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AFC North Thursday: Cincinnati Bengals Extend Lead

October 24th, 2013 at 11:49 AM
By Josh Michael

It's Thursday, and that means it's time for AFC North Thursday and it was another .500 week for the division that resulted in a two game lead for the Cincinnati Bengals. Don't look now, but the Pittsburgh Steelers may be right back in it with their victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

All four teams were in action in week seven that included an inter-division matchup between the Steelers and Ravens, while the Bengals and Browns played outside the AFC North.

'Heinz Field' photo (c) 2009, Christopher

We begin with the Ravens, and it was a forgetful week for Baltimore as they suffered a 19-16 walkoff loss at the hands of the Steelers. Shaun Suisham his a game winning 42 yard field goal as time expired to hand the Steelers their second consecutive victory and put them right back in the race for the playoffs.

It was a pretty hard game to watch if you are a fan of scoring, as it was a prototypical Steelers vs Ravens game as defense ruled the day and the teams combined for seven field goals. Baltimore tied the game with just under two minutes to play, but a good kick return from Emmanuel Sanders gave the Steelers a short field to work with and they drove down the field for the winning field goal. Joe Flacco completed 24 of his 34 pass attempts for 216 yards and a touchdown, while Ben Roethlisberger was 17-23 with 160 yards and a touchdown.

Cincinnati increased their division lead to two games with an impressive victory on the road against the Detroit Lions. Mike Nugent hit a game winning 54 yard field goal in the final seconds of the game after Detroit tied the game at 24 in the fourth quarter. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton had a monster game for Cincinnati completing 24 of 34 pass attempts for 374 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. To no one's surprise, his favorite target was AJ Green, who reeled in six grabs for 155 yards and a touchdown.

Lastly we reach the Cleveland Browns and they have seemed to come back to earth after winning three in a row, the Browns have now lost two straight. Cleveland stood little chance in most people's eyes in week seven as they traveled to Green Bay to take on the Packers and did not give them much of a game, falling 31-13. Green Bay used a 14 point first quarter and a 14 point fourth quarter to take the game rather easily and despite missing James Jones and Randall Cobb, the Packers still had a receiver go for over 100 yards in Jarrett Boykin, who totaled 108 yards receiving.

It is quite a log jam now behind the Bengals in the division with the Ravens, Browns and Steelers separated by just a half game. Three of the four teams will be in action in week 8 as the Ravens are enjoying their bye week.

Week 8 AFC North Games:

  • Cleveland Browns (3-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-0) Sunday, 1pm
  • New York Jets (4-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) Sunday, 4:05pm
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4) at Oakland Raiders (2-4) Sunday, 4:05pm
AFC North Standings
AFC NorthWLGB
Bengals52-
Ravens342
Browns342
Steelers242.5

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Tags: AFC North, Baltimore, Baltimore Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger, Football, Joe Flacco, NFL

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