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AFC North race heats up after Ravens falter

A good week for the division, unless you’re Baltimore.

Baltimore Ravens v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals now control their own destiny in the AFC North Division. Their 20-16 win over the Tennessee Titans Sunday afternoon, coupled with the Jacksonville Jaguar’s 28-27 upset of the Baltimore Ravens, left the Bengals and Ravens tied atop the division at 7-4. Cleveland improved to 4-7 after topping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 23-17 in overtime, while Pittsburgh held off the Baltimore Colts, 24-17, Monday night.

Cincinnati hosts Baltimore on January 8 in the final game of the season, with a playoff berth likely on the line.

Browns edge Bucs in OT thriller

Nick Chubb bounced back from his worst outing of the season last week with a 116-yard effort that included the winning points on a 3-yard touchdown run with 19 seconds left in overtime.

Chubb’s winning effort was set up when Jacoby Brissett, who was making his final start before Deshaun Watson returns from his suspension, found Amari Cooper wide open for a 45-yard gain after Tampa Bay cornerback Carlton Davis III slipped and fell near midfield.

The Browns had forced overtime when tight end David Njoku made a remarkable, one-handed, 12-yard touchdown catch with 32 seconds left in regulation.

All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett led a defensive resurgence for the Browns with two sacks and Cleveland held Tampa Bay scoreless over its last seven possessions.

Brissett went 23 of 37 for 210 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and Cleveland’s ground game accounted for 189 yards on 34 carries for an average of 5.6 yards per attempt.

Ravens suffer another late meltdown

Blowing late leads has become second nature to the Ravens, and the trend continued when the Jacksonville Jaguars overcame a nine-point deficit by outscoring Baltimore 18-8 over the final six minutes. The Ravens had squandered double-digit leads late in each of their three previous losses.

Ex-Bengal Marvin Jones hauled in a 10-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Lawrence with 14 seconds left and Lawrence hit Zay Jones for the two-point conversion to take the lead.

Lamar Jackson got the Ravens into long field goal range moments later, but Justin Tucker’s 67-yard attempt at the buzzer fell short.

Lawrence turned in his best day as a pro after completing 29 of 37 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns, and Zay Jones had 11 receptions for 145 yards.

Jackson completed just 16 of his 32 passes for 254 yards and led Baltimore in rushing with 89 yards on 14 carries.

Steelers hang on vs. Colts

Pittsburgh Steelers’ back-up running back Benny Snell Jr. took his first carry of the season 62 yards for the go-ahead touchdown, and the Steelers held off another Colts rally on Monday night football.

Snell got his chance when Najee Harris limped off in the first half with an abdominal injury, and finished with 84 yards rushing on 12 carries as Pittsburgh beat the Colts for the eighth straight time.

Matt Ryan got Indianapolis into scoring position late, but a couple of clock mismanagement errors on the part of interim coach Jeff Saturday cost the Colts any chance at a comeback win.

Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett completed 20 of 28 passes for 174 yards and no turnovers. Pickett drove the Steelers into Indianapolis territory on all five possessions in the first half, but only managed three field goals a 6-yard touchdown run by Harris en route to a 16-3 lead.

The Colts closed the gap to 16-10 early in the third quarter after an 90-yard kickoff return by Dallas Flowers and led 17-16 after three quarters, but could not hold on.