AFC North Power Rankings Week 17: Browns, Ravens create separation

The Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens have separated themselves from the pack in our Week 17 AFC North Power Rankings

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Throughout this entire season, the AFC North has been the toughest division in the NFL. That remains the case but the two teams at the top have started to separate themselves. Both the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens had impressive wins on Sunday, which keeps them on top of our AFC North Power Rankings.

For the Browns, they were able to knock off the Houston Texans on the road. Houston had a familiar face under center with Case Keenum taking over for an injured C.J. Stroud but they made sure to hold him in check. The Ravens were in action on Monday night and they made a statement against the San Francisco 49ers.

As for the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers, they faced off on Christmas Eve with the Steelers winning easily. With all that out of the way, here's how the division ranks against one another.

4. Cincinnati Bengals (8-7)

After a three-game winning streak with Jake Browning under center, the Cincinnati Bengals were in the midst of the AFC playoff race. They then just about ended their chances with a 34-11 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16. Not only did that crush their playoff hopes but it was their fifth loss in the division this year.

Cincinnati has a talented roster, which is how they made the Super Bowl in 2021 and then the AFC Championship Game again in 2022. Their problem continues to be their play within the division. This year, it's been a new low and even one win in their first five rivalry games would have had them close to locking up a spot.

Now, they find themselves at 8-6 with a triop to Kansas City on the schedule next. After that, they return home to host the Cleveland Browns, who have had their number as of late. They deserve credit for staying alive without Joe Burrow but this loss hurt quite a bit.