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AFC North standings heading into Week 15

The Bengals and Browns are one game away from leading the division or being in last place.

Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal
Garrett scores first career touchdown

Most of us can remember playing the game of hot potato as kids. No one wanted to be stuck with that hot potato.

Kind of reminds you of the AFC North race, doesn’t it? No one seems to want to win it.

Not the Pittsburgh Steelers, who dropped a 36-28 decision to the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night

Not the Cincinnati Bengals, who battled back from a 20-6 deficit to send the game into overtime before losing to the San Francisco 49ers, 26-23.

Not the Baltimore Ravens, who lost their second game in a row, this time by a 24-22 margin to the Cleveland Browns.

Not even the Browns, who jumped out to a 24-3 lead before trying their best to give the game away.

In the end, though, nothing much changed. Baltimore stills leads the division with a record of 8-5, followed by Cincinnati and Cleveland with identical 7-6 records. Pittsburgh stands at 6-6-1.

Browns hold on vs. Ravens

Myles Garrett was selected by the Browns with the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. The following year, Cleveland took Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick. The duo was instrumental in guiding the Browns to victory Sunday.

Garrett scored his first career touchdown when he stripped Ravens’ backup quarterback Todd Huntley, grabbed the ensuing fumble and returned it 15 yards for the score. Huntley was filling in for an injured Lamar Jackson, who sprained his ankle and missed much of the game.

Mayfield completed 22/32 passes for 190 yards and threw touchdown passes to Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper and the Browns defense stopped Baltimore on a fourth-and-six with under a minute to play to hold on for the win.

Justin Tucker made field goals of 50, 42 and 55 yards for the Ravens and Huntley connected on 27 of 38 passes for 270 yards and a score.

Steelers fall short

Pittsburgh spotted the Vikings a 29-0 lead, then put on a furious rally that fell just short when a potential 12-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth was broken up at the last second by Vikings’ safety Harrison Smith.

Roethlisberger, despite being sacked five times, threw touchdown passes to Najee Harris, James Washington and Freiermuth to spark the second-half run.

Looking ahead, the Steelers host the 9-4 Tennessee Titans this week, while the Ravens are hosting the 10-3 Packers.

The Bengals are playing on the road vs. the 7-6 Denver Broncos, and the Browns host the 6-7 Las Vegas Raiders.

AFC North Standings Week 15

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