CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals coach Marvin Lewis watched a little video of Pittsburgh's season-opening disaster and felt a kinship with the failure.
"I just watched the first half of their game and I'm sure they feel the same way we do," Lewis said.
Not just them. They're all feeling the blues this week in the AFC North.
All four teams in the NFL's most successful division over the last five years have started the season at 0-1. It's only the second time that's happened, according to STATS LLC. The other time? Way back in 2002, when the league went to the current division format.
And it's not just that all four lost, it's how they lost:
—The defending Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens went back to Denver, the scene of their improbable playoff comeback last season, and had their revamped defense get taken apart for a record-seven touchdown passes by Peyton Manning in a 49-27 rout.
—Over in Pittsburgh, the towel-waving crowd at Heinz Field put those towels away and filed out quietly near the end of a shocking 16-9 loss to the Titans that was in most ways the worst of the division's opening flops.
—In Cleveland, the Browns did their annual looking-a-little-better tease before falling apart and losing to the Dolphins 23-10, dropping their ninth straight opener and their 14th in the last 15 years.
—Lewis' team actually looked the best of the bunch before bungling one away in Chicago, 24-21, with personal fouls, wasted timeouts and turnovers.
None of them looked like a playoff-caliber team for very long.
"We've got a lot of work to do," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "Nobody cares about our problems. They're glad we've got them. We need to understand that. We need to stick together and persevere."
The Steelers might have the toughest go of it. They missed out on the playoffs last season by finishing 8-8, unable to run the ball consistently or protect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. They drafted Le'Veon Bell to boost the running game, but he got hurt during camp. Pittsburgh ran for only 32 yards in the opener and Roethlisberger was sacked five times.
Worse, Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey tore ligaments in his right knee and linebacker Larry Foote ruptured his right biceps, ending their seasons.
Up next: a Monday night game in Cincinnati against the Bengals and former Steelers linebacker James Harrison. Pittsburgh hasn't opened a season 0-2 since 2002.
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