There were nine three-win teams in the American Football Conference heading into Week Eight. Several of those teams were sporting a 3-3 record, having already used their respective Bye Weeks while Cincinnati watched this weekend having already earned their fourth loss. After the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers won their respective games on Sunday, the number of six-win teams has been reduced to six; including the recently-arrived Oakland Raiders who improved from a two-win team over the Kansas City Chiefs.
As a result, the Bengals, on a Bye Week, falls to what amounts to a No. 11 seed in the playoff picture; or at the very least the "group" just outside of the unlikely four-win wild card teams in Miami and Indianapolis.
THE AFC NORTH TIGHTENS
Browns running back Trent Richardson led Cleveland this weekend, generating 122 yards rushing on 22 carries and a 26-yard touchdown, over the San Diego Chargers during a rain-filled Sunday afternoon. Richardson's fifth rushing touchdown this year, currently tied for most among rookie running backs in the NFL, is the most by a Browns rookie during the team's first eight games since Ron Johnson in 1969. Additionally Richardson's 470 yards rushing is currently the third-highest by a rookie running back, following Washington's Alfred Morris (717) and Tampa Bay's Doug Martin (543); including Robert Griffin III's 476 yards rushing, Richardson is fourth overall.
The win is Cleveland's second this year, tightening a race in the AFC North that leaves the Cincinnati Bengals one-game away from last place. Cleveland hosts the Baltimore Ravens this weekend, who return from their respective Bye Week, while the Bengals host the Denver Broncos.
Pittsburgh easily beat the Washington Redskins 27-12, turning national darling Robert Griffin III into a mediocre quarterback while wearing those uniforms. The win gives Pittsburgh second place in the division, one game off the Baltimore Ravens. Both teams face each other on Week 11 and Week 13.
|WEEK 9||Broncos (4-3)||@ Browns (2-6)||@ Giants (6-2)||Ravens (5-2)|
|WEEK 10||Giants (6-2)||Raiders (3-4)||Chiefs (1-6)||BYE|
|WEEK 11||@ Chiefs (1-6)||@ Steelers (4-3)||Ravens (5-2)||@ Cowboys (3-4)|
|WEEK 12||Raiders (3-4)||@ Chargers (3-4)||@ Browns (2-5)||Steelers (4-3)|
|WEEK 13||@ Chargers (3-4)||Steelers (4-3)||@ Ravens (5-2)||@ Raiders (3-4)|
|WEEK 14||Cowboys (3-4)||@ Redskins (3-5)||Chargers (3-4)||Chiefs (1-6)|
|WEEK 15||@ Eagles (3-4)||Broncos (4-3)||@ Cowboys (3-4)||Redskins (3-5)|
|WEEK 16||@ Steelers (4-3)||Giants (6-2)||Bengals (3-4)||@ Broncos (4-3)|
|WEEK 17||Ravens (5-2)||@ Bengals (3-4)||Browns (2-6)||@ Steelers (4-3)|