AFC North Power Rankings: Cleveland Browns hold their ground, still chasing Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens remain on top while the Cleveland Browns look to separate themselves from the other 5-3 teams in the AFC North
Arizona Cardinals v Cleveland Browns
Arizona Cardinals v Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Nine weeks into the 2023 NFL season and there isn't a ton of clarity around the league. However, one thing that has become clear in the first half of the season is that the AFC North is the most competitive from top to bottom. Week 9, was proof of concept as all four AFC North teams tasted victory.  

With a combined record of 22-11, the AFC North has a combined winning percentage of 67%. In fact, if the playoffs started today all four teams would make the cut. The next closest division is the NFC East with 19 wins and a combined winning percentage of 54%, and if the playoffs started today, no other division would have more than two teams participating.

The next two weeks should provide some movement inside the AFC North’s hierarchy. The Cleveland Browns play the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers in consecutive games. While the Ravens host the Cincinnati Bengals after their matchup with the Browns. But how does the NFL’s blood and guts division stack up internally heading into week ten?

AFC North Power Rankings heading into Week 10

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)

Like the two teams above them in this week’s power rankings, the Pittsburgh Steelers are 5-3. What puts the Steelers at the bottom of this power ranking? Out of all the teams in the AFC North the Steelers clearly have the lowest ceiling due to their lack off offensive output.

The Steelers offense is only scoring 16.6 points per game, which is the third fewest in the league. Whether the Steelers ineffectiveness on offense is due to the limits of their quarterback Kenny Pickett or their offensive coordinator Matt Canada, it's clear that this team’s ceiling is lowered by that side of the ball.

Pittsburgh's defense however is the genuine article. The fact that the Steelers are 5-3 despite having a negative 30 point differential on the season is a credit to how good that unit is playing. If their offense is able to figure it out over the back half of the season, the Steelers will be in the playoff race until the bitter end. As per usual.