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Ravens Preparing for Most Challenging Portion of Schedule

Baltimore hosts Cleveland on Sunday night.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens play five AFC North teams over the final seven weeks of the season.

Baltimore is in first place heading into that critical stretch ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns.

It is the only division in the NFL where every team has a winning record. 

The Ravens currently own the second seed in the AFC playoffs behind the Tennessee Titans (8-3). 

"It’s just a great division," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I have been in this division now for many years, and it’s always like that. It really doesn’t really matter what the records are; it’s still always really, really tough to play these games, yet now, everybody is above .500, and everybody is in it. And all the games are now at the end, between all of us, so it’s going to be pretty exciting.”

The Ravens lost their only division game to Cincinnati 41-17 on Oct. 24 at M&T Bank Stadium. The Bengals also beat the Steelers and looked like the class of the division until they lost two games in a row to the Jets and Browns.

Baltimore hosts the Browns on Nov. 28 and then travels to Cleveland on Dec. 12. The Browns have their bye in between those games.

The Ravens play at Pittsburgh on Dec. 5 and then finish the regular season with the rematch at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens play at Cincinnati on Dec. 26. 

So, the AFC North will ultimately come down to the final weeks of the season.

"It’s hard to win in the National Football League; it’s a big challenge," Harbaugh said. 

Here's a breakdown of the AFC North:

1. Ravens

Record: 7-3

Wins: Chiefs, Lions, Broncos, Colts, Chargers, Vikings, Bears

Losses: Raiders, Bengals, Dolphins

NFL Rankings: Offense: 3; Defense: 25

Remaining Games: Browns (2), Steelers (2), Bengals, Packers, Rams

Analysis: The Ravens control their destiny for their fourth division crown in five years. 


Record: 6-4

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Wins: Ravens, Vikings, Steelers, Lions and Jaguars

Losses: Bears, Packers, Jets, Browns

NFL Rankings: Offense: 18; Defense: 19

Analysis: If the Bengals can find their early-season form, they could be dangerous. 

Remaining Games: Browns, Raiders, Chargers, Ravens, Steelers, 49ers, and Chiefs.

3. Steelers

Record: 5-4-1

Wins: Bills, Broncos, Seahawks, Browns, Bears

Losses: Raiders, Bengals, Packers, Chargers

Tie: Lions

NFL Rankings: Offense 24; Defense 14.

Analysis: The Steelers are starting to deal with key injuries at an inopportune time. 

Remaining Games: Ravens (2), Bengals, Browns, Vikings, Chiefs, and Titans

4. Browns

Record: 6-5

Wins: Texans, Bears, Vikings, Broncos.

Losses: Chiefs, Cardinals, Chargers

NFL Rankings: Offense 12; Defense 4.

Remaining Games: Ravens (2), Steelers, Raiders, Bengals, and Packers

Analysis: How far can Baker Mayfield take this team? His future in Cleveland might depend on it.