 regular season as the third-place team in the AFC North and even though they were on a bye this week they’ll now enter Week 8 as division leaders.

While the Steelers rested on Sunday, the other three teams in the AFC North division, the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals, all lost their Week 7 games. Those losses resulted in the 3-2-1 Steelers being the leaders of the AFC North division thanks to them now owning a higher winning percentage.

The Browns got the AFC North off to a losing start Sunday afternoon with their 26-23 overtime road loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Buccaneers kicker Chandler Catanzaro kicked home a 59-yard game-winning field goal with 1:55 left in overtime and that came on the heels of Browns safety Jabrill Peppers fumbling at the Cleveland 38-yard-line during a punt return with 3:27 left in the extra period. The Buccaneers recovered the football at the Browns 48-yard-line.

In the loss, Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 23 of 34 of his pass attempts for 215 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, His two touchdown tosses went to tight end David Njoku and wide receiver Jarvis Landry and both in the second half. Mayfield, however, was sacked five times on Sunday and twice by former Browns defensive end Carl Nassib.

Landry finished the game with 10 receptions for 97 yards and Browns rookie running back Nick Chubb led his team in rushing on Sunday with 80 yards on 18 carries. He also scored the Browns first touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter.

The Browns defense recorded four sacks of Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston on Sunday with defensive end Myles Garrett getting credit for two of them. Winston, however, still managed to throw for 365 yards on Sunday as he completed 32 of his 52 total pass attempts in the contest. Winston was intercepted twice by the Browns defense on Sunday and while he failed to register a touchdown pass during the game, he scored once with his legs from 14 yards out in the second quarter.

Sunday’s game marked the fourth time this season a Browns game has gone into overtime. Their Sunday loss now gives them a record of 2-4-1 and they’ll now prepare to play the Steelers next Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

The Ravens were the second AFC North team to lose on Sunday as they lost at home to the New Orleans Saints 24-23 thanks to a missed extra-point by their kicker Justin Tucker with less than 30 seconds left in the game. It was Tucker’s first missed extra-point of his NFL career that started back in 2012. He had made 222 consecutive extra-points up until that final kick on Sunday.

Tuckers missed extra point followed Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco connecting with wide receiver John Brown on a 14-yard touchdown. That score capped a 6 play, 81-yard drive. Flacco threw for 279 yards and competed 23 of his 39 total pass attempts on Sunday. He had two touchdown passes in the game and zero interceptions. His other touchdown pass went to Ravens rookie tight end Mark Andrews in the third quarter.

Brown led the Ravens in receiving against the Saints as he caught 7 passes in total for 134 yards. Fellow Baltimore wide receiver Michael Crabtree chipped in 5 receptions on Sunday for 66 yards. Ravens running back Alex Collins had all of 38 yards rushing against the Saints on 11 total carries and Baltimore managed just 77 total net rushing yards.

While the Ravens defense did manage to sack Saints quarterback Drew Brees twice on Sunday, they still gave up two passing touchdowns during the contest. Brees ended Sunday’s game having completed 22 of his 30 total pass attempts for 212 yards and he didn’t throw an interception. His two touchdown passes went to wide receiver Michael Thomas and tight end Ben Watson. Thomas caught 7 passes on Sunday for 69 yards.

Saints running back Alvin Kamara also scored on Sunday against the Ravens and finished the game with 64 yards rushing on 17 total carries. Kamara also caught 2 passes for another 11 yards.

The Ravens are now 4-3 following their Sunday loss to the Saints and they’ll now get ready to play the 4-2 Carolina Panthers next Sunday on the road.

The Bengals made it a trifecta of Week 7 losses for the AFC North Sunday night with their 45-10 road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 28 of his 39 total pass attempts Sunday night for 358 yards with 4 touchdowns and one interception and Kansas City running back Kareem Hunt scored three times with two being on passes. Mahomes’ two other touchdown passes in the game went to wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Demetrius Harris. Hunt, by the way, rushed for 86 yards against the Bengals defense on 15 carries.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton had a rough game against the Chiefs as he completed just 15 of his 29 total pass attempts in the game for 148 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His lone interception came early in the second half and was returned 33 yards by Chiefs safety Ron Parker for a touchdown. Dalton’s lone touchdown pass in the game came in the first half and went to tight end C.J. Uzomah The Bengals only managed to register 239 total yards of offense Sunday night against the Chiefs.

The Bengals dropped to 4-3 with their Sunday night loss and will now get ready to play at home in Week 8 against the Buccaneers.

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