Week 11 proved to be a moving week for a few teams in the AFC North power rankings. For several weeks the division had a mini logjam with three teams knotted up with identical records. But there's now a clear separation between the top and the bottom of these power rankings.
The NFL scheduling department set up a mini tournament in Week 11 for the league’s blood and guts division. With all four teams involved in head-to-head matchups, only two teams would exit the week trending upwards. The mini-tournament began on Thursday Night Football when the Baltimore Ravens took on the Cincinnati Bengals, followed by the Cleveland Browns hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
How the AFC North stacks up after Week 11
No. 4: Cincinnati Bengals (5-5)
Week 11 could not have been any rougher for the Bengals. Sure, they lost to the Ravens, but that loss pails in comparison to the real loss they suffered on Thursday Night Football. The Bengals will now be without their starting quarterback Joe Burrow for the remainder of the 2023 season.
Burrow tore a ligament in his right wrist in the second quarter against the Ravens. It was obvious from the instant reaction from Burrow in the moment that the injury was serious. After a failed attempt at throwing on the sideline where the Pro Bowl quarterback couldn't even grip the ball, Burrow was shut down for the evening.
The next day it was confirmed that Burrow’s wrist injury was season-ending, and that the quarterback would likely need surgery. Now, the Bengals are turning to Jake Browning to lead their offense. Cincinnati will have an opportunity to claw back into the AFC playoff picture next week when they take on the current seventh seed, the Steelers. Already 0-3 inside the AFC North, and 1-5 in the AFC, another conference loss could prove to be too much to overcome.