AFC North Report: Browns lone divisional team with a loss in Week 13

Steel City Underground’s AFC North Report wraps up the latest game updates and looks at the next opponents for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL for Week 14.

Week 13 of the 2019-20 NFL regular season was a bit of a strange one and the AFC North division wasn’t immune. The Baltimore Ravens were able to outlast a tough San Francisco 49ers team, the Pittsburgh Steelers handed the Cleveland Browns a loss and split their series, and the winless Cincinnati Bengals grounded the New York Jets to go to 1-11.

Justin Tucker becomes hero of the day for the Ravens

In a game between two teams that were outpacing most of the league, the game between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens came down to a guy who typically isn’t the guy everyone is paying attention to – Lamar Jackson. Instead, in a rainy game, it was placekicker Justin Tucker who earned the team’s (and their fans’) adoration after he kicked his 14th career game-winning field goal (49 yards).

Jackson only put up 105 yards of passing, taking advantage of the 49ers defense’s inability to contain him or slow down the run. Jackson led the Ravens ground game once again, grabbing 101 yards (6.6 yards per carry), including a touchdown run in the second quarter.

The Ravens (10-2) don’t look like they’re willing to relinquish a lead in the AFC North and will be on the road in Week 14 to go head-to-head with the Buffalo Bills (9-3) on Sunday, December 8.

“Duck” led Steelers ‘O’ but Dupree led Pittsburgh ‘D’ in win over Browns

Yes, Devlin Hodges was an undrafted rookie free agent. Yes, he is a champion duck caller. If you didn’t know all that heading into the rematch between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns, you might live under a rock (or just not pay much attention to the NFL). Hodges threw for 212 yards and a touchdown (to one interception) while rookie rusher Benny Snell logged 63 yards on the day plus his first NFL touchdown.

Meanwhile, the Steelers defense was effective in keeping Baker Mayfield from orchestrating a win. Bud Dupree had a crucial strip-sack of the Browns quarterback and the Steelers’ defensive backfield played good coverage to limit Odell Beckham Jr. and grabbed one interception (Joe Haden). With the win, Pittsburgh has now kept Cleveland from earning a win in their city, and at Heinz Field, for 16 years… and counting.

The Steelers remain in playoff contention at 7-5 and will play the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14. The Browns, at 5-7 after their loss, is on the outside of the playoff picture for now and likely will need to rely on other teams to help them grab a wild card spot unless they are able to win the remaining games in their schedule. The Browns will host the Bengals in Week 14.

Dalton gives coach Zac Taylor first NFL win

The Cincinnati Bengals went back to veteran quarterback Andy Dalton after what seemed like an exile to the bench in favor of Ryan Finley on Sunday in a 22-6 beat-down on the New York Jets. Dalton was able to complete 22-of-37 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown and hand his head coach the team’s first win of the season (and Zac Taylor’s first “W” in the NFL). Dalton also set two franchise passing records on Sunday. With a 17-yard pass to Tyler Boyd that gave the Bengals a lead they would not relinquish, Dalton became the Bengals’ career leader in touchdown passes with 198 (Ken Anderson) and also passed Anderson for the franchise career completion mark.

The Jets (4-8) became the first team in the league to lose to two teams with an 0-7 or worse record in the same season. The Bengals didn’t allow Sam Darnold time or room to make much happen. Darnold was sacked four times in the game. Carlos Dunlap logged three of the sacks on his own.

The win comes just in time for a morale boost as the Bengals could play spoiler against the Browns in Week 14.


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