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Cincinnati Bengals Capture AFC North Division After Many Count Them Out

Coming into the season not many people gave the Cincinnati Bengals a chance at the division.

Coming into the 2021 season the trendy pick to win the AFC North division was either the Baltimore Ravens or Cleveland Browns. There was a few who believed the Pittsburgh Steelers could take home the division, not many counted on the Cincinnati Bengals to do much. Boy were they wrong. The Cincinnati Bengals have locked up the AFC North with a win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Heading into this Sunday the Browns still had playoff aspirations, but they needed the Bengals to lose to the Chiefs. Also, Cleveland needed the Los Angeles Rams to beat the Ravens. That happened, so everything was in line until the Bengals won. With Cincinnati winning the Browns playoff hopes pretty much slammed shut.

Bengals have victories over the Steelers, Ravens, Las Vegas Raiders and now the Chiefs. Early on in the season they showed that they are to be taken seriously. Joe Burrow has taken his game to a higher level and Ja’Marr Chase quickly stepped in as one of the game’s best young wide receivers.

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This season was an example of a team stepping up while other teams battled it out for second place. Ravens and Browns had chances to take control of the division, as did the Steelers. None of these teams did it, so the young Bengals took grasp of it. If we’re being honest the Bengals are at least a year ahead of schedule and this is great for the direction they are heading. That is the neat thing about Cincinnati.

For the rest of the division it is back to the drawing board. Cincinnati is young as mentioned and only going to get better. They have pieces in peace to do a lot of wining in the future. The AFC North is going to be very interesting for years to come.

Brandon Little is a writer for Sports Illustrated’s Browns Digest website and you can follow him on Twitter here. You can follow Browns Digest on Twitter as well here.

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