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Bengals help AFC North make NFL history with win vs. Browns

It was a banner season for the division, which placed three teams in the playoffs.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals may have missed out on the NFL Playoffs, but they still did a feat not many in the NFL did — finishing north of .500.

The Bengals were 9-8 on the season, ending in last place in the division. They were just 1-5 in the division, with the last win coming in Week 18, and had an impressive stretch of non-conference games, going 5-0 vs. the NFC.

Oh, and by winning their finale, the Bengals helped the AFC North become the first division to have four teams above .500 for the first time in 88 years, according to CBS Sports.

Here’s how the rest of the division closed out the season.

And it’s not like the Bengals didn’t have quality victories this season, highlighted by wins over the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, and Buffalo Bills.

Cincinnati also sported wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, and Minnesota Vikings, all of whom had a chance to clinch a playoff spot in the final week of regular-season play.

At the top of the AFC North, the Ravens had one of the most impressive seasons in the NFL and will be a major threat to win the Super Bowl.

As for the Browns, they had quarterback troubles later in the season but won big games down the stretch with 38-year-old Joe Flacco.

The Steelers won the bulk of their games behind an ultra-solid defense as their offense consistently struggled to put points on the board.

Cincinnati, which saw Joe Burrow go down against the Ravens on Thursday Night Football, showed promise after a 1-3 start but began to falter without their star. They did bounce back and win three straight games behind quarterback Jake Browning, but his luck eventually started to fade.

The Bengals will be the only team in the division not in the playoffs, but they did help them do something that no division has done since 1935. That’s impressive, and it goes to show just how great the AFC North is, and that was without having a healthy Joe Burrow for most of the season.