The AFC North sent three teams to the playoffs last season and was considered by many to be the best division in football. Fast forward one season and it appears that only one team will represent the AFC North in the 2012 NFL playoffs – at least through six weeks.
While the Baltimore Ravens still have four games left to play within the division, including the Pittsburgh Steelers twice, they have a two game lead on the second-place Cincinnati Bengals and own tie-breakers against them.
Additionally, the Ravens’ usual biggest competition, the Steelers, have been devastated by injuries and sit in third place at an uncharacteristic 2-3. Their lost to the Titans on Thursday hurts them tremendously and puts them in a tough situation if they wish to get atop the division.
While improved, the Cleveland Browns are still the Cleveland Browns, but they have finally gotten a win, which came Sunday against the Bengals.
We’re not even half way through the regular season so things are sure to change dramatically before the playoffs, but it is an interesting look of a division that is normally extremely tight throughout the season.
With some devastating injuries on Sunday and some tough opponents ahead, the Ravens’ two game lead is anything but safe. However, it is a good start for a team that hopes to go far in playoffs.