Pittsburgh Steelers: AFC North Leads The NFL After Week 9


The AFC North, in Week 9, is the only division in the entire National Football League where every member from top to bottom has a winning record. As the season moves into Week 10, the Bengals are currently seeded third and the Black and Gold fifth in the AFC Playoff picture.

1) Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3-0) have won three in a row and occupy second place this week in the division. Over the three games, Dick LeBeau’s defense has collected seven sacks, four interceptions, and three fumble recoveries while putting up a safety and a touchdown on the scoreboard.

When it comes to the offense, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is becoming quite the master brewer on the gridiron as for the second consecutive Sunday, he has mixed the right ingredients for a six-pack of touchdowns without an interception to ground the Ravens 43-23.

The 6-foot-5, 241-pound signal caller had 10 touchdowns and three interceptions during the Black and Gold’s 4-3 start to the season. The journey to the top of the AFC North continues as Pittsburgh travels to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ to take on the New York Jets (1-8-0).

2) The first-place Cincinnati Bengals (5-2-1) have won two in a row and are coming off a victory this week over Jacksonville where running back Jeremy Hill rushed for a career-high 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Cincy put up 21 points in the second-half to down the Jaguars 33-23.

Quarterback Andy Dalton completed 19 of 31 for 233 yards and two touchdowns. The news was not all good as a pair of interceptions kept the Jaguars in the game.

It will be a short work week with the Battle of Ohio heating up again on Thursday night as they host the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium.

3) The Cleveland Browns (5-3-0), who have also won two in a row, put up points on the scoreboard in every quarter on Sunday as they defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22-17 at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Brian Hoyer continues to be efficient and effective under center as he has won five of eight in the first half of the season. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound signal caller has completed 146 of 252 passes for 2,014 yards, four interceptions and 10 touchdowns.

One of the other keys for the Cleveland Browns is they are winning the turnover battle with a +6 ratio in nine weeks of play. The Bengals Dalton has six interceptions in nine weeks, and that may be where Mike Pettine’s crew finds an edge on Thursday.

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4) The Baltimore Ravens (5-4-0), who have now lost two in a row, must regroup from their 20-point defeat on Sunday night as they prepare to host the Tennessee Titans (2-6-0) at M&T Bank Stadium this week.

One of the focus points could be the defense as they have surrendered three scores inside the 20-yard line to both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Steelers. In the first seven contests, John Harbaugh’s squad permitted just seven red-zone scores total.

Baltimore is also losing the turnover battle as they have six in their last three games and are at a -1 ratio in nine weeks.

Can the AFC North keep this pace up till the end of the season? Let City Of Champions know in the comments below.