AFC North Week 16 Recap: Bengals Atop Division With Two Weeks Left

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost their Week 16 game on Sunday afternoon against the Kansas City Chiefs, and thanks to what all transpired in other NFL action these past few days, they’ll now enter Week 17 still the third-place team in the AFC North division.

The Cincinnati Bengals were the only AFC North team to win in Week 16, as they beat another team in the division, the Baltimore Ravens, 41-21 at home.

In the Bengals’ win, quarterback Joe Burrow completed 37 of his 46 total pass attempts for 525 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Two of Burrows’ touchdown passes went to wide receiver Tee Higgins. The other two went to wide receiver Tyler Boyd and running back Joe Mixon. Burrow, who was sacked three times by the Ravens’ defense, also chipped in 11 yards rushing on Sunday on two carries.

Higgins led the team in receiving on Sunday as he registered 194 yards on his 12 receptions. Mixon led the Bengals in rushing on Sunday with 65 yards on his 18 total carries. Mixon, who caught six passes for 70 yards against the Ravens, also had one rushing touchdown in the game.

Defensively for the Bengals on Sunday, linebacker Markus Bailey led the team in total tackles with eight. The Bengals’ defense also registered one sack on Sunday, with defensive end Trey Hendrickson getting credit for it. Safety Vonn Bell had the lone takeaway for the Bengals on Sunday, and it was an interception.

For the Ravens in their road loss to the Bengals, quarterback Josh Johnson completed 28 of his 40 total pass attempts for 304 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. In addition to being sacked once by the Bengals’ defense on Sunday, Johnson rushed for 10 yards on his five runs.

Ravens tight end Mark Andrews had one of the two touchdown receptions for his team in the Sunday loss to the Bengals. Andrews was the Ravens’ top pass catcher on Sunday as he finished with eight receptions for 125 yards. Running back Devonta Freeman led Baltimore in rushing yardage in the loss as he registered 17 yards on his six carries. Freeman also had a rushing touchdown in the loss and two receptions for another three yards. Ravens’ wide receiver Rashod Bateman had the other touchdown reception in the game, and it came in the first quarter.

Defensively for the Ravens in their Sunday loss, safety tony Jefferson and linebacker Patrick Queen both registered nine total tackles apiece to lead the team. Jefferson also had one of the three sacks registered by the Ravens’ defense. The Ravens’ defense failed to register any takeaways in their loss, however.

The Cleveland Browns also lost their Week 16 game as they were defeated on the road by the Green Bay Packers, 24-22.

In the Browns’ loss to the Packers, quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 21 of his 36 total pass attempts for 22 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions. Mayfield, who was sacked five times in the game by the Packers defense, also rushed for 11 yards on his two attempts. His two touchdown passes in the game went to wide receiver Anthony Schwartz and tight end Harrison Bryant.

Browns’ wide receiver Rashard Higgins led his team in receptions on Saturday with five for 58 yards. Running back Nick Chubb, who led the team in rushing in the loss with 126 yards on 17 carries, also recorded three receptions in the game for 58 yards. Chubb also had a rushing touchdown in the game as well.

Defensively for the Browns in their Saturday road loss to the Packers, safety M.J. Stewart led the team in total tackles with 10. The Browns’ defense failed to register any sacks or takeaways in their loss.

Week 16 ended on Monday with the 9-6 Bengals leading the AFC North. The 8-7 Ravens are now in second place, with the 7-7-1 Steelers now in third. The 7-8 Browns will exit Week 16 still in last place in the AFC North with two weeks left in the 2021 regular season.

In Week 17 AFC North action, the Steelers will play host to the Browns on Monday night. The Bengals will host the 11-4 Chiefs next Sunday while the Ravens will play host to the 11-4 Los Angeles Rams that same afternoon.

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