Browns Sit On Top of Amazing AFC North
The Cleveland Browns are having a memorable season. A season that could rightfully lead to a playoff spot. Given the way the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl last year, it is no stretch to think the Browns could at least win one playoff game. After that? Anything is possible.
Today, thank to the Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the lowly New York Jets, the Browns sit on top of the AFC North. The Steelers likely will want to keep Justin Bieber out of their locker room in the future as a lost to the Jets was a huge surprise. The Baltimore Ravens took care of the Tennessee Titans to help create an amazing AFC North.
The AFC North is the story that even the Browns great season doesn’t yet steal the headline from. Impossible you say? Not when you hear that the North is currently doing something that hasn’t been done since 1935:
The Western Division? Yep back in 1935, according to Wikipedia at least, the NFL was made up of the Eastern and Western Divisions, with five teams in the East and four in the West.
In the West the Detroit Lions won with a 7-3-2 mark while the Green Bay Packers (8-4), Chicago Bears (6-4-2) and Chicago Cardinals, you read that right, (6-4-2) all finished the season two games over .500.
Not only has no division finished that way, none has been even that way during the season since the end of the ’35 year. That is how amazing the AFC North is right now.
The Cleveland Browns sit on top with their 6-3 mark while the just destroyed Cincinnati Bengals are in 2nd with their 5-3-1 mark and the Steelers and Ravens are tied for last at 6-4. The combined 23 wins is one greater than the rugged NFC West win total at this point in the season.
It seems appropriate that the Browns lead the AFC North. They split with the Steelers but their loss was by 3 points at the end of the game while they destroyed them by 21 in the rematch. They lost to the Ravens, by 2 points, in their only game of the year but the Ravens have lost both games they played against the Bengals. The Browns demolished the Bengals this week by 21. Putting all that together and the Browns sit proudly in 1st place.
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The AFC North, and the AFC in general, will make the playoffs very difficult for the Browns. With all of the AFC games done for this week, both Sunday and Monday Night Football match up NFC opponents, we can evaluate where things stand. At this moment the Browns sit with the 4th seed, losing a tie breaker to the Colts for the 3rd seed, in the AFC. The Chiefs record matches the Browns. The Bengals, a half game behind the Browns, are the 6th seed, while the Ravens and Steelers, also a half game back of the Browns, are in 7th and 8th. The 9th, 10th and 11th placed teams are only 1 game back of the Browns as well. The Texans, at 4-5, are not out of the race either in 12th place.
A tight race indeed. Each week will be vital as the Browns march towards the playoffs. For now we stand in wonder over both the AFC as a whole but especially the AFC North; doing something not done since 1935. Truly amazing.
What do you think about the AFC North as we sit with 7 games left in the season?