AFC North: Standings, Week 9 Game Recaps, and Upcoming Week 10 Matchups

November 6, 2023

Todd Hall

While we appreciate the entire NFL all we really care about is the AFC North! We provide AFC North NFL standings on a weekly basis, including all teams’ upcoming games for the week. This resource provides a clear overview of each team’s wins, losses, and ties, allowing you to track the division’s developments. Whether you’re a passionate fan or just curious about the AFC North’s progress, this source keeps you updated on the division’s dynamics and upcoming games.

Standings in the AFC North After 9 Weeks

AFC North Opponents Game Recaps From Week 9, Up-Coming Week 10 and Week 11 Games

Cincinnati Bengals

Week 9 Game Recap: Beat Buffalo Bills

Joe Burrow is showcasing his comeback as Cincinnati’s franchise quarterback. He has delivered two consecutive weeks of exceptional performance, erasing doubts about his calf injury that troubled him earlier in the season. Despite a bloodied index finger on his throwing hand, Burrow displayed his agility in evading the Bills’ pass rush, much like he did in the previous week’s victory over the 49ers. He demonstrated precision in his passing, accumulating 348 yards, two touchdowns, and a 108.9 passer rating on 31-of-44 attempts. His accuracy was remarkable, with both Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd narrowly missing first-half touchdowns due to dropped passes. Instead, he connected with his tight ends, Irv Smith and Drew Sample, the latter making a remarkable tackle-dodging reception for his fifth target of the season. While the second half saw the Bengals score only three points, Burrow remained clutch, exemplified by his 32-yard pass to Boyd at the start of Cincinnati’s final drive, effectively running out the clock on Buffalo.

The Bills, on the other hand, couldn’t overcome a slow start. After an initial burst of three touchdowns in the game’s early possessions, they fell into a familiar lull that has plagued them this season. They gained only 37 more yards for the rest of the first half after their impressive opening drive. While they made efforts to turn things around, it wasn’t sufficient. Apart from one three-and-out, Buffalo consistently executed 10-plus play, and 50-plus yard drives in the second half, closing the gap to six points with 3:32 left after trailing by two possessions for the previous 28 minutes. Unfortunately, they couldn’t stop the Bengals on the ensuing drive, and their comeback bid fell short. Josh Allen displayed moments of brilliance but also inconsistency with some errant throws and an underthrown interception. He kept Buffalo in the game, picking up multiple first downs on the ground while running backs James Cook and Latavius Murray contributed only 24 combined rushing yards. Allen also established a budding connection with rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid, who recorded 10 catches for 81 yards but had a costly fumble in the fourth quarter. Such mistakes become insurmountable when the offense goes silent for extended periods.

The Bengals’ defense has also been heating up despite a challenging 2023 season. Heading into Week 9, they ranked 27th in yards allowed, but they tightened up their performance in this game. Cincinnati consistently forced Buffalo into unsuccessful drives, and at one point, the Bills had four consecutive possessions with no more than five plays, and the first three of those drives gained no yards. While the pass rush wasn’t perfect and only improved late in the fourth quarter, the defense’s overall success is more impressive. Cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt and linebacker Germaine Pratt stood out, with Taylor-Britt intercepting Josh Allen and amassing three interceptions in the last four games, and Pratt leading the team with 11 tackles while forcing a critical Dalton Kincaid fumble in the fourth quarter. With the offense looking dangerous and the defense preventing opponents from scoring over 20 points for over a month, Cincinnati has now secured a four-game win streak.

Bengals Opponent Week 10 Opponent: Houston Texans

Upcoming Opponent Week 11:

Baltimore Ravens

Week 9 Game Recap: Beat Seattle Seahawks

Baltimore continues its dominance over NFC division leaders, following their resounding victory over the Detroit Lions at home two weeks ago. This time, the Ravens dismantled the NFC West-leading Seahawks. The Baltimore defense asserted its authority at the line of scrimmage, stifling Seattle’s running game and causing chaos for Geno Smith on nearly every drop back. They pressured Smith on 54.5% of his dropbacks, resulting in Smith going 5 for 13 for 29 yards with an interception when under pressure, according to Next Gen Stats. The Ravens also recorded four sacks and forced two turnovers. Kyle Van Noy, a significant midseason addition, made a big impact by sacking Smith on consecutive plays late in the second quarter, including a strip-sack. Baltimore’s defense operates in relentless waves, deploying intricate pressure packages that torment their opponents. The Ravens have proven their ability to shut down any opponent.

In addition to their formidable defense, the Ravens have uncovered a new running back talent. Allow us to introduce undrafted rookie Keaton Mitchell. Despite not having carried the ball all season, Mitchell made a stunning debut, amassing 138 yards on just nine attempts, including a 40-yard touchdown run and a 60-yard dash. The rookie showcased an impressive burst in the open field and the ability to break through arm tackles. Mitchell’s emergence adds a new dimension to a Ravens offense that has struggled for consistency in the backfield. While Gus Edwards remains the go-to option near the goal line with two touchdowns, Mitchell has earned the right to receive more carries between the 20-yard lines going forward. Fantasy football enthusiasts should keep a close eye on him as he’ll likely be a popular waiver wire pickup this week.

