This was an insane weekend for NFL football.
The Miami Dolphins beat the New England Patriots on one of the craziest game-ending plays ever. The Chicago Bears beat the Los Angeles Rams and proved that a great defense can still make an impact.
Patrick Mahomes continued to re-imagine what it’s like playing quarterback, and Russell Wilson looked hilarious in trying to emulate him.
Even when looking at just the AFC North, enough crazy stuff happened to talk about at length. The division-leading Steelers in fell in a huge upset, but two of the three other teams in the division came up short in their upset attempts.
So what does it all mean?
Yes, James Conner is injured and yes, Ben Roethlisberger missed a substantial amount of time in this game with an injury. Even so, a legitimate contender cannot lose to the Oakland Raiders. The Steelers made a late effort to comeback and were nearly able to tie the game with a last-second field goal, but failed, rather hilariously at that.
This is the best day ever pic.twitter.com/636hxlkJO7— YT: Kofie Why? (@KofieYeboah) December 10, 2018
This Steelers team is not all it is cracked up to be. This division is ripe for the taking this season and next season for whatever team steps up and takes it.
The Baltimore Ravens not only have a shot a Wild Card bid this season, they could potentially knock the Steelers off the top spot. Both have somewhat difficult remaining schedules. This weekend was their most difficult matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, and they gave them a run for their money taking them to overtime.
The Ravens ultimately came up short and remain in second place in the division. Not being able to come up with the plays needed to pull off the upset shows that the Ravens are not ready to compete against the top dogs in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t the best team in the AFC North, for now.
The Cincinnati Bengals also nearly pulled off an upset against a Los Angeles Chargers team that was probably looking forward to their matchup against the Chiefs on Thursday night. Their lack of ability to convert two-point conversations (which is a chronic problem) demonstrates their inability to win in key situations of games. The Bengals are in a funk. They don’t know how to win and have mental hurdles that prevent them from pulling off this kind of victory.
The Cleveland Browns are the only team in the AFC North who managed to pull off a victory this weekend. They defeated a Carolina Panthers team that once looked pretty good, but seems to be spiraling down a deep dark hole at this point in the season. Just the same, they are definitely better than the Raiders, and the Steelers couldn’t even beat that team.
The Browns moved themselves ahead of the Bengals in the divisional standings, getting out of the basement of the AFC for the first time in years. This team has their quarterback in Baker Mayfield, and if they make a good hire at the head coaching position, they could be poised to take over this division.
A crazy weekend in the NFL has demonstrated a few things about the AFC North: the Steelers aren’t that good, the Ravens aren’t ready to surpass them, and the Bengals don’t know how to win.
And above all, the Browns should be feared.