The Steelers suffered a heartbreaking 24-20 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday, but they weren’t the only AFC North team to lose in the final minutes. The Baltimore Ravens fell to the Buffalo Bills, 23-20, while the Cleveland Browns lost to the Atlanta Falcons, 23-20, as well. The Bengals were the lone AFC North team to win in Week 4, as Cincinnati defeated the Miami Dolphins, 27-15, on Thursday night.
With a record of 1-3, the Steelers are in the basement of the AFC North. The Browns, Ravens and Bengals are all 2-2.
Like the Steelers, the Ravens gave up the game-winning score after an interception. After a 13-play, 93-yard drive that took over nine minutes off the clock, John Harbaugh decided to go for it on fourth-and-goal instead of kicking the chip shot field goal. The bold move didn’t work out, as Lamar Jackson’s pass got picked off by Jordan Poyer in the end zone. Josh Allen responded by leading the Bills on a 12-play, 77-yard drive that got capped by a Tyler Bass 21-yard field goal to give Buffalo the win. According to Next Gen Stats, the NGS Decision Guide had the Ravens’ decision to go for it on fourth-and-goal as a ‘slight go’ situation where going for it increased their odds by 1.7% compared to a field goal.
Before Bass’ game-winning field goal, Harbaugh and Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters had a heated argument on the sideline. Peters had to be pulled away from yelling at Harbaugh and then threw his helmet in frustration. After trailing 20-3 in the second quarter, the Bills scored 20 unanswered points to win the game. So, it was certainly one that got away from Baltimore. It’s not the first time that the Ravens have relied on analytics and lost the game, either, as they lost two games last year due to failed two-point attempts, one of which was against the Steelers in Week 14.
The Browns out-gained (403-333) and out-possessed (35:44-24:16) the Falcons, but they were -1 in the turnover differential margin and 1 of 3 in the red zone. The Browns squandered a scoring opportunity on their opening possession, as Jacoby Brissett’s pass intended for David Njoku fell incomplete on fourth-and-3 from the Falcon’s 4-yard line. Then, on their second possession, Njoku fumbled after a reception and Rashaan Evans recovered the loose ball, which set Atlanta up at the Browns’ 31-yard line. Three plays later, Cordarrelle Patterson rushed for a 13-yard touchdown to give the Falcons a 10-0 lead.
The Browns stormed back in the second quarter, and it was a 10-10 game at halftime. Nick Chubb, who had another 100-yard rushing performance, rushed for a 26-yard touchdown to put the Browns up 20-17 with 9:51 remaining in the game. The Browns couldn’t hold on to the narrow lead, however, as Younghoe Koo made two field goals on consecutive possessions and Brissett got picked off by Falcons cornerback DeAundre Alford with 1:03 left. Marcus Mariota did two kneel downs to put the game away. Mariota had a rough outing, as he completed just 7 of 19 passes (36.8%) for 139 yards with no touchdowns, one interception, and a quarterback rating of 41.4.
The Steelers play the Bills at Highmark Stadium next Sunday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. The Bills will be the first of a brutal four-game stretch for the Steelers, as they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles following Buffalo. The Browns host the Los Angeles Chargers at 1 p.m. next Sunday, while the Bengals will play the Ravens in Baltimore on “Sunday Night Football.”