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AFC North Weekend in Review: Struggles not Limited to Cincinnati Bengals

August 14th, 2011 at 3:35 PM
By Chuck Chapman

The Bengals weren't alone in their struggles in week one of the NFL's preseason. Defending conference champion Pittsburgh struggled at Washington, losing to the Redskins 16-7. The Baltimore Ravens also looked vulnerable, falling at Philadelphia 13-6 to the Eagles. Only the Cleveland Browns managed an impressive week one performance, knocking off defending Super Bowl champions Green Bay 27-17.

The Steelers offensive line picked up where they left off in 2010, surrendering three sacks to the Redskins. Ben Roethlisberger completed two of three passes for 22 yards in his brief appearance. The only Steeler score (and positive development) came from Isaac Redman who rushed five times for 42 yards. The Steelers allowed Washington quarterback Rex Grossman to complete 19 of 26 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps most concerning for Mike Tomlin's club was the 140 yards they surrendered on the ground. The Steelers will host the Eagles Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

The Baltimore Ravens also looked rusty in their first outing. Michael Vick carved up the new Ravens secondary while he was in the game. Meanwhile, Joe Flacco was a pedestrian three of six passing for 60 yards, leading the team to a Billy Cundiff 53 yard field goal. The Ravens defense couldn't get the Eagles off the field, allowing them to convert 10 of 16 third down attempts while the Ravens were only able to get three first downs out of 12 attempts. Ray Rice managed a paltry seven yards on five carries during his time. Baltimore will host the Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of last year's playoff game on Friday.

The Cleveland Browns put forth the best showing from the division, defeating defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay 27-17. Colt McCoy was an impressive nine for ten and 135 yards and a touchdown pass. Peyton Hillis, meanwhile, avoided the "Madden Curse" rushing for 16 yards on five carries and a touchdown. The Browns defense sacked Packer quarterbacks five times during the contest. Cleveland will host the Detroit Lions on Friday.

Tags: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Football, NFL

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