Week 8 of the NFL season has concluded. While on their bye week, the Baltimore Ravens regained the lead of the division thanks to a loss from the Cincinnati Bengals. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns fell to last place with a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)
One week after trouncing the Ravens and taking control of the division, the Bengals fell victim to a massive 34-31 upset to the New York Jets on Sunday.
With rookie second-overall pick Zach Wilson out for New York, Cincinnati faced backup quarterback Mike White. Originally drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, White shocked the NFL landscape in his first start as he threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns.
A controversial call on the game's final drive ended the Bengals’ hopes of pulling out a win. On 3rd & 11, cornerback Mike Hilton tackled running back Ty Johnson short of the first down marker. Instead of Cincinnati getting the ball back down three with over a minute to go in regulation, the drive was extended by a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty against Hilton, allowing the Jets to run out the clock.
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)
The Steelers won their third game in a row as they staved off the Browns in a 15-10 victory, improving to 4-3 for the season.
Pittsburgh lost kicker Chris Boswell to a concussion before the end of the first half. Without Boswell, the Steelers were unable to kick extra points, thus attempting two-point conversions for the rest of the contest.
Pittsburgh’s defense flexed its muscles against quarterback Baker Mayfield and Cleveland’s offense, only allowing one touchdown and sacking Mayfield four times. Edge rusher Melvin Ingram did not travel to the game with the team and was later traded to the Kansas City Chiefs for a conditional sixth-round pick. Pittsburgh signed the veteran pass rusher in the offseason, but a lack of snaps behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith left Ingram frustrated.
Cleveland Browns (4-4)
The Browns fell to last place in the division with their 15-10 loss to the Steelers.
Cleveland’s offense struggled to find success on Sunday. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. finished the game with just one catch for six yards, continuing his season-long struggle to become a focal point of the offense. Controversy has since arisen, as Beckham’s father posted a video on Instagram consisting of plays where Mayfield may have missed his son running open.
Following much speculation, the once star receiver was not traded before the trade deadline on Tuesday. Beckham was excused from attending practice on Wednesday.
Earlier today, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski told his players that Odell Beckham Jr. is essentially not on the team right now and that the WR has been told to stay at home.— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) November 3, 2021