The Pittsburgh Steelers were the only AFC North team with a bye in Week 7 and in the process, they lost a half game to two other teams in their division over the weekend.
The Cleveland Browns got Week 7 of the 2021 NFL regular season underway on Thursday night by beating the Denver Broncos at home 17-14.
In the Browns Thursday night win against the Broncos, quarterback Case Keenum, who started in place of injured quarterback Baker Mayfield, completed 21 of his 33 total passing attempts for 199 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. Keenum’s lone touchdown pass went to fullback Johnny Stanton late in the third quarter.
Against the Broncos, Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry registered five receptions for 37 yards. Tight end Austin Hooper led the Browns in receiving yards, however, with 42 yards on two receptions.
Browns running back D’Ernest Johnson led the team in rushing Thursday night with 146 yards and a touchdown on 22 total carries. Johnson, a former undrafted free agent, also caught two passes for 22 yards Thursday night against the Broncos.
Defensively for the Browns against the Broncos, inside linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. led the team in total tackles with 10. Defensive end Myles Garret was credited with 1.5 of the Browns two total sacks on Thursday night and safety John Johnson registered the only interception of the game by a Cleveland player.
The two other AFC North teams, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens, played each other on Sunday afternoon. The Bengals won that game in Baltimore, 41-17.
In the win, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow completed 23 of his 38 total pass attempts for 416 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Two of Burrow’s touchdown passes went to tight end C.J. Uzomah and the other one went to rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who finished the contest with a team-high eight receptions for 201 yards.
Bengals running backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine combined to rush for 11 yards and two touchdowns on 23 total carries. Mixon had 59 of those yards and a touchdown on his 12 carries while Perine had 52 yards and a touchdown on his 11 carries.
All five of the touchdowns that the Bengals score on Sunday against the Ravens were longer than 20 yards. The Bengals offense also registered 10 explosive plays in total against the Ravens defense.
Defensively for the Bengals, safety Jessie Bates III led the team in total tackles with seven. The Bengals defense had five sacks on Sunday with defensive end Sam Hubbard being credited with 2.5 of them. Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was credited with 1.5 sacks while defensive end Trey Hendrickson was also credited with a full sack.
As for the Ravens, quarterback Lamar Jackson completed just 15 of his 31 total pass attempts for 257 yards and a touchdown in his team’s home loss to the Bengals on Sunday. While he did not throw an interception in the loss, Jackson was sacked five times by the Bengals defense. Jackson did rush for 88 yards on 12 total carries in the loss, however, and was the team’s leading rusher.
Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown led the team in receiving with five catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. Ravens running Devonte Freeman scored Baltimore’s other touchdown in the game via a one-yard run late in the first half.
Defensively for the Ravens in their Sunday home loss to the Bengals, cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Anthony Averett each had seven tackles apiece to lead the team. Humphrey recorded an interception on Sunday while outside linebacker Tyus Bowser and defensive end Calais Campbell split the only sack the Ravens defense registered against the Bengals.
Week 8 of the 2021 regular season will officially get underway on Tuesday. As part of Week 8 AFC North action, the 4-3 Browns will host the 3-3 Steelers on Sunday afternoon. The 5-2 Bengals will play the 1-5 New York Jets on Sunday and the Ravens will be on their bye.