INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 25: Mike Wallace #17 of the Pittsburgh Steelers hauls in an 81-yard touchdown pass in the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
After Week 3 action across the NFL, the standings atop the AFC North are crowded. All four teams face tough tests in Week 4.
Week 3 of the National Football League is just about in the books. The Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys will cap this week's action on Monday Night Football. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, their Week 3 win over the Indianapolis Colts was far from pretty. But as Mike Tomlin famously said during the team's run to the Super Bowl in 2008, there are no style points in the NFL. Just wins and losses. And after the 23-20 road win over the Colts, the Steelers sit at 2-1 through three weeks.
Let's take a quick look at the rest of the AFC North standings after Sunday's developments.
AFC NORTH STANDINGS:
- Baltimore 2-1 (1-1 AFC) (0-1 Division)
- Cleveland Browns 2-1 (2-1 AFC) (0-1 Division)
- Pittsburgh Steelers 2-1 (1-1 AFC) (0-1 Division)
- Cincinnati Bengals 1-2 (1-1 AFC) (1-0 Division)
WEEK 3 RESULTS
Pittsburgh 23, Indianapolis 20. Behind the Steel Curtain shared a more optimistic view of the Steelers' Week 3 win over the Colts. There are concerns though about the play of the team. The offensive line failed to open up any running room for Rashard Mendenhall; Ben Roethlisberger turned the ball over three more times, two on fumbles where his offensive tackles left him out to dry; and the defense, while dominant for much of the game, still looked less than its usual stout self against the run. Pittsburgh will face a tough test in Houston next Sunday against the high-octane Texans offense.
Baltimore 37, St. Louis 7. After getting punched in the mouth during a Week 2 loss to the Tenneessee Titans, the Ravens got back on track in Week 3 with a decisive beatdown of the banged up Rams. Joe Flacco was outstanding, completing 27-of-48 passes for 389 yards and three TDs. Rookie Torrey Smith was on the receiving end of all three scores, and amazingly, all occurred in the first quarter. It marked the first time in NFL history that a rookie WR has scored three times in the same quarter. Baltimore will face a much stiffer test next Sunday night when they host the New York Jets.
- Cleveland 17, Miami 16. Style points certainly don't mean a thing for the Cleveland Browns. The once-proud franchise will take wins any way they can get them. So I don't imagine that too many fans along Lake Erie are disappointed that Colt McCoy and the Browns' offense struggled mightily for much of the afternoon against the Dolphins. Only that the promising young quarterback engineered a 13-play 80-yard go-ahead touchdown drive when it mattered most. The Browns need to do better offensively, but I imagine they'll see gradual improvements as the year progresses. It is, after all, year one of Pat Shurmur's West Coast offense in Cleveland. The Browns could also do a better job stopping the run. They're currently 28th in the league allowing an average of just under 129 yards per game on the ground. They'll have a great opportunity to improve in that department next Sunday when they host the Tennessee Titans, who have yet to get All Pro running back Chris Johnson on track.
Cincinnati 8, San Francisco 13. Not a good day for Marvin Lewis and the Bengals. Cincinnati failed to find the endzone once against the 49ers on Sunday, and for the second consecutive week let a game they had a great shot at winning slip through their reach. The Bengals defense again played well, allowing just 226 yards of total offense. But a 10-play, 72-yard scoring drive late in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference as the Bengals dropped to 1-2. They'll have another opportunity to win at home next Sunday when they host the undefeated Buffalo Bills.
We'll get you ready for Week 4 action in the NFL throughout the week. Be sure to visit all 32 SB Nation NFL blogs for complete, round-the-clock coverage and commentary.