Week 1 was kind to the Bengals, but outside of Cincinnati, Week 1 was about as bad of a week as any division in football has had as the AFC North went 1-3 to open the 2015 NFL season.
Only Cincinnati was victorious while the Ravens gave away a game at Denver and Pittsburgh and Cleveland were handled by New England and the New York Jets respectively. The record was reversed in Week 2 as the North went 3-1 with the Steelers and Browns notching their first wins of 2015 while the Bengals remained undefeated with a 24-19 win over the Chargers. The Ravens however, are now 0-2.
It was Pittsburgh who had the most impressive performance of AFC North teams in Week 2 as they shellacked the 49ers in just about every way possible. Pittsburgh led 29-3 going into the fourth quarter as their offense gashed San Francisco for big play after big play; the defense suffocated Colin Kaepernick and the rest of the 49ers' offense en route to a 43-18 win.
Ben Roethlisberger finished the game 21-for-27 passing with 369 yards and three scores while Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 195 yards and one score. Pittsburgh is now 1-1 with a trip to St. Louis on deck for Week 3.
The Browns also notched their first win after beating the Titans 28-14. For the second game in a row, Johnny Manziel was Cleveland's QB after replacing the injured Josh McCown last week and playing in most of their 31-10 loss to the Jets. Against Tennessee, Manziel and receiver Travis Benjamin hooked up on a 60-yard and 50-yard touchdowns to give the Browns a 28-14 win.
Manziel finished the game 8-of-15 for 172 yards passing. Benjamin finished the game with 115 yards receiving and two scores. After the game, head coach Mike Pettine declined to name Manziel the starter going forward and said the team would reassess the situation once McCown came back. The Browns host the Raiders this week with a solid chance to move to 2-1.
The Ravens, they remain winless after a gut-wrenching loss to those Raiders. Baltimore led 33-30 with under two minutes to play before Derek Carr guided Oakland right down the field before hitting receiver Seth Roberts for the game-winner with 30 seconds remaining.
After a disastrous game against the Broncos, Joe Flacco picked apart the Raiders to the tune of 384 yards and two scores, but threw an interception on Baltimore's final possession to seal the win for Oakland. This loss was all on the defense for giving up 37 points to an Oakland offense that hasn't scored more than 37 points since October 2010 against the Broncos. Baltimore basically forgot how to play football on Sunday.
Their next shot at their first win of the season comes Sunday when they host the Bengals in the first AFC North divisional matchup of 2015. Here's a look at the current division standings heading into Week 3:
Here is a look at the Week 3 schedule and early betting lines for the AFC North:
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-2.5)*: 1:00 p.m. EST on CBS
Pittsburgh Steelers at St. Louis Rams (Even): 1:00 p.m. EST on CBS
Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns (-3.5): 1:00 p.m. EST on CBS
*That is not a typo. 0-2 Baltimore is the favorite over a 2-0 Cincinnati team that beat Oakland 33-13 one week before they beat Baltimore 37-33.