On the other side of the field, the Seahawks’ offense hit a major roadblock in the away game. Seattle’s running game was effectively neutralized early on, rendering the offense one-dimensional and allowing Baltimore’s defense to unleash relentless pressure. Kenneth Walker III managed a mere 1.8 yards per carry on nine attempts, with his best run being nullified by a penalty, emphasizing the struggles of the Seahawks. Geno Smith never found comfort in the pocket, constantly forced to evade pressure. Seattle mustered only six first downs, converted just 1 of 12 on third downs, and gained a mere 151 total yards, a stark contrast to Baltimore’s 515 yards. Of Smith’s 157 passing yards, a significant portion (85) came from just two passes: a 50-yard completion to DK Metcalf and a 35-yard connection with Jaxon Smith-Njigba. This disappointing performance halted a two-game winning streak and left the Seahawks tied with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West at 5-3.

Ravens Opponent Week 10 Opponent: vs Cleveland Browns

Upcoming Opponent Week 11:

Week 9 Game Recap: Beat Tennesee Titans

Kenny Pickett displayed determination and did just enough to secure the win. This season, Pickett has been a slow-burning quarterback, often struggling to find his rhythm early in the game before heating up later. However, things were different on Thursday night against the Titans. Pickett led a strong opening touchdown drive, but he and the passing game had their struggles for most of the night until a fourth-quarter touchdown that ultimately sealed the victory. Notably, Pickett’s best stat for the night was his zero turnovers. While his accuracy was inconsistent early in the game with overthrows and underthrows, it’s important to note that he shouldn’t be faulted for a beautiful pass that George Pickens couldn’t catch inbounds for a potential touchdown. Pickett’s toughness was evident, especially considering his quick return from a rib injury suffered just four days earlier against the Jaguars. Pickett’s performance against the Titans may not have been great, but it was good enough to move the Steelers to a 5-3 record, which aligns with our expectations for him.

Will Levis had an impressive second start, but his first interception ended the Titans’ chances of victory. While the game ended with a pick in the end zone in the final moments of a four-point contest, Levis’ overall performance on Thursday night was commendable. He had a couple of close calls with potential interceptions, including a clear drop by Steelers cornerback Darius Rush on the final drive. However, he couldn’t escape his third attempt, as his pass landed in the arms of Kwon Alexander for his first NFL interception with just 11 seconds left. Levis showcased his strong arm and ability to make throws from awkward positions, particularly in the first half. However, he faced challenges in the second half, particularly in connecting with DeAndre Hopkins, who had no catches on four targets after halftime. Overall, Levis had a mixed performance, but there were impressive moments, and he demonstrated resilience against a strong pass rush from Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt. It’s worth noting that rookie quarterbacks have struggled against Mike Tomlin’s Pittsburgh team, as reflected in their 1-13 record.

The Titans suffered significant injuries during the game. The Titans have been plagued by injuries in recent years, and Thursday night was no exception. The most concerning injury was wide receiver Treylon Burks going down on the sideline after an incomplete pass just before the 2-minute warning in the fourth quarter. Fortunately, he was alert after the game and able to walk out of the locker room without assistance. The offensive line was also hit hard, with right tackle Chris Hubbard already out before the game, and his replacement, Nicholas Petit-Frere, leaving with a shoulder injury after being flagged twice. Rookie left guard Peter Skoronski was also banged up, missing a few plays, and left tackle Andre Dillard had his right leg rolled up and missed some snaps. Only Aaron Brewer played every snap among the starting offensive linemen. The defense didn’t escape unscathed either, as cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting left the game in the first quarter with a thumb injury.

The Steelers’ offense is still searching for its true identity. Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada called plays from the sideline for the first time in his career on Thursday night. The opening drive, which covered 83 yards in 10 plays and resulted in a touchdown, was a positive start for the offense. The run game also had its moments, with Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren breaking off several long runs. However, Kenny Pickett had some inaccuracies, and George Pickens struggled with two catches for negative yardage, drops, and failing to get his feet down in the end zone. On a positive note, Diontae Johnson broke his long-standing touchdown drought. While this performance might not launch the Steelers into a higher gear, Warren’s growing role adds a new dimension to the offense, even when other aspects are not performing at their best.

The Steelers’ defense made crucial stops late in the game to secure the win. The defense had a shaky start, committing 40 yards’ worth of penalties on the opening field-goal drive and allowing two long scoring drives before halftime. However, they recorded three first-half sacks and pressured Levis, who managed to avoid turning the ball over. The early loss of linebacker Cole Holcomb to a knee injury had an impact, as Derrick Henry found success after Holcomb’s departure. The defense managed to take the ball away on the final drive, with Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt applying pressure, and Elandon Roberts making crucial stops. Having Cameron Heyward back for the first time since Week 1 was a welcome addition. While it wasn’t the prettiest performance, the defense came through when it mattered, stopping Tennessee on all three fourth-quarter drives.

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 10 Opponent: vs. Green Bay Packers

Upcoming Opponent Week 11:

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