All four AFC North teams remain in contention to win division with two weeks to go

NFL: DEC 26 Ravens at Bengals
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With the NFL season coming to a close, four divisions have been clinched and three divisions are essentially two-team races. And then there’s the AFC North.

The AFC North is the only division in which no team has been mathematically eliminated.

The 9-6 Bengals are the clear favorites, with a one-game lead over the 8-7 Ravens, a 1.5-game lead over the 7-7-1 Steelers and a two-game lead over the 7-8 Browns. But nothing has been determined yet.

The Bengals clinch the division if they win one of their two remaining games, either next week against the Chiefs or the following week against the Browns. The Bengals could even win the division if they lose both games, if they get some help elsewhere.

The Ravens, however, still have a path to the division title. If the Ravens win their last two (against the Rams next week and then against the Steelers in their finale) while the Bengals lose their last two, then the Ravens win the AFC North.

The Steelers would have to win both their remaining games (against the Browns next week and the Ravens in the finale) to have a shot at the AFC North title, but if they do win both and the Bengals’ lose both their remaining games, the Steelers would win the AFC North.

And the Browns would win the AFC North if they win their final two (against the Steelers and Bengals) and the Bengals and Ravens both lose next week.

The simplest explanation of the AFC North race is that if the Bengals win one more game, they win the division. But if the Bengals lose out, things get very interesting.

15 responses to “All four AFC North teams remain in contention to win division with two weeks to go

  1. Doesn’t matter no team in that division is going to win a playoff game. They will be the 4th seed and end up playg either the Colts or the Pats.

  2. Steelers fan here not holding his breath. Personal note: after 50 plus years of wearing jeans, I just discovered sweat pants this holiday season. Why didn’t anyone tell me?

  3. Dude I ran that ESPN playoff machine and came out with two different scenarios:

    One, where the Bengals either win in Week 18 and clinch home field as number one seed, and if they lose, they’re out of the playoffs.

    The other is the same for New England against Miami. Win and get the top seed, or lose and get eliminated. Miami is also a must win to get in.

    17 games makes things really erratic.

  4. Who expects the Bengals to win either of those games? I know I don’t, which is going to be hilarious.

  5. Why is it that no matter why I say, my comments are deleted and I can not give the Bengals credit? While at the same time as a Ravens fan I can not spur them on to do better for the good of the AFCN?

  6. Impressed by Ravens fight with no defence. If they make playoffs – which is still in their own hands – it will be miracle job.
    Browns are best roaster, stacked defence and offence.
    Steelers are were they were expected, struggling offence. Bengals taken advantage.

  7. The Steelers are a bad team plain and simple and really have no business having 7 wins and still a chance to win the north. The ravens somehow with smoke and mirrors won 8 games despite countless injuries they would be an easy out. Cleveland as much as I hate to admit it are still very much alive with the bengals having to play the chiefs next week then going to Cleveland for the finale which lrobabaly will be for the afc north title. But the browns have underwhelmed to say the least and don’t really deserve the division title imo.

  8. The division nobody seems to want to win. lol
    The Steelers have no shot here, simple fact. If, by some ridiculous circumstance, the Steelers actually trip and fall into the post season they’ll be chewed up and booted in short order. Even the Browns would be a more competitive in a playoff game.

  9. Steelers have played bad on the road but if the bengals trip up I can see them winning the division and getting a home game in the first round.

  10. cs-lewis says:
    December 27, 2021 at 1:09 pm
    The browns are a complete disaster.
    Yes, and they can still win the division.

  11. As a Bengals fan it is crazy that we could miss the playoffs while a team we beat handily twice ends up going.

  12. samoanjungle says:
    December 27, 2021 at 6:09 pm
    As a Bengals fan it is crazy that we could miss the playoffs while a team we beat handily twice ends up going.
    I hear you. But there are 15 other games that matter too. The Bengals have played better than the other three divisional opponents as of late however these last two weeks are the only ones that matter now. The ACFN is heading into sudden death these next couple weeks. Any team could win really. Good luck.

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