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Around the AFC North: Week 11 was great for everyone but the Browns

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The Bengals won, the Steelers won and the Ravens won. But the Browns did not win. We recap Week 11 around the AFC North.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Green Bay Packers Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY Sports

Week 11 in the AFC North was an interesting one. The Steelers started the week off on Thursday Night Football and they killed the Titans. Then the Ravens played in the early afternoon on Sunday and dismantled the Packers with a shutout. Meanwhile, the Browns got embarrassed by the Jaguars, which is not hard to imagine. The Jaguars have swept the AFC North and made every team in the division look downright BAD.

To finish off the weekend for the division, the Bengals beat the Broncos, who are now firmly outside the AFC playoff picture. Let’s take a deeper dive into the AFC North in Week 11.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers look like a top contender in the AFC

This pains me so much to write, but the Steelers are looking like one of the AFC’s top contenders this year. Here’s what Behind the Steel Curtain had to say about the Steelers’ dominating win over the Titans on Thursday Night Football:

On prime-time TV—only four days after their narrow win in Indianapolis last Sunday—the Pittsburgh Steelers unveiled some remarkable capabilities which, as recently as last Sunday in Indianapolis, had been subject to some serious doubts. Despite shaving the Steelers’ lead to only two points on the first play of the second half, the Titans never were truly competitive in a game dominated by the Black-and-gold on both sides of the ball.

Steelers fans are talking about home field advantage in the playoffs and their upcoming game against the Patriots could seal the deal on that front. With the Chiefs on a downward slide, the Patriots and Steelers both have eight wins and are at the top of the AFC. The Jaguars aren't far behind with seven wins.

The Bengals have the Browns up next followed by the Steelers on Monday Night Football in Week 13. Hopefully, Cincinnati can make the path through the playoffs more difficult for the Steelers.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens’ defense is scary

The Bengals were the first team the Ravens shutout this season, but they aren’t the only team the Ravens shutout this season.

When clicking and healthy, the Ravens’ defense is incredibly good. Yes, they played the Brett Hundley-led Packers in Week 11, but they shutout the Packers at Lambeau Field. The Ravens are the fifth team – and first since 2003 (New England) – in the past 30 years to record at least three shutouts in a single season. Three of the previous four teams to accomplish the feat during that span won the Super Bowl in that season – 1991 Washington, 2000 Baltimore and 2003 New England.

With that said, Joe Flacco has been terrible and because of him, the Ravens are only 5-5 with the Texans, Lions and Steelers approaching on their schedule. This story from Baltimore Beatdown sums up how the offense isn’t getting it done, despite the defense being great:

Joe Flacco: A great pass later in the game doesn’t nullify the bad throw to Danny Woodhead. Clean this play up now, Joe. Teams with actual quarterbacks will beat this team.

James Hurst: He’s not an NFL left tackle. He’s okay at guard. Ronnie Stanley is missed.

Ravens offensive line: The entire line wasn’t pretty. Screens were set up well, but the blocking was suspect. Nobody put a hat on a hat.

Sounds like the Ravens’ offensive line is continuing to be a problem, much like the Bengals’ line.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns are just bad. In reality, their loss to the Jaguars wasn’t as bad as the final score of 19-7 makes it seem. The Browns were in the game for much of it, but the Jaguars weren’t going to allow the Browns to beat them. The Jaguars defense had five sacks, two interceptions (including a pick six) and three fumble recoveries. DeShone Kizer was 16/32 for 179 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions for a 51.4 passer rating.

On the bright side for the Browns, Corey Coleman is back and Dawgs By Nature was happy with his performance on Sunday.

Corey Coleman returned for the Browns, and wowed fans on multiple occasions. The wideout was dearly missed.

Coleman hauled in back-to-back catches in the second quarter, beating top corner Jalen Ramsey both times. Coleman took a couple pops, but stayed resilient, catching two beautiful passes from Kizer.

Coleman finished Sunday’s game with a team-leading six catches for 80 yards. Another highlight on Sunday was Emmanuel Ogbah, but unfortunately for the Browns, he broke his foot and will be out for the rest of the season.

The Browns’ defensive linemen just keep improving over the course of the season. Emmanuel Ogbah and Myles Garrett excelled today for the Browns, continuing to show their immense talent.

Say what you will about the Browns and their 0-10 record, but the Browns’ defensive ends are no joke. Ogbah and Garrett have bright futures. Playing against a strong, built Jacksonville offensive line, the duo bookended the Browns defense with style.

Here’s a look at the AFC North standings heading into Week 12:

Next week, the Steelers play the Packers on Sunday Night Football, the Ravens play the Texans on Monday Night Football and the Bengals take on the Browns on Sunday afternoon in the Battle of Ohio, part two.