The Cleveland Browns fell to the Broncos in Denver by a score of 29-12. What began as a slow start for the Browns defense, quickly descended into a battle of attrition as the injuries started to mount up. But where does this recent loss slot the Browns in the hierarchy of the AFC North?
The AFC North is a division in transition as it currently stands. With two teams without their franchise quarterbacks for the remainder of the season, another team who just fired their offensive coordinator, and one team who just keeps chugging along and collecting wins along the way, the North is finally beginning to flesh itself out. Let’s take a look at how the NFL’s blood and guts division stacks up internally after week 12.
AFC North power rankings heading into Week 13
No. 4: Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)
Out of all the possible outcomes for the AFC North in 2023, no one had the Cincinnati Bengals ending up in the basement. But here they are. Sitting at 5-6, with the division's only losing record, and without Joe Burrow for the remainder of the season. It's difficult to imagine the Bengals making a push to climb out of their fourth-place spot.
With Jake Browing now as the team’s trigger man, the Bengals’ upper bound limits suddenly have an extremely low ceiling. It will be up to Cincinnati’s defense to keep them in games and turn them into rock fights for the remainder of the season. One might wonder if the Bengals’ brass could look to shut a few players down and start looking forward to the draft. Crazy spot to be in for a team that began the season with Super Bowl aspirations.