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Team identities: AFC North

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Four weeks of the season is enough time to get a read on what each team is known for. Around The NFL will look at the identity for all 32 teams after the first month of the season.

Hue Jackson flips the switch in Cincy


The Bengals are the only undefeated team in the AFC -- and it's no fluke. The biggest improvement is Hue Jackson's smart play-calling skills on offense. Showing elements of Seattle's run-heavy approach and Chip Kelly's attack in Philly, the Bengals are far more creative than they were under former coordinator Jay Gruden. Jackson has effectively unleashed Giovani Bernard in space and found an ideal backfield complement in hard-running rookie Jeremy Hill. With A.J. Green dominating matchups and Marvin Jones on his way back, Cincy is surging toward a fourth straight playoff berth.

Ravens clicking with revamped offense


The Ravens gave us a scare when Joe Flacco threw an outrageous 62 pass attempts in a Week 1 loss. Everything we've seen since, though, suggests that Gary Kubiak's scheme is an ideal fit for the quarterback. Behind a well-coached and improved line, Flacco's sacks are down, leaving him more time to find a revived Steve Smith all over the field. The loss of tight end Dennis Pitts hurts, but the Ravens haven't missed Ray Rice in a backfield that seems to generate yardage no matter who takes the snaps.

Steelers slowed by inconsistent D


Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are the division's top offensive trio, but Pittsburgh's defense remains guilty of falling asleep at the wheel against lesser opponents. After allowing the Browns to score 24 unanswered points in Week 1, the Steelers could only watch as Mike Glennon and the Bucs caught fire on Sunday for the stunning upset. Such skittish play won't get it done in the top-heavy AFC North.

Browns must learn to close


Nothing has gone according to script. Expected to field a nasty defense, the Browns owned the NFL's 32nd-ranked unit after three games, according to Football Outsiders. The offense -- degraded by pundits as the league's worst -- was ranked third. Quarterback Brian Hoyer has kept mistakes to a minimum, but Cleveland's two bitter rivals -- the Steelers and Ravens -- beat the Browns in the final seconds largely because Mike Pettine's team couldn't close the deal. They'll need to grow up in a hurry if they hope to be alive in the AFC when Josh Gordon returns.

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