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Ravens alone in second place after Steelers' loss to Raiders

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Although the Ravens have regained sole possession of second place in the AFC North following the Pittsburgh Steelers' loss on Sunday to the Oakland Raiders, the Cincinnati Bengals continue to create separation in the division.

After four wins in a row, the Bengals (6-2) have a 2 1/2-game edge over the Ravens (3-4). 

During the Bengals' 49-9 victory Sunday over the New York Jets, quarterback Andy Dalton threw five touchdown passes, four of them to wide receiver Marvin Jones.

Following a 19-16 loss to the Steelers a week ago -- the Ravens' third defeat in four games -- the defending Super Bowl champions had their bye Sunday.

The Ravens have nine remaining games, including two against the Bengals (Nov. 10, Dec. 29).

Unless the Bengals begin to slide, the Ravens could need a wild-card berth to make the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year under coach John Harbaugh.

The Ravens travel to play the Cleveland Browns (3-5) next Sunday and have won 11 consecutive games against them. The Browns lost Sunday to the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.

The Ravens spent time during their bye week preparing for the Browns -- whom they defeated, 14-6, earlier this season at M&T Bank Stadium -- and other upcoming games on ther schedule.

“It’s helpful," Harbaugh said Wednesday of the extra time to get ready for the Browns. "We’ve played them once already. And not just Cleveland, but some other opponents that we’re going to see in the near few weeks. We spend time on the game-planning part of it, yes.”

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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