With Week 10 now over, we take a look at how the division fared and some of the headlines surrounding the teams heading into Week 11. The Steelers and Browns both have a bye this week, but that's not slowing down the Browns from making headlines.
Baltimore Ravens (2-7) lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6) 20-22
The NFL released a statement after the Ravens' disappointing loss to the Jaguars. The final play, where Elvis Dumervil committed a facemask penalty to give the Jaguars an untimed down, should have never occurred. The Jaguars left tackle failed to get set before the snap. There should have been a flag for a false start, and 10 seconds should have been run off the clock ending the game. However, the Ravens played very poorly leading up to that play, and they should have never even come close to committing the face mask penalty in the first place. The Ravens should have won, but they didn't deserve to, so they'll continue onto Week 11 with just two wins.
There is a huge difference between the Ravens and other teams currently slated to select in the top 5 of the 2016 draft, and that is they have a very solid core of talent. Most of that talent is currently on injured reserve though. That means they could add a top talent to an already talented team. Depending on if Steve Smith Sr. sticks to his retirement plan, the Ravens could add a receiver in the first round, or they could add a pass rusher to rotate with Dumervil and Terrell Suggs.
This seems like a cruel joke, but yet another player has been added to the Ravens Injured/Reserve, actually, two have. This time it is their first round selection from this years draft, Breshad Perriman and cornerback Asa Jackson. Jackson was actually cut but due to an ankle injury, if he's not picked up on waivers in the next 24 hours, he'll revert to the Ravens' IR list. With the state of the Ravens receivers, it has to be disappointing for the Ravens and Perriman that he couldn't be out there. He could, at the very least gain valuable reps as the number one receiver, but instead he heads to IR ending a frustrating season. The Ravens also cut punt returner Jeremy Ross and signed wide receiver Kaelin Clay, tight end Chase Ford and cornerback Cassius Vaughn to fill the roster spots.
Cleveland Browns (2-8) lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) 9-30
Despite the stat line, Johnny Manziel did play fairly well against the Steelers. It's funny what happens when you let a guy actually go out and play. A few things that won't show up in his stats are the receiver drops, especially a Travis Benjamin drop with no one near him at the goal line. But, the Browns as a whole, failed to come through. Penalties and another poor performance in the run game doomed them on Sunday. The defense played very respectfully against the run, but embarrassed themselves in the passing game. Recently activated Philip Gaines, was routinely beat in coverage.
Finally. Listen, Josh McCown played well, no one is trying to take that away from him, but when your team is sitting at the bottom of the standings in the NFL you have to start thinking about next year. Mainly, they need to decide whether the Manziel project will continue into next season, or if they should spend a high draft pick on a new quarterback to develop next year. The only fair, and realistic way, to know that for sure is to let him play. The Browns finally have decided to allow that to happen and announced Manziel will start for the rest of the year. Whether it was pushed by the front office or if Mike Pettine made the decision, it's the right move for the future.
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) beat the Cleveland Browns (2-8) 30-9
A weird thing happened Sunday. As expected, Landry Jones started the game for the Steelers, but he was quickly injured, and it was an injured Ben Roethlisberger to the rescue. Roethlisberger showed little sign of being hampered by his injuries as he went off on the Browns' secondary, that was without Joe Haden, for 379 yards and three touchdowns. Antonio Brown had 10 catches for 139 yards along with two touchdowns. Martavis Bryant added in 178 yards and a touchdown, although he did fumble the ball away after one of his big catches. Even more surprising than all of that was how the Steelers failed to get their run game going. This was the same run game that dominated the Raiders a week prior, and the Browns possess the league's worst run defense. You can chalk it up to their offensive line simply getting out played, but it is something to watch with the Steelers going forward.
The Bengals lose one game and all the sudden everything is wide open in the eyes of NFL fans. I'll be fair, the Steelers have more of a shot at winning the division now than if the Bengals had won, but let's get real. The Bengals have looked impressive all season long, one game shouldn't disrupt what they've build. The Steelers are in a good place for a Wild Card spot, but they are far away from coming close to the division lead.