AFC North Week 5 Preview
The AFC North had a particularly entertaining Week 4 of the regular season, despite having both Ohio teams (Cincinnati and Cleveland) on bye. The Baltimore Ravens hosted the Carolina Panthers, thrashing them 38-10. The former Panther Steve Smith led the way with 139 yards receiving and two touchdowns while Joe Flacco threw for over 300 yards and added another passing touchdown to Torrey Smith.
Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as heavy favorites after the Bucs gave up eight touchdowns to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3. However, Mike Glennon found Vincent Jackson with less than ten seconds left to take a 27-24 lead which would ultimately be the final score of the game.
The Ravens are now 3-1 on the year while the Steelers sit at 2-2. The two teams played in week 2 with the Ravens coming out victorious at home. Nonetheless, both teams trail the Cincinnati Bengals who are undefeated at 3-0, including an opening week victory over the Ravens. Cleveland rounds out the division at 1-2 with losses to both Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
All four teams are in action this week and will be playing away from home. The Ravens, Steelers, and Browns are facing off against AFC South opponents while the Bengals will have a prime time matchup with the AFC East division leader.
Pittsburgh will look to rebound against the winless Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday. Blake Bortles made his first start for Jacksonville last week, falling to the San Diego Chargers 33-14. It will be just first home start of the year and the current median price for Steelers vs Jaguars tickets is $145 on the secondary market.
The Ravens might have the most difficult matchup of the week as they will visit the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Quarterback Andrew Luck has been on fire of late, throwing for eight touchdowns the past two weeks. Baltimore did a phenomenal job of bottling up Cam Newton last week and will need to do the same against Luck if they hope to pull off the upset. Ravens vs. Colts tickets have a median ticket price of $86 on the secondary market.
The Browns will come off their bye to face the reeling Tennessee Titans. After convincingly beating the Kansas City Chiefs on the road in Week 1, the Titans have looked miserable the past three weeks, falling to 1-3. The Browns will need a win here if they hope to remain relevant in the division. This is the cheapest of the four games thus far, with Titans vs. Browns tickets having a median ticket price for $82.
And the current first place Bengals will travel to Massachusetts to battle the New England Patriots. The Bengals have been one of the bright spots in the leagues this year, with dominant play through three games. They have looked very impressive defensively and this may be their sternest test yet with Tom Brady at the helm for the Patriots. This is the most expensive AFC North game of the week with a median price of $183.
With all four teams on the road, this will be a big week for the AFC North. There’s a chance come next Monday that the Bengals will have a multiple game lead in the division, or all four teams could be within one game of each other.