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Steelers, Ravens and Browns lose to increase Bengals' grip on AFC North

The Bengals escaped Week 13 with a bigger lead in the AFC North thanks to losses by the Steelers, Ravens and Browns.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

As a whole, the AFC North laid one big collective egg in Week 13. The only difference between the four teams was the bigger egg the Buccaneers laid with a brutal 12-men-on-the-field penalty to give the Bengals the win.

The Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers were not as lucky. The New Orleans Saints went into Pittsburgh and had their best game of the year, as Drew Brees threw five touchdowns for the ninth time in his career as New Orleans dominated the Steelers 35-32.

As for the Buffalo Bills, they intercepted Brian Hoyer twice and scored on an 18-yard fumble return to beat the Browns 26-10. This game also featured Johnny Manziel replacing the ineffective Hoyer, and it looks as though the Johnny Football era has begun.

The final egg laid by an AFC North team came in Baltimore, as the Ravens held a 10-point lead twice in the fourth quarter, but still managed to lose to the San Diego Chargers. San Diego trailed the entire game until Phillip Rivers threw  a 1-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal with 38 seconds to go, giving the Chargers a 34-33 victory. San Diego trailed 30-20 with 6:13 remaining and 33-27 with 2:22 left before Rivers brought them back.

It was an ugly day for the NFL's so-called best division, but at the end of the day, it was the Bengals who stood alone on top, and now control their own destiny the rest of the way as they look for their fourth straight playoff berth.