Baltimore Ravens (4-9) lost to Seattle Seahawks (8-5), 35-6
The Ravens went a little less than two weeks without adding anyone to Injured Reserve. But, the injury bug has bit again. This time it is Chris Canty who tore his pectoral muscle. At this point, no injury is going to have a huge impact on what is a shell of an NFL roster, but it still stinks for the player, and nobody likes to see this happen.
Coming into Sunday's game, the Ravens had always been within at least eight points of winning in every game this season. That ended in a big way against the Seahawks. Russell Wilson abused a poor secondary as he continues to light up the AFC North. The Ravens defense did play its heart out for a little bit though. They held the Seahawks to only 14 points in the first half, but the wheels came off in the second. Baltimore looked inept offensively most of the game, but what else would you expect from a team where Jimmy Clausen is the leading passer, Terrance West the leading rusher, and Kamar Aiken the leading receiver.
Cleveland Browns (3-10) beat San Francisco 49ers (4-9), 24-10
Brian Hartline's season ends with a broken collarbone, and Joe Haden's with a concussion. Joe Haden's injury obviously is fairly concerning given how long he has been dealing with this concussion. Haden appeared in only five games this season. His absence can't be pointed to for the major defensive struggles this season. You can save all the finger pointing for that run defense. Hartline's injury hurts Johnny Manziel as he found Hartline several times Sunday during his first of a four game audition. The receiving core is already thin, so any injury will force Manziel to be that much better.
It could be speculated that the Browns were smart to sit Manziel an extra game to save him from playing the Bengals' defense. Instead they decided to throw him back out there against the poor 49ers pass defense that Manziel really looked fairly impressive against. It helped that Isaiah Crowell had a monster game with 145 yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers. The run defense held the 49ers to 4.2 rushing yards per play which is an improvement for them on the year. While the win is nice for confidence it hurts their draft position as the Titans reclaimed the first overall pick.
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) beat Cincinnati Bengals (10-3), 33-20
Even after beating the Bengals, the Steelers still don't have one of the six top spots in the AFC. Even though the possibility still exists that the Steelers can claim the AFC North, the odds are slim, considering the Bengals play the 49ers, Broncos, and Ravens to end the season, and they only need one win to secure the division. The Steelers now have to win out against the Broncos, Ravens, and Browns, which is very doable. They have to hope the Jets slip up at least once against the Cowboys, Patriots, or Bills, or the Chiefs lose against the Ravens, Browns, or Raiders. The Jets vs Patriots game seems like the most likely loss for either of those teams, but it depends on how much the Patriots still have left to play for.
After Sunday's win it has been a common debate whether the Steelers are the scariest team in the AFC right now. The super reactionary answer is yes, they beat one of the Best AFC teams on their own field in convincing fashion. The realistic answer is no. The Steelers had an easy time because Dalton and Tyler Eifert went down early. The Bengals' offense was clearly, and understandably, out of sync. Let's not forget that the Steelers have routinely been burned in the passing game this season, and on Sunday needed a pick six to reach more than 30 points. It'd be hard to see the Steelers making it past Tom Brady. Also to be a contender, you actually have to make the playoffs, something the Steelers aren't set to do just yet.
Here's a look at the AFC North standings heading into Week 15: