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Week 17 power rankings: AFC North

12/29/2009

The AFC North finished 3-1 this past weekend.

Here is how the division shook out in ESPN.com's Power Rankings:

Cincinnati Bengals (10-5)

Last week: No. 7

Current ranking: No. 7

Analysis: The Bengals ended their brief two-game losing streak with a 17-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Cincinnati clinched a postseason berth, the AFC North title and a home playoff game. Still, the Bengals remain No. 7 for the third straight week. Perhaps the biggest concern is the team isn't playing its best football late in the season. But in a one-game scenario, the Bengals could be a tough matchup for playoff teams.

Baltimore Ravens (8-7)

Last week: No. 11

Current ranking: No. 11

Analysis: The Ravens' two-game winning streak ended with Sunday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. There isn't any movement at the top of the division as Baltimore also stayed put at No. 11. Penalties and missed opportunities against the Steelers forced Baltimore into a must-win situation against the Oakland Raiders (5-10). Luckily for the Ravens, they control their own destiny this week and simply need a win to secure a wild card.

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7)

Last week: No. 15

Current ranking: No. 12

Analysis: The Steelers picked up a big win over the Ravens that moved Pittsburgh up three spots to No. 12. But the Steelers need a lot of help from other teams in Week 17 to extend their season. Chances are not looking good for Pittsburgh, but stranger things have happened. A win this week over the Miami Dolphins (7-8) would at least earn coach Mike Tomlin his third consecutive winning season in Pittsburgh.

Cleveland Browns (4-11)

Last week: No. 28

Current ranking: No. 27

Analysis: The hottest team in the AFC North continues to move up ESPN.com's Power Rankings. The Browns were ranked last a month ago but climbed another spot this week to No. 27 after winning their third straight game. Cleveland coach Eric Mangini is doing a good job of keeping his team focused despite all the hoopla with the arrival of new team president Mike Holmgren. Mangini has another chance to state his case to remain in Cleveland with Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars (7-8).