clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

AFC North was the best division in football in 2023

All four teams finished with winning records for the first time since 1935.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

And the winner is . . .

The AFC North.

In case there was any doubt, the AFC North established itself as the toughest conference in the NFL this past season when it became the first division in the Super Bowl era to have all four of its teams finish with winning records.

Three of those teams qualified for the NFL playoffs, led by the Baltimore Ravens, who finished the regular season with a record of 13-4 and cruised to the AFC Championship game before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, 19-10.

The Cleveland Browns made it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2020 with a record of 11-6 but were eliminated in the first round by the Houston Texans by a score of 45-14.

The Pittsburgh Steelers made their 34th trip to the playoffs after finishing with a 10-7 record but dropped a 31-17 decision to the Buffalo Bills in the opening round.

The Cincinnati Bengals were the only AFC North team not to make the playoffs, despite finishing with their third straight winning record at 9-8. The Bengals narrowly missed a playoff berth of their own, finishing as the eighth seed in the seven-team field.

Cincinnati does have the honor, though, of being the last AFC North team to make a Super Bowl appearance. The Bengals dropped a 23-20 decision to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI.

The last time a division had four teams finish the season with winning records was in 1935, when the old NFL West division consisting of the Lions, Packers, Bears, and Cardinals accomplished the feat. Detroit topped the standings with a record of 7-3-2, Green Bay finished at 8-4, and the Bears and Cardinals posted identical 6-4-2 records.

And the AFC North looks to be one of the powerhouse divisions again next year, with the Ravens and Bengals among the oddsmaker favorites to make the 2025 Super Bowl in New Orleans.

According the DraftKings, the Ravens have the third-best chance of making the Super Bowl at nine-to-one, while the Lions and the Bengals are tied for fifth-best at 12-to-one.

So hang on to your seats, Bengals fans. It looks like 2025 is going to be another good year for football in the AFC North.