AFC North

The American Football Conference – Northern Division or AFC North is one of the four divisions of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The division was adopted after the restructuring of the 2002 NFL season, when the league realigned divisions after expanding to 32 teams.

AFC North
ConferenceAmerican Football Conference
LeagueNational Football League
SportAmerican football
Founded2002
CountryUnited States
Teams
No. of teams4
Championships
Most recent AFC North champion(s)Baltimore Ravens (5 titles)
Most AFC North titlesPittsburgh Steelers (23 titles)

Formation

The AFC North currently has four members: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers. The original four members of the AFC Central were the Browns, Bengals, Steelers and Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans).

The AFC North is the only division in the AFC that does not contain a charter team from the original American Football League. However, the Cincinnati Bengals were an AFL expansion team in the 1968 AFL season (the Steelers and Browns joined the AFC in 1970), although the Bengals joining the AFL was contingent on the team joining the NFL after the AFL–NFL merger was finalized in 1970, as Paul Brown was not a supporter of the AFL.

Three of the teams have interlocked histories. Both the Bengals and the Browns were founded by Paul Brown, while the Ravens and the city of Cleveland have their own unique relationship. Only the Steelers, who are older than the original Browns, have no direct history involving Paul Brown.

History

1970s

The AFC Central division was formed when the Browns and Steelers moved to the AFC in 1970, joining the newly formed "AFC Central" with the Houston Oilers (from the AFL's East Division) and Cincinnati Bengals (from the AFL's West Division).

Although the Bengals won the first AFC Central Division Championship in 1970, the Steelers dominated the division for most of the 1970s. The Steelers also would win four Super Bowls in the decade.

1980s

The 1980 Cleveland Browns broke the Steelers' six-year run as division champions, but failed to advance past the divisional round of the playoffs, losing to the Oakland Raiders as a result of Red Right 88. The Bengals were the only team to represent the AFC Central in the Super Bowl during the decade, appearing in Super Bowls XVI and XXIII. Both appearances resulted in close losses to the San Francisco 49ers.

1990s

The Steelers returned as the dominant team in the division in 1992. They won five divisional titles in six years, and played in Super Bowl XXX, in which they lost to the Dallas Cowboys.

In 1992, the Oilers were involved in one of the most famous playoff games in NFL history. In a game now known as The Comeback, the Oilers surrendered a 32-point lead to the Buffalo Bills and lost in overtime, 41–38. It is the largest deficit ever overcome in the history of the NFL.

In 1995, the Jacksonville Jaguars joined the league through expansion and were placed in the AFC Central. It was the first change to the structure of the division since its inception and added a second team to the division from the U.S. South. In 1996, in one of the most controversial decisions in American sports history, the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and were rechristened as the Baltimore Ravens. Then in 1997, the Oilers moved to Tennessee but remained in the division (the team later was renamed the Titans in 1999). The makeup of the AFC Central changed once again in 1999 when the NFL "reactivated" the Cleveland Browns. The division had six teams for the 1999, 2000 and 2001 seasons.

Aside from Pittsburgh's appearance in Super Bowl XXX, the only other appearance in the Super Bowl for the division in the decade was the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV, who came up one yard short of the first Super Bowl to go into overtime. Along the way, the team got revenge on the Bills seven years after the Comeback in the Wild Card round by defeating the Bills 22–16 as a result of the Music City Miracle.

2000s

The decade began with the Ravens winning Super Bowl XXXV. The team's defense, led by linebacker Ray Lewis, was arguably one of the best defenses of all time.

In 2002, the NFL realigned into eight divisions of four teams. The Jaguars and Titans—the latter winning the AFC Central title in 2000—were both moved to the new AFC South, while the rest of the AFC Central remained intact and was renamed the AFC North. The Bengals, Browns, and Steelers were guaranteed to remain in a division together in any circumstance; this was part of the NFL's settlement with the city of Cleveland in the wake of the 1995 Cleveland Browns relocation controversy.[1] The division, geographically-speaking, thus became the shortest driving distance between each team among the NFL's eight divisions, as three of the teams are located within close proximity of Interstate 70 (with the one city that is not, Cleveland, being two hours north of I-70), and the distance between Baltimore and Cincinnati (the two teams furthest away from each other) being only 526 miles apart. The Browns and Steelers, the two closest rivals, even ride a bus to their games instead of flying.[2]

Since realignment, the Steelers have won the division title seven times, and the Ravens and Bengals have each won four times. The Steelers have swept all divisional opponents twice, in 2002 and 2008 (going 7 for 7 both times, winning against the Browns in a 2003 AFC Wildcard game and the Ravens in the 2009 AFC Championship), and the Ravens and Bengals have swept all three divisional opponents once each, the Bengals in 2009 and Ravens in 2011.

Since divisional realignment, the Steelers have made the playoffs ten times, the Ravens eight times, the Bengals seven times, and the Browns one time.

In 2005, although finishing second in the division to the Bengals, the Steelers became the first team in NFL history to enter the playoffs as a #6 seeded wild card team and win the Super Bowl.

In 2008, the Steelers became the first team to repeat as division champion since the division's realignment in 2002. The team went on to win Super Bowl XLIII that season, their second Super Bowl in four years and an NFL-record sixth overall.

In 2009, the Cincinnati Bengals swept their annual six-game slate of divisional opponents. Their first three games against the AFC North came in weeks three-through-five when they beat the Steelers, Browns and Ravens, respectively, each by three points. The close finishes deemed the Bengals, "Cardiac Cats." Cincinnati clinched their first division title since '05 in a week 16 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, 17-10. In the playoffs, however, the Bengals fell to the New York Jets at home, 24-14.

Baltimore finished off their season by winning three of their final four games to finish 9-7 and earn the number-six seed in the AFC Playoffs. In the first round of the postseason, Baltimore defeated the New England Patriots in Foxboro, 33-14. In the divisional round of the postseason, Baltimore's season came to an end with a 20-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, who would defeat the Jets one week later to win the conference.

2010s

The Ravens repeated as division champions in 2011 and 2012. The team went on to win Super Bowl XLVII over the San Francisco 49ers, on February 3, 2013, in New Orleans. It was the second franchise Super Bowl win. As of 2012, the Steelers are the AFC North's most successful team with a 599-547-21 record all-time with the Browns 2nd in line with an overall record of 510-441-13 while the Ravens sit in 3rd (even though they were not an official franchise until 1996) at 164-128-1 and then the Bengals today remain the only team in the division with their all-time record below .500 as they sit in last at 310-396-2.

In 2015, the Bengals became the first team in the AFC North (Central) to ever start the year 8-0, finishing the season 12-4 and winning the division for the second time in three years. Cincinnati clinched the division title in week 16 when the Steelers were upset by the 4-10 Ravens in Baltimore, quarterbacked by Ryan Mallett. Bengals' quarterback Andy Dalton was having his best season of his five-year career until breaking his thumb on December 13 against Pittsburgh caused him to miss the rest of the season. In the playoffs, Cincinnati (quarterbacked by AJ McCarron) lost in a rematch with the Steelers, 18-16, in the final minutes of a heated battle. Pittsburgh advanced to the Divisional Round of the playoffs, only to lose to Peyton Manning and the eventual Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos.

The Steelers won the division title in 2016 after a 31-27 win over the Ravens on Christmas Day.

Division lineups

Place cursor over year for division champ or Super Bowl team.

Years
AFC Central Division[A]
70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01
Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns [B] suspended operations Cleveland Browns
Houston Oilers[C] Tennessee Oilers Tennessee Titans
Cincinnati Bengals
  Jacksonville Jaguars[D]
  Baltimore Ravens[E]
AFC North Division[F]
02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore Ravens
     Team not in division      Division Won Super Bowl      Division Won AFC Championship
A In 1970 the division formed in American Football Conference.
B After the 1995 season, the Cleveland Browns franchise was deactivated; personnel, moved to the enfranchised Baltimore Ravens. The Cleveland Browns franchise was reactivated in 1999. The Browns, Ravens, and NFL officially consider the post-1999 Browns to be a continuation of the original team founded in 1946.
C Houston moved to Memphis as Tennessee Oilers in 1997, moved to Nashville in 1998 (still known as Oilers). Team was renamed Tennessee Titans in 1999.
D Jacksonville Jaguars enfranchised (1995 season).
E Baltimore Ravens enfranchised (1996 season)
F Division renamed AFC North. Jacksonville and Tennessee moved to AFC South.

Division champions

Season Team Record Playoff Results
AFC Central
1970 Cincinnati Bengals 8–6 Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Colts) 0–17
1971 Cleveland Browns 9–5 Lost Divisional Playoffs (Colts) 3–20
1972 Pittsburgh Steelers 11–3 Won Divisional Playoffs (Raiders) 13–7
Lost AFC Championship (Dolphins) 17–21
1973 Cincinnati Bengals 10–4 Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Dolphins) 16–34
1974 Pittsburgh Steelers 10–3–1 Won Divisional Playoffs (Bills) 32–14
Won AFC Championship (at Raiders) 24–13
Won Super Bowl IX (vs. Vikings) 16–6
1975 Pittsburgh Steelers 12–2 Won Divisional Playoffs (Colts) 28–10
Won AFC Championship (Raiders) 16–10
Won Super Bowl X (vs. Cowboys) 21–17
1976 Pittsburgh Steelers 10–4 Won Divisional Playoffs (at Colts) 40–14
Lost AFC Championship (at Raiders) 7–24
1977 Pittsburgh Steelers 9–5 Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Broncos) 21–34
1978 Pittsburgh Steelers 14–2 Won Divisional Playoffs (Broncos) 33–10
Won AFC Championship (Oilers) 34–5
Won Super Bowl XIII (vs. Cowboys) 35–31
1979 Pittsburgh Steelers 12–4 Won Divisional Playoffs (Dolphins) 34–14
Won AFC Championship (Oilers) 27–13
Won Super Bowl XIV (vs. Rams) 31–19
1980 Cleveland Browns 11–5 Lost Divisional Playoffs (Raiders) 12–14
1981 Cincinnati Bengals 12–4 Won Divisional Playoffs (Bills) 28–21
Won AFC Championship (Chargers) 27–7
Lost Super Bowl XVI (vs. 49ers) 21–26
1982+ Cincinnati Bengals 7–2 Lost First Round Playoffs (Jets) 17–44
1983 Pittsburgh Steelers 10–6 Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Raiders) 10–38
1984 Pittsburgh Steelers 9–7 Won Divisional Playoffs (at Broncos) 24–17
Lost AFC Championship (at Dolphins) 28–45
1985 Cleveland Browns 8–8 Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Dolphins) 21–24
1986 Cleveland Browns 12–4 Won Divisional Playoffs (Jets 23–20) (2OT)
Lost AFC Championship (Broncos) 20–23 (OT)
1987 Cleveland Browns 10–5 Won Divisional Playoffs (Colts) 38–21
Lost AFC Championship (at Broncos) 33–38
1988 Cincinnati Bengals 12–4 Won Divisional Playoffs (Seahawks) 21–13
Won AFC Championship (Bills) 21–10
Lost Super Bowl XXIII (vs. 49ers) 16–20
1989 Cleveland Browns 9–6–1 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Oilers) 23–24
1990 Cincinnati Bengals 9–7 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Oilers) 41–14
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Raiders) 10–20
1991 Houston Oilers 11–5 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Jets) 17–10
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Broncos) 24–26
1992 Pittsburgh Steelers 11–5 Lost Divisional Playoffs (Bills) 24–3
1993 Houston Oilers 12–4 Lost Divisional Playoffs (Chiefs) 20–28
1994 Pittsburgh Steelers 12–4 Won Divisional Playoffs (Browns) 29–9
Lost AFC Championship (Chargers) 13–17
1995 Pittsburgh Steelers 11–5 Won Divisional Playoffs (Bills) 40–21
Won AFC Championship (Colts) 20–16
Lost Super Bowl XXX (vs. Cowboys) 17–27
1996 Pittsburgh Steelers 10–6 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Colts) 42–14
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Patriots) 3–28
1997 Pittsburgh Steelers 11–5 Won Divisional Playoffs (Patriots) 7–6
Lost AFC Championship (Broncos) 21–24
1998 Jacksonville Jaguars 11–5 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Patriots) 25–10
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Jets) 24–34
1999 Jacksonville Jaguars 14–2 Won Divisional Playoffs (Dolphins) 62–7
Lost AFC Championship (Titans) 14–33
2000 Tennessee Titans 13–3 Lost Divisional Playoffs (Ravens) 10–24
2001 Pittsburgh Steelers 13–3 Won Divisional Playoffs (Ravens) 27–10
Lost AFC Championship (Patriots) 17–24
AFC North
2002 Pittsburgh Steelers 10–5–1 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Browns) 36–33
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Titans) 31–34
2003 Baltimore Ravens 10–6 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Titans) 17–20
2004 Pittsburgh Steelers 15–1 Won Divisional Playoffs (Jets) 20–17
Lost AFC Championship (Patriots) 27–41
2005 Cincinnati Bengals 11–5 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Steelers) 17–31
2006 Baltimore Ravens 13–3 Lost Divisional Playoffs (Colts) 6–15
2007 Pittsburgh Steelers 10–6 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Jaguars) 29–31
2008 Pittsburgh Steelers 12–4 Won Divisional Playoffs (Chargers) 35–24
Won AFC Championship (Ravens) 23–14
Won Super Bowl XLIII (vs. Cardinals) 27–23
2009 Cincinnati Bengals 10–6 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Jets) 14–24
2010 Pittsburgh Steelers 12–4 Won Divisional Playoffs (Ravens) 31–24
Won AFC Championship (Jets) 24–19
Lost Super Bowl XLV (vs. Packers) 31–35
2011 Baltimore Ravens 12–4 Won Divisional Playoffs (Texans) 20–13
Lost AFC Championship (at Patriots) 20–23
2012 Baltimore Ravens 10–6 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Colts) 24–9
Won Divisional Playoffs (at Broncos) 38–35 (2OT)
Won AFC Championship (at Patriots) 28–13
Won Super Bowl XLVII (vs. 49ers) 34–31
2013 Cincinnati Bengals 11–5 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Chargers) 10–27
2014 Pittsburgh Steelers 11–5 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Ravens) 17–30
2015 Cincinnati Bengals 12–4 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Steelers) 16–18
2016 Pittsburgh Steelers 11–5 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Dolphins) 30–12
Won Divisional Playoffs (at Chiefs) 18–16
Lost AFC Championship (at Patriots) 17–36
2017 Pittsburgh Steelers 13–3 Lost Divisional Playoffs (Jaguars) 42–45
2018 Baltimore Ravens 10–6 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Chargers) 17–23

+ A players' strike in 1982 reduced the regular season to nine games. Because of the strike, the league used for its playoffs a special 16-team "Super Bowl Tournament" just for this year. Division standings were not formally acknowledged (although every division wound up sending at least one team to the playoffs); Cincinnati had the best record of the division teams.

Wild Card qualifiers

Season Team Record Playoff Results
AFC Central
1972 Cleveland Browns 10–4 Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Dolphins) 14–20
1973 Pittsburgh Steelers 10–4 Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Raiders) 14–33
1975 Cincinnati Bengals 11–3 Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Raiders) 28–31
1978 Houston Oilers 10–6 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Dolphins) 17–9
Won Divisional Playoffs (at Patriots) 31–14
Lost AFC Championship (at Steelers) 5–34
1979 Houston Oilers 11–5 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Broncos) 13–7
Won Divisional Playoffs (at Chargers) 17–14
Lost AFC Championship (at Steelers) 13–27
1980 Houston Oilers 11–5 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Raiders) 7–27
1982+ Pittsburgh Steelers 6–3 Lost First Round Playoffs (Chargers) 28–31
Cleveland Browns 4–5 Lost First Round Playoffs (at Raiders) 10–27
1987 Houston Oilers 9–6 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Seahawks) 23–20 (OT)
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Broncos) 10–34
1988 Cleveland Browns 10–6 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Oilers) 23–24
Houston Oilers 10–6 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Browns) 24–23
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Bills) 10–17
1989 Houston Oilers 9–7 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Steelers) 23–26 (OT)
Pittsburgh Steelers 9–7 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Oilers) 26–23
Lost Divisional playoff (at Broncos) 23–24
1990 Houston Oilers 9–7 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Bengals) 14–41
1992 Houston Oilers 10–6 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Bills) 38–41 (OT)
1993 Pittsburgh Steelers 9–7 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Chiefs) 27–24 (OT)
1994 Cleveland Browns 11–5 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Patriots) 20–13
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Steelers) 9–29
1996 Jacksonville Jaguars 9–7 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Bills) 30–27
Won Divisional Playoffs (at Broncos) 30–27
Lost AFC Championship (at Patriots) 6–20
1997 Jacksonville Jaguars 11–5 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Broncos) 17–42
1999 Tennessee Titans 13–3 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Bills) 22–16
Won Divisional Playoffs (at Colts) 19–16
Won AFC Championship (at Jaguars) 33–14
Lost Super Bowl XXXIV (vs. Rams) 16–23
2000 Baltimore Ravens 12–4 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Broncos) 21–3
Won Divisional Playoffs (at Titans) 24–10
Won AFC Championship (at Raiders) 16–3
Won Super Bowl XXXV (vs. Giants) 34–7
2001 Baltimore Ravens 10–6 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Dolphins) 20–3
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Steelers) 10–27
AFC North
2002 Cleveland Browns 9–7 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Steelers) 33–36
2005 Pittsburgh Steelers 11–5 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Bengals) 31–17
Won Divisional Playoffs (at Colts) 21–18
Won AFC Championship (at Broncos) 34–17
Won Super Bowl XL (vs. Seahawks) 21–10
2008 Baltimore Ravens 11–5 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Dolphins) 27–9
Won Divisional Playoffs (at Titans) 13–10
Lost AFC Championship (at Steelers) 14–23
2009 Baltimore Ravens 9–7 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Patriots) 33–14
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Colts) 3–20
2010 Baltimore Ravens 12–4 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Chiefs) 30–7
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Steelers) 24–31
2011 Pittsburgh Steelers 12–4 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Broncos) 23–29 (OT)
Cincinnati Bengals 9–7 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Texans) 10–31
2012 Cincinnati Bengals 10–6 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Texans) 13–19
2014 Cincinnati Bengals 10–5–1 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Colts) 10–26
Baltimore Ravens 10–6 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Steelers) 30–17
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Patriots) 31–35
2015 Pittsburgh Steelers 10–6 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Bengals) 18–16
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Broncos) 16–23

+ A players' strike in 1982 reduced the regular season to nine games, so the league used a special 16-team playoff tournament just for this year.

++ Loss came against another AFC Central/AFC North team.

Total playoff berths

At the conclusion of the 2018 season

Teams with
Division titles
Division
Championships
Playoff
Berths
AFC
Titles
Super Bowl
wins
Pittsburgh Steelers[3] 23 31 8 6
Cincinnati Bengals[4] 10 14 2 0
Cleveland Browns[5] 6 14 0 0
Baltimore Ravens[6] 5 11 2 2
Tennessee Titans*[7] 3 12 1 0
Jacksonville Jaguars*[8] 2 4 0 0

Season results

(#) Denotes team that won the Super Bowl
(#) Denotes team that won the AFC Championship
(#) Denotes team that qualified for the NFL Playoffs
Season Team (record)
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
AFC Central
1970 Cincinnati (8–6) Cleveland (7–7) Pittsburgh (7–7) Houston (3–10–1)
1971 Cleveland (9–5) Pittsburgh (9–5) Houston (4–9–1) Cincinnati (4–10)
1972 Pittsburgh (11–3) Cleveland (11–3) Cincinnati (8–6) Houston (1–13)
1973 Cincinnati (10–4) Pittsburgh (10–4) Cleveland (10–4) Houston (1–13)
1974 Pittsburgh (10–3-1) Houston (7–7) Cincinnati (7–7) Cleveland (7–6-1)
1975 (1) Pittsburgh (12–2) (4) Cincinnati (11–3) Houston (10–4) Cleveland (3–11)
1976 (3) Pittsburgh (10–4) Cincinnati (10–4) Cleveland (10–4) Houston (5–9)
1977 (3) Pittsburgh (9–5) Cincinnati (8–6) Houston (8–6) Cleveland (8–6)
1978 (1) Pittsburgh (14–2) (5) Houston (10–6) Cleveland (9–7) Cincinnati (4–12)
1979 (2) Pittsburgh (12–4) (4) Houston (11–5) Cleveland (9–7) Cincinnati (4–12)
1980 (2) Cleveland (11–5) (5) Houston (11–5) Pittsburgh (9–7) Cincinnati (6–10)
1981 (1) Cincinnati (12–4) Pittsburgh (8–8) Houston (7–9) Cleveland (5–11)
1982^ (3) Cincinnati (7–2) (4) Pittsburgh (6–3) (8) Cleveland (4–5) Houston (1–8)
1983 (3) Pittsburgh (10–6) Cleveland (9–7) Cincinnati (7–9) Houston (2–14)
1984 (3) Pittsburgh (9–7) Cincinnati (8–8) Cleveland (5–11) Houston (3–13)
1985 (3) Cleveland (8–8) Cincinnati (7–9) Pittsburgh (7–9) Houston (5–11)
1986 (1) Cleveland (12–4) Cincinnati (10–6) Pittsburgh (6–10) Houston (5–11)
1987 (2) Cleveland (10–5) (4) Houston (9–6) Pittsburgh (8–7) Cincinnati (4–11)
1988 (1) Cincinnati (12–4) (4) Cleveland (10–6) (5) Houston (10–6) Pittsburgh (5–11)
1989 (2) Cleveland (9–6–1) (4) Houston (9–7) (5) Pittsburgh (9–7) Cincinnati (8–8)
1990 (3) Cincinnati (9–7) (6) Houston (9–7) Pittsburgh (9–7) Cleveland (3–13)
1991 (3) Houston (11–5) Pittsburgh (7–9) Cleveland (6–10) Cincinnati (3–13)
1992 (1) Pittsburgh (11–5) (5) Houston (10–6) Cleveland (7–9) Cincinnati (5–11)
1993 (2) Houston (12–4) (6) Pittsburgh (9–7) Cleveland (7–9) Cincinnati (3–13)
1994 (1) Pittsburgh (12–4) (4) Cleveland (11–5) Cincinnati (3–13) Houston (2–14)
1995 (2) Pittsburgh (11–5) Houston (7–9) Cincinnati (7–9) Cleveland (5–11) Jacksonville (4–12)
  • 1996: The Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Ravens. Their history and records as the Browns remained in Cleveland for a potential expansion team to acquire.
1996 (3) Pittsburgh (10–6) (5) Jacksonville (9–7) Cincinnati (8–8) Houston (8–8) Baltimore (4–12)
1997 (2) Pittsburgh (11–5) (5) Jacksonville (11–5) Tennessee (8–8) Cincinnati (7–9) Baltimore (6–9–1)
1998 (3) Jacksonville (11–5) Tennessee (8–8) Pittsburgh (7–9) Baltimore (6–10) Cincinnati (3–13)
  • 1999: The Cleveland Browns rejoined the AFC Central as an expansion team after being inactive for three seasons, regaining the history and records of the original Browns. In addition to this, the Tennessee Oilers rebranded as the Tennessee Titans.
1999 (1) Jacksonville (14–2) (4) Tennessee (13–3) Baltimore (8–8) Pittsburgh (6–10) Cincinnati (4–12) Cleveland (2–14)
2000 (1) Tennessee (13–3) (4) Baltimore (12–4) Pittsburgh (9–7) Jacksonville (7–9) Cincinnati (4–12) Cleveland (3–13)
2001 (1) Pittsburgh (13–3) (5) Baltimore (10–6) Cleveland (7–9) Tennessee (7–9) Jacksonville (6–10) Cincinnati (6–10)
AFC North
2002 (3) Pittsburgh (10–5–1) (6) Cleveland (9–7) Baltimore (7–9) Cincinnati (2–14)
2003 (4) Baltimore (10–6) Cincinnati (8–8) Pittsburgh (6–10) Cleveland (5–11)
2004 (1) Pittsburgh (15–1) Baltimore (9–7) Cincinnati (8–8) Cleveland (4–12)
2005 (3) Cincinnati (11–5) (6) Pittsburgh (11–5) Baltimore (6–10) Cleveland (6–10)
2006 (2) Baltimore (13–3) Cincinnati (8–8) Pittsburgh (8–8) Cleveland (4–12)
2007 (4) Pittsburgh (10–6) Cleveland (10–6) Cincinnati (7–9) Baltimore (5–11)
2008 (2) Pittsburgh (12–4) (6) Baltimore (11–5) Cincinnati (4–11–1) Cleveland (4–12)
2009 (4) Cincinnati (10–6) (6) Baltimore (9–7) Pittsburgh (9–7) Cleveland (5–11)
2010 (2) Pittsburgh (12–4) (5) Baltimore (12–4) Cleveland (5–11) Cincinnati (4–12)
2011 (2) Baltimore (12–4) (5) Pittsburgh (12–4) (6) Cincinnati (9–7) Cleveland (4–12)
2012 (4) Baltimore (10–6) (6) Cincinnati (10–6) Pittsburgh (8–8) Cleveland (5–11)
2013 (3) Cincinnati (11–5) Pittsburgh (8–8) Baltimore (8–8) Cleveland (4–12)
2014 (3) Pittsburgh (11–5) (5) Cincinnati (10–5–1) (6) Baltimore (10–6) Cleveland (7–9)
2015 (3) Cincinnati (12–4) (6) Pittsburgh (10–6) Baltimore (5–11) Cleveland (3–13)
2016 (3) Pittsburgh (11–5) Baltimore (8–8) Cincinnati (6–9–1) Cleveland (1–15)
2017 (2) Pittsburgh (13–3) Baltimore (9–7) Cincinnati (7–9) Cleveland (0–16)
2018 (4) Baltimore (10-6) Pittsburgh (9–6–1) Cleveland (7–8–1) Cincinnati (6–10)

^ A players' strike in 1982 reduced the regular season to nine games. Because of the strike, the league used for its playoffs a special 16-team "Super Bowl Tournament" just for this year. Division standings were not formally acknowledged (although every division wound up sending at least one team to the playoffs); Cincinnati had the best record of the division teams.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Nfl Vote On Realignment Nears".
  2. ^ "On the Steelers: Few, if any, signs of rivalry".
  3. ^ Charter member of division in 1970.
  4. ^ Moved in from the AFL West in 1970.
  5. ^ This refers to the team that the league officially views as one continuous franchise that entered the division in 1970, suspended operations from 1996–1998, and resumed play in 1999.
  6. ^ This refers to the team that the league officially views as an expansion team that began play in 1996.
  7. ^ Moved in from the AFL East in 1970. Known as the Houston Oilers until 1996, as the Tennessee Oilers in 1997 and 1998, and the Tennessee Titans since 1999. Realigned into the AFC South in 2002.
  8. ^ Realigned into the AFC South in 2002.
2002 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 2002 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 70th season as a professional sports franchise and as a member of the National Football League.

The Steelers were coming off a 13–3 record in 2001 and making an appearance in the AFC Championship Game. The team failed to improve their 13-3 record, finishing 10–5–1, although this record was good enough for a division championship. With their finish, the Steelers became the first champions of the newly created AFC North. Bill Cowher's team won the Wild Card Game, defeating the Cleveland Browns at home, but lost to AFC South champion Tennessee Titans in the divisional round.

Week 4 saw Kordell Stewart's final game as the Steelers' starting quarterback, as he was replaced by Tommy Maddox during the game and although he did relieve an injured Maddox, never regained his job as he was released following the season.

2003 Baltimore Ravens season

The 2003 Baltimore Ravens season was the team's eighth season in the NFL. They improved upon their previous output of 7–9, instead winning 10 games and making a playoff appearance. One notable moment from the season came in week 2, when Jamal Lewis rushed 295 yards against the Cleveland Browns, setting the NFL record for most rushing yards in a single game. In week 12 against the Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore fought a seventeen point deficit late in the 4th quarter to force overtime; they won 44–41. The game was named to NFL Top 10 as #9 on Top Ten Comebacks.The Ravens season ended quickly, losing 20-17 to the Steve McNair-led Tennessee Titans in the Wildcard round.

Shortly after the loss Art Modell sold his majority ownership (retaining 1%) of the team to minority owner Steve Biscotti.

2005 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 2005 Cincinnati Bengals season was the franchise's 36th season in the National Football League, the 38th overall and the third under head coach Marvin Lewis. It was the team's first season with a winning record, playoff berth, and division title since 1990. In the fourteen seasons and 224 games in between (1991–2004), the Bengals' record was 71–153, a 0.317 winning percentage. It would be the Bengals' lone playoff appearance in a span of 18 years (1991–2008). QB Carson Palmer got off to a strong start on his way to a solid 3836-yard season with 32 Touchdown passes, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl. Receiving many of Palmer's passes was Chad Johnson, who followed teammate Palmer to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, racking up an impressive 1,432 yards in receiving with nine TDs, many of which were followed by unique celebrations that made him a regular star on the sports highlight shows.

Following a 42–29 win over the Baltimore Ravens, the Bengals faced the Steelers again this time in Pittsburgh, where the Bengals offense continued to fly behind Carson Palmer who had three Touchdown passes and 227 yards passing in an impressive 38–31 win that gave the Bengals first place in the AFC North at 9–3. The Bengals would not relinquish first place winning the next two games to clinch the division with two weeks to go. On December 18, with a 41–17 win over the Detroit Lions, the Bengals clinched a playoff spot. After clinching the division the Bengals played cautiously and dropped their final two games to finish with an 11–5 record, beating out the eventual Super Bowl champion Steelers, who finished with an identical record, on a tiebreaker situation.

2006 Baltimore Ravens season

The 2006 Baltimore Ravens season was the franchise's 11th season in the National Football League, it would begin with the team trying to improve on their 6–10 record in 2005. The Ravens, for the first time in franchise history, started 4–0. The Ravens ended the regular season with a franchise record thirteen wins. The Ravens clinched the AFC North title and a 1st-round playoff bye. Their season ended with a tough loss to the 12–4 Indianapolis Colts in the divisional playoff game. The Colts would go on to defeat the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.

2009 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 2009 Cincinnati Bengals season was the 40th season for the team in the National Football League and their 42nd overall. They finished the season at 10–6–0, and sweeping the entire AFC North division, they improved on their 2008 record of 4–11–1, winning the AFC North Division and making the playoffs for the first time since 2005. Their season ended with a 24–14 loss against the New York Jets in the AFC Wild Card Playoff Round.

The head coach was Marvin Lewis, who has coached the team since 2003. He was chosen by the Associated Press as its NFL Coach of the Year following the season. Lewis was recognized for turning around the Bengals in the face of serious off-the-field adversity. First, three players were personally affected by the tsunami that hit American Samoa in late September. Shortly after this disaster, Vikki Zimmer, the wife of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, unexpectedly died. Finally, wide receiver Chris Henry, who suffered a season-ending injury in Week 9, died in December from injuries suffered when he fell from the back of a pickup truck during a domestic dispute.

2013 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 2013 Cincinnati Bengals season was the franchise's 44th season in the National Football League, the 46th overall, and the 11th under head coach Marvin Lewis. The Bengals improved on their 10–6 regular season record from 2012 and clinched the AFC North division title. However, the Bengals lost 27–10 to the San Diego Chargers in the playoffs — the third consecutive season that the Bengals had lost in the Wild Card round. Their training camp was featured on the HBO show Hard Knocks.

2015 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 2015 Cincinnati Bengals season was the franchise's 46th season in the National Football League, the 48th overall and the thirteenth under head coach Marvin Lewis.

The Cincinnati Bengals got off to a franchise best start after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field by a score of 16–10, improving them to 7–0. Their winning streak ended in Week 10 with a loss to the Houston Texans in Cincinnati. Later in the season, they clinched a playoff spot for a franchise record fifth straight year. They clinched their second AFC North title in the last three seasons with their Week 15 loss at the Denver Broncos because of the Steelers loss to the Ravens the day before. They lost to the Steelers in the Wild Card 16–18 in what's considered one of the biggest meltdowns in Bengals history. This marked the 25th consecutive season without a playoff win for the Bengals. They also became the first team in NFL history to lose five consecutive playoff games in the first round. On a bright note, the Bengals were the only team in the AFC North to beat both Kansas City and Seattle.

2018 Baltimore Ravens season

The 2018 season was the Baltimore Ravens' 23rd season in the National Football League and their 11th under head coach John Harbaugh.

On October 14, 2018, the Ravens set a franchise record, sacking Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota 11 times in a 21–0 Week 6 win against the Tennessee Titans.

After struggling to a 4–5 record for the second straight year, the Ravens went on a 6–1 run to finish 10–6 on the season, thanks to the emergence of Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, who replaced longtime QB Joe Flacco due to injury. They clinched the AFC North after defeating the Cleveland Browns in Week 17, reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2014 and winning their division for the first time since 2012. However they lost to the Los Angeles Chargers 23–17 in the wild-card round.

As of 2019, it marks the first time the Ravens won a division title in the post-Ray Lewis era.

This is also the last season under general manager Ozzie Newsome as he would step down following the 2018 season and have assistant general manager Eric DeCosta fill in his role.

Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football team based in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) North division. The team plays its home games at M&T Bank Stadium and is headquartered in Owings Mills.The Ravens were established in 1996, after Art Modell, who was then the owner of the Cleveland Browns, announced plans to relocate the franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore in 1995. As part of a settlement between the league and the city of Cleveland, Modell was required to leave the Browns' history and records in Cleveland for a replacement team and replacement personnel that would take control in 1999. In return, he was allowed to take his own personnel and team to Baltimore, where such personnel would then form an expansion team.

The Ravens have qualified for the NFL playoffs eleven times since 2000, with two Super Bowl victories (Super Bowl XXXV and Super Bowl XLVII), two AFC Championship titles (2000 and 2012), 15 playoff victories, four AFC Championship game appearances (2000, 2008, 2011 and 2012), five AFC North division titles (2003, 2006, 2011, 2012, and 2018), and are currently the only team in the NFL to hold a perfect record in multiple Super Bowl appearances. The Ravens organization was led by general manager Ozzie Newsome from 1996 until his retirement following the 2018 season, and has had three head coaches: Ted Marchibroda, Brian Billick, and John Harbaugh. With a record-breaking defensive unit in their 2000 season, the team established a reputation for relying on strong defensive play, led by players like middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who, until his retirement, was considered the "face of the franchise." The team is owned by Steve Bisciotti and valued at $2.5 billion, making the Ravens the 27th-most valuable sports franchise in the world.

John Harbaugh

John W. Harbaugh (born September 23, 1962) is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). Previously, he coached the defensive backs for the Philadelphia Eagles and served as the Eagles special teams coach for nine years. Harbaugh and his younger brother, former San Francisco 49ers and now University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, are the first pair of brothers in NFL history to serve as head coaches. Jack Harbaugh, Jim and John's father, served 45 years as a college defensive coach, an assistant coach, and a running backs coach. John and the Ravens beat his brother, Jim, and the 49ers at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on February 3, 2013 by a score of 34-31.

He has led the Ravens to 114 wins (including playoffs) since his tenure began in 2008, fourth most in the NFL over that span, and has surpassed Brian Billick for the most wins by a head coach in Baltimore Ravens franchise history. His 10 playoff wins are the second most by any head coach in the NFL since 2008. Outside winning Super Bowl XLVII, Harbaugh has guided the Ravens to three AFC North division championships and three AFC Championship appearances.

List of Baltimore Ravens seasons

The Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football franchise based in Baltimore, Maryland. They are a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) North division in the National Football League (NFL). The team began play in the 1996 season as a result of former Cleveland Browns team owner Art Modell's decision to move the Browns to Baltimore.

The Ravens have won two Super Bowl championships in franchise history: in 2000, when the team defeated the New York Giants 34–7 in Super Bowl XXXV; and in 2012, when the team defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34–31 in Super Bowl XLVII. As of 2019 they are the only team to reach the Super Bowl more than once and win each time. Until their defeat by the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII, the 49ers were the only team to never lose at the Super Bowl.

List of Cincinnati Bengals seasons

The Cincinnati Bengals franchise was founded in 1968 as a member of the West division of the American Football League (AFL). The Bengals joined the National Football League (NFL) as a result of the AFL–NFL merger prior to 1970. This list documents the franchise's completed seasons from 1968 to present, including postseason records and results from postseason games. The Bengals have played over 750 games in their history, including two conference championships, eight division championships, and 12 playoff appearances.

The franchise has experienced several extended periods of success in their history. These periods came from 1981 to 1990 when the Bengals qualified for the playoffs four times and played in two Super Bowls, and from 2009 to the present. However, during a 14-year span—1991 to 2004—the Bengals did not qualify for the playoffs. During this time, the franchise had nine seasons with 10 or more losses, and three of those seasons the franchise had the league's worst record. Since 2005 the Bengals have been more successful, posting seven winning seasons, three division titles and seven wild card playoff berths (including a streak of five consecutive playoff seasons, a first in franchise history).

List of Cleveland Browns seasons

The Cleveland Browns were a charter member club of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) when the league was founded in 1946. From 1946 to 1949, the Browns won each of the league’s four championships. The National Football League (NFL) does not recognize the Browns’ AAFC championships, the Pro Football Hall of Fame does recognize the team’s championships, which is reflected in this list. When the AAFC folded in 1949, the Browns were absorbed into the NFL in 1950. The Browns went on to win three NFL championships, nearly dominating the NFL in the 1950s, and won one more NFL championship in 1964. The team has yet to appear in a Super Bowl, however. Overall, the team has won eight championships: four in the AAFC, and four in the NFL.

