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AFC North: Ravens, Bengals Roll; Browns Lose Heartbreaker



Steelers Ja'Marr Chase Bengals

The Baltimore Ravens (6-2) are tied for the best record in the AFC with the Kansas Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars following their 31-24 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at State Farm Stadium. Elsewhere in AFC North action, the Cincinnati Bengals won their third straight game with a 31-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, while the Cleveland Browns lost a heartbreaker to the Seahawks in Seattle, 24-20.

The Ravens sit alone at the top of the division, while the Steelers remain in second place despite their loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Steelers own the tiebreaker for second place in the AFC North over the Bengals and Browns thanks to a head-to-head win over Cleveland and a better AFC record than Cincinnati.

It wasn’t a pretty win over the Cardinals, but Baltimore got the job done, thanks to three rushing touchdowns by Gus Edwards and two turnovers forced by the defense. The Ravens’ defense also forced two turnover on downs. Two of Edwards’ rushing touchdowns came off the turnovers — interceptions by cornerback Brandon Stephens and strong safety Geno Stone. Stone now has five interceptions on the season.

After putting on an offensive clinic and blowing out the Detroit Lions, 38-6, last week, Arizona held the Ravens’ offense at bay. The Cardinals actually out-gained the Ravens, 310-268. Lamar Jackson was limited to 157 yards passing and one touchdown. He also rushed for just 17 yards on five carries.

Tight end Mark Andrews and running back Justice Hill led the Ravens with only 40 yards receiving. Odell Beckham Jr. had no receptions on four targets. Beckham displayed his frustration on the sideline by slamming his helmet, despite the fact that he sealed the win by drawing a defensive pass interference call.

Joe Burrow completed 87.5 percent of his passes and tossed three touchdowns in the Bengals’ win over the 49ers. After a slow start to the season due to a lingering calf injury, Burrow and the Bengals are starting to hit their stride. The highest-paid player in NFL history is playing at an extremely high level right now.

Burrow’s favorite target Ja’Marr Chase had a banner day, recording 10 receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown. Running back Joe Mixon was also efficient with 87 yards rushing on 16 carries (5.4 average) and a touchdown. The Bengals scored touchdowns on their first two drives of the game.

The Bengals’ defense gave up a whopping 460 yards, but they picked off Brock Purdy twice in the second half. The first interception was by linebacker Germain Pratt in the red zone. The second one was by linebacker Luke Wilson, which set up a 17-yard touchdown pass by Burrow to Chase to give the Bengals a 24-10 lead with 13:04 remaining. The Bengals did not turn the ball over and were +2 in the turnover differential department.

After back-to-back interceptions, Purdy capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Christian McCaffrey to cut the Bengals’ lead to 24-17. Burrow answered with a 21-yard pass to Trenton Irwin and a 20-yarder to Chase to set up Mixon’s 5-yard touchdown run with 2:54 left. Defensive end Trey Hendrickson recorded a strip-sack on Purdy to ice the win for the Bengals.

Geno Smith threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Jaxon Smith-Njigba with 38 seconds left, delivering a heartbreaking loss to the Browns in the Pacific Northwest. Cleveland, who battled back from an early 14-0 deficit, out-scored the Seahawks 13-0 in the second half up until a costly interception thrown by P.J. Walker on third-and-3 with 2:04 remaining from the Browns’ 41-yard line.

Walker attempted a quick slant to Amari Cooper, but the pass deflected off the helmet of blitzing strong safety Jamal Adams and landed in the hands of free safety Julian Love about 20 yards downfield. Seattle took possession at its 43 and Smith led the Seahawks on a 5-play, 57-yard game-winning drive. Smith was 4 of 5 on the drive. Three forced incompletions and sack by the Seahawks secured a win on the ensuing drive.

In Week 9, the Steelers host the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football. The Ravens face the Seahawks at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m., while the Browns host the Arizona Cardinals in the same time slot. The Bengals square off against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football at Paycor Stadium.



Overall AFC North AFC Head-to-head
Ravens 6-2 2-1 4-2 CIN 1-0, CLE 1-0, PIT 0-1
Steelers 4-3 2-0 3-2 BAL 1-0, CLE 1-0
Browns 4-3 1-2 2-2 BAL 0-1, CIN 1-0, PIT 0-1
Bengals 4-3 0-2 0-3 CLE 0-1, BAL 0-1


Week 9
Thursday, Nov. 2, 8:15 p.m. Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, Nov. 5, 1 p.m. Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns
Sunday, Nov. 5, 8:20 p.m. Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals
BYE: Baltimore Ravens

Week 10
Sunday, Nov. 12, 1 p.m. Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, Nov. 12, 1 p.m. Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday, Nov. 12, 1 p.m. Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 11
Thurs., Nov. 16, 8:15 p.m. Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, Nov. 19, 1 p.m. Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns