NFL playoffs 2021: How every AFC North group can win the division over the season’s last two weeks


It took 16 weeks, however somebody lastly put far between themselves and the remainder of the sector within the AFC North division. By advantage of Sunday’s 41-21 win over the Ravens, the Bengals now have a maintain on first place within the NFL‘s tightest division with two weeks left within the common season. However Cincinnati nonetheless has work to do if they’ll full the duty of successful the North for the primary time since 2015. 

The Bengals are the front-runner, however every of the division’s 4 groups nonetheless has a path towards a division title. Cincinnati controls its personal future, whereas the Ravens, Steelers and Browns must win and depend on exterior assist if they’ll seize the North. Every group can also be nonetheless in place to seize a playoff berth, however given the place the Colts, Patriots, Chargers, Raiders and Dolphins at the moment are within the standings, a division would be the clearest path to the playoffs for the AFC North’s 4 groups. 

Let’s check out how every AFC North group can seize the division throughout the common season’s last two weeks, together with the situation that we most count on will play out. 

Cincinnati Bengals

  • File: 9-6 (4-1 within the AFC North) 
  • Present seed in AFC standings: third 
  • Remaining video games: vs. Kansas Metropolis, at Cleveland 

AFC North division eventualities: 

  • Defeat Kansas Metropolis on Sunday, or 
  • Defeat Cleveland in Week 18, or
  • One loss every by Ravens, Steelers, and Browns (Week 17 vs. Steelers) 

Most certainly situation: 

The Bengals are actually able to upsetting the Chiefs, however the likelier wager is that Cincinnati might want to beat the Browns in Week 18 with a view to clinch the North. The Bengals could not even should win one other sport if the Browns lose to the Steelers on Monday, the Ravens lose at house to the Rams on Sunday and the Steelers fall in Baltimore in Week 18. Regardless, if seems {that a} win in Cleveland would be the Bengals’ greatest probability at successful the franchise’s first division crown in six years, particularly if the Browns don’t have anything to play for. 

Baltimore Ravens 

  • File: 8-7 (1-4 within the AFC North) 
  • Present seed in AFC Standings: seventh 
  • Remaining video games: vs. Rams, vs. Steelers 

AFC North division situation: 

  • Defeat Rams and Steelers, and Bengals lose to Chiefs and Browns 

Most certainly situation: 

Baltimore is the one group within the division that may end the common season with two house video games. Just like the Bengals, the Ravens will host a group in Week 17 that has already clinched a playoff berth however continues to be within the hunt to win their convention’s No. 1 seed. The Ravens have misplaced 4 straight, however three of these losses have been in one-possession video games. Baltimore is actually able to beating the Rams if both Lamar Jackson or Tyler Huntley can be found, however just like Kansas Metropolis, it is arduous to select towards a Los Angeles group that has gained 4 straight video games. Baltimore’s hopes of an AFC North division title probably finish on Sunday, however they’ll have an opportunity a making the playoffs if they’ll beat the Steelers at house of their regular-season finale. 

Pittsburgh Steelers 

  • File: 7-7-1 (2-2 within the AFC North)
  • Present seed in AFC standings: tenth
  • Remaining video games: vs. Browns, at Ravens 

AFC North division situation: 

  • Defeat Cleveland and Baltimore, and Bengals lose to the Chiefs and Browns 

Most certainly situation: 

The Steelers already beat each of their last two opponents, so it is actually possible to assume that Pittsburgh might win out and provides themselves an opportunity at successful the division. The Steelers may have an added incentive to defeat the Browns on “Monday Evening Soccer” in what is going to probably be Ben Roethlisberger’s last sport at Heinz Area, so the Steelers will probably enter their Week 18 sport towards the Ravens needing a win to provide themselves an opportunity at making the playoffs and/or successful the division if the Bengals fall to the Chiefs this Sunday.

Pittsburgh is in a novel place in that they won’t have to fret about any tiebreakers assuming that they continue to be the one AFC group with a tie. In the event that they win two and end 9-7-1, the Steelers would make the playoffs over any 9-8 group. Conversely, Pittsburgh will probably fail to high quality for the playoffs at 8-8-1 except the Chargers, Ravens and Chargers lose out, the Dolphins go 1-2 down the stretch, and the Browns and Broncos cut up their last two video games. 

Cleveland Browns 

  • File: 7-8 (2-2 within the AFC North) 
  • Present seed within the AFC standings: twelfth
  • Remaining video games: at Steelers, vs. Bengals 

AFC North division situation: 

  • Defeat Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, Bengals lose out, Ravens lose one in all their last two video games 

Most certainly situation: 

The Browns have been affected by accidents and optimistic COVID-19 circumstances. They’ve additionally did not get many favorable bounces in key moments as they’re 4-6 in one-score video games. Whereas quite a bit has to go of their favor, the Browns might pull off the unbelievable, assuming they’ll deal with their very own enterprise throughout the season’s final two video games. 

Cleveland had its greatest efficiency of the season in Week 9 once they left Cincinnati with a 41-16 win. The Browns will not be missing any confidence when the Bengals come to city in Week 18, however first, the Browns have to win in Pittsburgh — the location of final yr’s wild-card win over the Steelers — if their common season finale goes to have any playoff significance. That makes subsequent Monday evening’s sport a must-win for each the Steelers and Browns, a truth that may solely elevate what must be a memorable evening at Heinz Area. 



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