In 1995, then-Browns owner Art Modell made the decision to move the team from Cleveland, Ohio to Baltimore, Maryland. An agreement between the city of Cleveland and the NFL kept the team’s history, name and colors in Cleveland, while Modell’s new team would be regarded as an expansion team. The Baltimore Ravens would begin play in 1996, and the Browns would return to the league in 1999. For record-keeping purposes, the Browns are considered to have suspended operations from 1996 to 1998, which is reflected in this list. In 2017, the Cleveland Browns became the second team in NFL history to suffer an 0–16 record.

List of National Football League seasons

This is a list of seasons of the National Football League, including the ten regular seasons of the American Football League, which merged into the National Football League in 1970.

List of Pittsburgh Steelers seasons

The Pittsburgh Steelers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC; seven franchises in the National Football Conference (NFC) have longer tenures in the NFL. The team struggled to be competitive in its early history, posting winning records in just 8 of its first 39 seasons. Since the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, however, it has appeared in eight Super Bowls and one of only two teams, along with the New England Patriots have won the Super Bowl six times. The six championships place the Steelers fourth in the league in terms of total championships (including those prior to the first Super Bowl), trailing only the Green Bay Packers (13 championships), the Chicago Bears (9) and the New York Giants (8). The club's 15 AFC Championship Game appearances are second all-time, behind the Patriots (16). In addition, they have hosted the second-most conference championship games (11) than any franchise in either conference, and are tied for second with the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos with eight Super Bowl appearances; the Patriots currently hold the record of eleven appearances, as of 2019.

From 1974 to 1979 the franchise became the first NFL franchise to win four Super Bowl titles in six seasons, a feat which is yet to be matched. The 2005 team was the first sixth-seeded team to advance to a conference championship game since the playoff field was expanded to 12 teams in 1990; the same team also became the first sixth-seed to win the Super Bowl. The Steelers are 6–2 in Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl X, Super Bowl XIII, Super Bowl XIV, Super Bowl XL, Super Bowl XLIII and losing Super Bowl XXX and Super Bowl XLV.

As of the start of the 2018 season, the Steelers franchise are second all-time in playoff appearances, with 31, which is the most among active AFC franchises, as well as the most since the official start of the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. The Giants, Cowboys, and Packers are all tied for first all-time in playoff appearances, with 32 each.

Notes:

The Finish, Wins, Losses, Ties and Pct columns include only regular season results. Postseason results are shown only within the "Playoffs" column. Regular and postseason records are combined only at the bottom of the table.

T Tied for this position with at least one other team

1 For the purposes of calculating winning percentage ties count as ½ win and ½ loss

2 The Playoff Bowl (a.k.a. Bert Bell Benefit Bowl) is regarded as an unofficial post-season exhibition for third place

3 Ranked by conference rather than division (strike shortened season).

List of all-time NFL win–loss records

The following is a list of win–loss records for each of the 32 active National Football League (NFL) teams.

Marvin Lewis

Marvin Ronald Lewis (born September 23, 1958) is an American football coach who is a special advisor at Arizona State University. He served as the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL) for 16 seasons. He came to prominence as the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens from 1996 to 2001, whose defense in 2000 set the record for the fewest points allowed in a 16-game season and helped the franchise win their first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXXV over the New York Giants. This success led to Lewis being named the Bengals' head coach, where he served from 2003 to 2018. He was also a commentator for the Alliance of American Football (AAF).

Lewis' head coaching tenure oversaw improved fortunes for the struggling Bengals and helped transform the team into postseason contenders. At the time of his hiring, the Bengals had not had a winning season or postseason appearance since 1990 and finished with a franchise worst 2–14 record. Within his third season, Lewis ended both droughts and led the Bengals to their first AFC North division title in fifteen years. Lewis subsequently guided the Bengals to seven playoff appearances and four division titles, along with a franchise best five consecutive postseason appearances from 2011 to 2015. He holds the record for most wins as a Bengals head coach at 131 and was named Coach of the Year by the Associated Press in 2009, the first Bengals coach since team founder Paul Brown in 1970 to receive the honor.While credited with returning the Bengals to respectability, Lewis' reputation was affected by a lack of postseason success and he was ultimately unable to lead the team to a playoff win. His 131 regular season victories, 16 years as a head coach, and seven postseason losses are the most of NFL head coaches without a playoff win.

Mike Tomlin

Michael Pettaway Tomlin (born March 15, 1972) is an American football coach who is the 16th head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL), having led the team since 2007. With the victory in Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 against the Arizona Cardinals, Tomlin became the youngest head coach in NFL history to lead his team to a Super Bowl championship.

Ravens–Steelers rivalry

The Ravens–Steelers rivalry is a National Football League (NFL) rivalry between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most intense rivalries in the NFL. Both teams are members of the American Football Conference North division (formerly the AFC Central). Since the Ravens' inception in 1996, they have played at least twice a year, often for divisional supremacy. Both teams are known for fielding tough, hard-hitting defensive squads, giving their games an extra element of physical intensity. Both teams have had a franchise quarterback whom have had successful rookie seasons; in Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco, with Roethlisberger leading his Steelers to a near-perfect 15-1 record and Flacco nearly making Super Bowl XLIII, both in their rookie years.

The two teams have met in the postseason four times, with the Steelers owning a 3–1 advantage. They are the only two teams in the AFC North to have won the Super Bowl, and possess a combined 8–2 record in the game, with the Ravens being 2–0 and the Steelers being 6–2. Both teams have won two Super Bowls since the rivalry began.

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