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AFC North Roundup: Week 10

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Bryan Woolston/Getty Images

After a full slate of games in Week 10, the Bengals dropped their ninth game of the season and the Browns, Steelers and Ravens picked up victories.

Baltimore thwarted the potential for a “trap game” in an extremely convincing fashion, dominating Cincinnati for a wire-to-wire win. With it, the Ravens improved to 7-2 on the season. The Bengals had no answers for Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews and three turnovers on offense overshadowed a strong showing from Joe Mixon.

Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, the Steelers kept their win streak alive as well. Fueled by a dominant defensive performance, the Steelers held a high-powered Rams offense in check and are now above .500. The Browns halted their losing streak with a home victory against the Bills, winning for the first time since Week 4.

Ravens defeat Bengals: 49-13

There’s nowhere else to start other than here. In what was almost an exact replica of their beatdown against the Dolphins in Week 1, the Ravens rode an offensive explosion and opportunistic defense to a blowout victory in Cincinnati. The Ravens put on an offensive clinic against one of the league’s worst defenses. Baltimore scored on all but three of their drives, with the exceptions coming after Lamar Jackson was pulled from the game late in the third quarter.

Jackson was essentially perfect from start to finish, completing 15/17 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns. One of his two incompletions came via a spiked ball, too. Jackson also rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown, which came on a 47-yard rush when Jackson juked and spinned his way to the end zone. Greg Roman’s offense finished the game with 379 total yards, five touchdowns and 8.2 yards per play in just over 23:00. Defensively, the Ravens were gashed a bit on the ground but compensated with three forced turnovers, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Marcus Peters was responsible for rookie QB Ryan Finely’s first career interception and returned it 89 yards to the house.

Defining stat: 10.6 yards per pass

What’s next: vs. Houston Texans - Sunday, Nov. 17 (1:00 p.m. ET)

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For the Bengals, this was not way they would have liked Ryan Finley’s first start to go. To his credit, Finley didn’t play terrible, especially if you ignore his interception. The bottom line is that with a poor offensive line in front of him and a bad defense backing him up, it’s tough to expect much out of Finley for the remainder of the season. On the bright side, Joe Mixon finally broke through with his best performance of the season against a top-ranked rushing defense in Baltimore. Mixon was given a healthy dose of 30 carries and churned out 114 yards, while also adding 47 receiving yards.

Defensively, the Bengals had no answers for Baltimore. Lamar Jackson picked Cincinnati apart with precision passing downfield and a highlight touchdown run. The Bengals are statistically one of the worst defenses in the league despite having some relatively well-known names. If there was any hope of them slowing down the Ravens entering Sunday’s game, it quickly subsided after the opening minutes.

Defining stat: Three turnovers

What’s next: @ Oakland Raiders - Sunday, Nov. 14 (4:25 p.m. ET)

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Browns defeat Bills: 19-16

In what was very much a must-win situation, the Browns snapped a four-game losing streak and grinded out a home victory against the 6-2 Bills. Buffalo probably isn’t as good as their record indicated entering Sunday’s game and the Browns were far from convincing. However, a win is a win, and the Browns couldn’t afford to miss out on another one. Cleveland jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and after falling down by four points in the fourth quarter, Baker Mayfield capped off a 10-play, 82-yard drive with a touchdown pass to Rashard Higgins, giving the Browns a three-point advantage with 1:44 remaining.

The Bills moved the ball down into enemy territory but after poor clock management, Steven Hauschka missed 52-yard field goal attempt, effectively ending the game. The Browns could have given themselves a bigger cushion in the first half but failed to convert on eight - yes eight - attempts at the goal line. Nick Chubb continued his tremendous sophomore campaign, rushing for 116 yards on 20 carries. In his first game back from suspension, backup RB Kareem Hunt played decent snaps down the stretch, churning out 30 rushing yards and 44 yards through the air on seven receptions.

Defining stat: 147 rushing yards

What’s next: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers - Thursday, Nov. 14 (8:20 p.m. ET)

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Steelers defeat Rams: 17-12

In the 4:00 hour, the Steelers once again held strong at home against a playoff-caliber opponent, this time the reigning NFC champions. After knotting the score up at 7-7 late in the first quarter, Pittsburgh’s defense locked in on a talented Rams offense. Los Angeles was only able to muster a field goal in the third quarter; their remaining nine points came via a safety and defensive touchdown. The Steelers intercepted QB Jared Goff twice in the second half, the second of which came courtesy of Minkah Fitzpatrick. Since acquiring him in a trade with Miami, Fitzpatrick has five interceptions for the Steelers.

Mason Rudolph attempted 38 throws, completing 22 of them for 242 yards and one passing touchdowns. Rudolph isn’t forced to do much in this offense but rather manage the game effectively and not turn the ball over, which assists their ascending defense. The Steelers really struggled on the ground, mustering just 42 rushing yards on 27 attempts. Needless to say, the impending return of James Conner will be welcomed. WR James Washington had another productive outing, leading the team in receptions (6) and receiving yards (90).

Defining stat: Four turnovers forced

What’s next: @ Pittsburgh Steelers - Thursday, Nov. 14 (8:20 p.m. ET)

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