The NFL can be a very strange place.
Thanks to the only Week 1 head-to-head matchup in the division ending in a tie, all four AFC North teams were undefeated after Week 1. Three teams would ending up losing in Week 2, giving the Bengals sole possession of first place in the AFC North.
The Thursday night showdown between the Ravens and the Bengals determined the leader of the pack, as the two 1-0 teams faced off at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals took care of the Ravens in primetime, putting up 34 points and forcing three turnovers to keep a hold of the division. The Bengals, now 2-0, are the only undefeated team left in the division as the 1-1 Ravens slide into second place.
Coming off of a tie, both the Steelers and the Browns lost their subsequent matches, rounding out last place.
Browns fall to Saints 21-18
The Browns lost a heartbreaker in the Big Easy and are now 0-1-1. After leading for most of the game, the Saints were able to close the game out thanks to four missed kicks from Zane Gonzalez. The Browns kicker missed two field goals and two extra points, including one in the final second of the game. Gonzalez left eight points on the field, so each missed kick cost the Browns some mental resolve. The Browns ended up falling 21-18 to secure a share of last place.
Steelers lose to Chiefs 42-37
The Steelers overcame a 21-point deficit to leave the field at halftime tied with the Chiefs. But Patrick Mahomes threw six touchdowns for the Chiefs and the Steelers were unable to answer every score. Pittsburgh made a late push to be within five points, but fell short. The Steelers lost to the Chiefs in Pittsburgh for the first time since 1986. The final score of the shootout was 42-37.
So after two weeks, the Bengals are in first place. But there are 14 more weeks to go and anything can happen. After all, the NFL can be a very strange place.
Here’s a look at the AFC North standings after Week 2:
- Cincinnati Bengals: 2-0: 1-0 in division, 2-0 in conference
- Baltimore Ravens: 1-1: 0-1 in division, 1-1 in conference
- Cleveland Browns: 0-1-1: 0-0-1 in division, 0-0-1 in conference
- Pittsburgh Steelers: 0-1-1: 0-0-1 in division, 0-1 in conference