The Pittsburgh Steelers grip on the AFC North division decreased by one game in Week 12 thanks to the team’s 24-17 road loss to the Denver Broncos.
The Steelers, who are now 7-3-1 on the season, now have just a game and a half lead over the Baltimore Ravens entering Week 13 thanks to their Sunday loss to the Broncos. The Ravens improved their regular season record to 6-5 on Sunday with a 34-17 home win over the Oakland Raiders.
Ravens rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson only completed 14 of his 25 total pass attempts for 178 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in his team’s Sunday win over the Raiders. However, the Ravens first-round draft pick this year did rush for 71 yards and a touchdown on his 11 total carries. His lone touchdown pass in the game went to wide receiver Michael Crabtree from 8 yards out in the fourth quarter.
Ravens running back Gus Edwards rushed for 118 yards on 23 carries against the Raiders as part of the Baltimore offense registering a whopping 242 total net yards on the ground at home. The Ravens offense also converted 8 of their 13 total third down opportunities during the game.
The Ravens defense and special team units also contributed in the team’s Sunday win as linebacker Terrell Suggs returned a strip sack fumble 43 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Earlier in the game, Ravens returner Cyrus Jones returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown.
The Ravens defense limited the Raiders offense to just 249 total yards on Sunday and they sacked Oakland quarterback Derek Carr three times during the contest with linebacker Matthew Judon getting credit for all of them.
With back to back wins now under their belt after three consecutive losses the Ravens will now prepare to play the Atlanta Falcons on the road in Week 13.
As for the other two teams in the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, they played each other on Sunday with the latter easily beating the former on the road 35-20.
The Browns jumped out to a 28-0 first half lead in that game thanks to three touchdown passes by rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield and a touchdown run by rookie running back Nick Chubb, who also caught one of those three early scoring tosses. Mayfield, who finished the game with four touchdown passes, completed 19 of his 26 total pass attempts against the Bengals defense for 258 yards. Chubb finished the game with 84 yards rushing on 28 total carries while Cleveland tight end David Njoku led his team in receiving with 5 receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown.
While the Browns defense only managed to register one sack on Sunday against the Bengals on Sunday, they did intercept one pass and recovered one fumble. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton completed just 10 of his 17 total pass attempts for 100 yards with a touchdown and an interception before having to leave the game early in the second half with a thumb injury.
Backup Bengals quarterback Jeff Driskel replaced the injured Dalton and finished the game 17 of 29 for 155 yards and a touchdown. Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd finished the game with 7 receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown while Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon rushed for 89 yards on 14 total carries in a losing effort.
The Bengals defense failed to sack Mayfield during Sunday’s game and they allowed the Browns offense to convert 5 of their 10 total third down opportunities. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict finished Sunday’s game with a team-best 8 total tackles
The Bengals Sunday loss to the Browns dropped their season record to 5-6 and they’ll now prepare to host the Broncos in Week 13. As for the Browns, their Sunday win was their second in a row and they’ll now take their 4-6-1 record on the road in Week 13 to take on the Houston Texans.
The Steelers now enter Monday night as the No. 4 seed in the AFC pending the outcome of the game between the Texans and Tennessee Titans. The Steelers entered Week 12 as the No. 2 seed in the AFC but their Sunday loss combined with the New England Patriots Sunday road win over the New York Jets will result in them dropping at least one spot. The Steelers will host the 8-3 Los Angeles Chargers in Week 13.