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AFC North Preview: Week 4

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 of the NFL season kicks off the divisional play for the AFC North. One game will decide which team will take control of the lead in the division while the other features two teams looking for their first win of the season.

Baltimore Ravens (2-1) vs. Cleveland Browns (1-2)

After a disappointing loss to Kansas City, the Ravens will look to rebound with a divisional win this week. A win against the Browns would give Baltimore a firm lead in the division. Meanwhile, a loss for Cleveland could have damaging effects as they fall to 1-3 after an offseason of hype and expectations.

With cornerback Jimmy Smith still sidelined due to a knee injury, the Ravens secondary will have their hands full dealing with Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Pressuring Mayfield will be key to stopping their passing attack and forcing turnovers. On the other side of the ball for Baltimore, quarterback Lamar Jackson will look to take advantage of an injured secondary for the Browns. Cleveland’s top-two cornerbacks, Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams, have both missed time due to injury and are listed as questionable for this week.

For the Browns, a quick-strike passing attack will be key to nullifying the Ravens pass rush. Mayfield will look for favorable matchups against Baltimore’s secondary that is without two of their top corners. Look for Mayfield to target the middle of the field and against the inside linebackers often as well.

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (0-3)

Monday Night Football will feature two teams looking for their first win of the season after starting 0-3. Pittsburgh continues to adjust to life without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, which has proven to be a difficult one thus far. First-year head coach Zac Taylor aims to get his first win after a poor start for his new team.

Pittsburgh will most likely be without one of their top offensive weapons as tight end Vance McDonald is listed as doubtful on the injury report. Young players must step up for the Steelers if they want to salvage their quickly-fading season.

Star wide receiver A.J. Green remains out for Cincinnati after suffering a toe injury this offseason. Defensive end Carl Lawson is listed as doubtful as well. The Bengals defense must play better, starting with what should be an easier task against an inexperienced quarterback this week.