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Bengals loss gives Ravens opportunity for division title

It'll be tough, but Cincinnati's loss gave Baltimore an opening for a chance to win another AFC North title.

Justin K. Aller

As tough as it was for most Ravens fans, rooting for the Steelers proved beneficial Sunday night.

With the Steelers coming away with a 30-20 upset win over the Bengals, the Ravens now have an opening to win the AFC North. It's a tall order to do so as this would require wins over the Lions (Monday night), the Patriots (next week) and the Bengals (Week 17).

If the Ravens can pull off the final trifecta (and thus head into the postseason with a six-game winning streak), they'll win the AFC North for the third season in a row. Suddenly, the Ravens trying to fend off the Dolphins in the chase for the final Wild Card spot in the AFC is second on the radar.

If the Bengals lose next week to the Vikings, then the Ravens can win the AFC North without winning each of the final three games. They would then be able to afford to lose one against the Lions or Patriots, win the other, and then conclude the season with a win over Cincinnati.

If that scenario plays out, whatever the Dolphins do is a moot point as far as it considers Baltimore.

Ravens fans have a lot to be excited about with the Bengals losing — even if it came due to a Steelers win. If the Ravens get past Detroit Monday night, the feeling that an AFC North title could happen takes a step closer to reality.