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AFC North Roundup: Week 4

100% victorious for the first time this season

Baltimore Ravens v Washington Football Team Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Steelers were granted an early bye week this weekend when the NFL announced it had postponed their matchup against the Titans. So, only three AFC North squads suited up for Week 4 and all three emerged victorious.

Cincinnati picked up their first win of the season over the Jaguars, the Browns defeated the Cowboys in a high-scoring affair, and the Ravens handled their business against Washington to improve to 3-1, as well.

Updated Standings:

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers 3-0
  2. Baltimore Ravens 3-1
  3. Cleveland Browns 3-1
  4. Cincinnati Bengals 1-2-1

Ravens defeat Washington: 31-17

After a 14-point loss at the hands of the reigning champions in Week 3, the Ravens responded with a 14-point victory on Sunday against Washington. It was a wire-to-wire effort from Baltimore, who never trailed at any point.

It was the defense that kickstarted the effort after an unsuccessful opening drive from the offense. Marlon Humphrey forced his second fumble of the season and the Ravens capitalized with a quick touchdown before the end of the first quarter.

A miscommunication between Lamar Jackson and Miles Boykin before halftime resulted in an interception in Baltimore territory. Washington kicked a field goal and trailed by 11 entering halftime, but the Ravens responded well after the break with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive — capped off with a 22-yard touchdown reception from Mark Andrews.

The Ravens defense surrendered a season-high 314 passing yards to Dwayne Haskins but clamped up on the ground. Washington mustered only 69 rushing yards and averaged 3.1 YPC. Over 100 of the total yards allowed by the Ravens came late in the second half when they already had an 18-point advantage.

Jackson completed 14/21 passes on the day for 193 yards and two passing touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing and scored a 50-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter, which marks the longest rush of his career.

Defining stat: 8.6 yards per pass

What’s next: vs. Cincinnati Bengals — Sunday, Oct. 11 (1:00 p.m. ET)

Browns defeat Cowboys: 49-38

Cleveland entered Sunday’s matchup against the Cowboys as a 3.5-point underdog, but you wouldn’t have known based it on they performed.

The Browns offense came out firing on all cylinders, scoring touchdowns on four of six drives in the first half and dropping 31 points. Cleveland’s defense also held up their end in the first two quarters, forcing two fumbles and two punts.

Cleveland’s onslaught continued into the third quarter, where they outscored the Cowboys 10-0 and entered the fourth quarter with a whopping 41-14 advantage. Dak Prescott and company carved up the Browns defense in the final frame of play for 24 points, but the comeback effort fell short.

As a team, the Browns piled up over 500 yards of total offense and averaged 7.0 yards per play. Most of this came without the services of Nick Chubb, too, who exited the game with an injury after rushing six times for 43 yards.

Kareem Hunt continued his strong play with 71 yards and two scores but it was third-string running back D’Ernest Johnson who led the team in carries (13) and rushing yards (93). The star of the day, though, was wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. “OBJ” finally had the breakthrough performance fans have been waiting for. He caught five passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns and added 73 rushing yards and an additional score on the ground.

Baker Mayfield was once again efficient, completing 19/30 passes and tossing two touchdowns with no turnovers.

Defining stat: 307 rushing yards

What’s next: vs. Indianapolis Colts — Sunday. Oct. 11 (1:00 p.m. ET)

Bengals defeat Jaguars: 33-25

A slow start ceded way to a high-scoring affair between the Bengals and Jaguars, with the former coming out on top by eight points for their first win of the season.

Cincinnati trailed by three points at halftime but scored two touchdowns and a field goal on their first three drives of the second half, while the defense forced two consecutive punts. Add in two more field goals and the Bengals came away with points on all but one of their drives in the final two quarters — with the lone exception being the late-game kneel down.

The offensive catalyst was RB Joe Mixon, who broke through with his best performance of the season after a slow start through three weeks. Mixon ripped off 151 rushing yards and two scores on 25 carries, good for a healthy 6.0 YPC. He also caught six receptions for 30 receiving yards, adding to a season-best day.

Joe Burrow only tossed one touchdown pass but could have easily had two. After orchestrating a 12-play drive in the second quarter, Burrow’s pass attempt to TE Drew Sample was caught but then wreslted away in mid-air by Jaguars LB Myles Jack. The would-be touchdown resulted in an interception.

Burrow completed 25/36 pass attempts for 300 yards, though, and his YPA of 8.3 was his highest mark of the season. The main receiving catalysts were Tyler Boyd (7 catches, 93 yards) and rookie Tee Higgins (4 catches, 77 yards).

Defining stat: 12 rushing first downs

What’s next: @ Baltimore Ravens — Sunday, Oct. 11 (1:00 p.m. ET)