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AFC North Preview: Week 16

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens (9-5)

The Ravens have won their last three games and appear to be heating up at just the right time. Baltimore still needs outside help to make the playoffs, but they will start with what they can control this week against the Giants.

QB Lamar Jackson has returned to 2019 form in recent weeks, which is a great sign for the Ravens as they make their playoff push. Baltimore has scored at least 40 points in their last two games and 34 points the week before against the Cowboys.

CB Jimmy Smith has been declared out for Sunday. WR Dez Bryant, DE Calais Campbell, S Anthony Levine Sr., OLB Pernell McPhee, CB Marcus Peters, G Tyre Phillips, C Matt Skura, ILB Kristian Welch, FB Patrick Ricard, and WR Marquise Brown are all listed as questionable.


Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)

The Steelers dropped their third game in a row after starting the season 11-0. Pittsburgh enters the final two weeks of the season in danger of losing their hold of the division. Things won’t get any easier for the Steelers this week as they face the 10-4 Colts.

Pittsburgh’s offense has struggled heavily in recent weeks, failing to score over 20 points in over four games. QB Ben Roethlisberger must play better in order for the Steelers to regain some steam as they head into the playoffs.

LB Marcus Allen, LB Ulysees Gilbert, LB Olasunkanmi Adenlyl, and K Chris Boswell are all out for Sunday. RB Anthony McFarland Jr. is questionable to play.


Cleveland Browns (10-4)

The Browns improved to 10-4 last week and have a legitimate chance of overtaking the division in the final two weeks of the season, starting by beating the 1-13 Jets on Sunday.

Unfortunately for Cleveland, several players will miss this week’s game due to COVID-19, including four WRs. The five players placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list include WRs Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, KhaDarel Hodge, and Donovan Peoples-Jones, as well as LB Jacob Phillips. Expect the Browns to stick to what they do best on Sunday and pound the rock.

G Wyatt Teller has been ruled out for Sunday’s game while LB Malcolm Smith is questionable.


Cincinnati Bengals (3-10-1)

After pulling off the major upset against Pittsburgh last week, the Bengals will now face the Texans on the road.

Ryan Finley will again start at QB for Cincinnati. Despite lackluster stats, Finley made several plays that were instrumental in taking down the Steelers. RB Joe Mixon still will not return this week, although he hasn’t been ruled out for the season yet despite not playing since Week 6.

WR Tyler Boyd, LB Jordan Evans, LB Logan Wilson, and C B.J. Finney have all been ruled out for this week.