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It’s All Even After Two Weeks: AFC North Week in Review

September 20th, 2011 at 8:52 AM
By Chuck Chapman

The Cincinnati Bengals not only lost the game Sunday in Denver, they lost an opportunity to take an early lead in the AFC North. Instead, after results of Sunday's games, each team stands at 1-1.

Perhaps the most surprising result was the Baltimore Ravens defeat at the hands of the Tennessee Titans. Just a week earlier, the Ravens had manhandled the Pittsburgh Steelers while the Titans lost to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. You know what they say about "any given Sunday." The Ravens injured secondary was exposed as Matt Hasselbeck threw for 358 yards. With both starters, Chris Carr and rookie Jimmy Smith out with leg injuries, the Ravens had no answer for the veteran Hasselbeck and his rangy target Kenny Britt. Baltimore did hold Tennessee star running back Chris Johnson to just 2.2 yards per carry, but that was offset by Joe Flacco's regression at quarterback. Flacco was just 15 of 32 for 197 yards, a touchdown, and two picks. The Ravens will head to St. Louis Sunday and attempt to get things right.

The Steelers got in the win column with a convincing 24-0 win at home against Seattle. Steeler nation got a big scare, however, when Ben Roethlisberger went down in the first half after getting the "Kimo von Oelhoeffen" treatment from Seattle's Raheem Brock. Big Ben would return, however, finishing 22 of 30 for 298 yards and a touchdown. Pass protection is still a concern for Pittsburgh, however, as Roethlisberger went down twice Sunday against a fairly pedestrian Seahawks rush. The Steelers travel to Indianapolis to take on the Peyton-less Colts on Sunday night.

Speaking of the Colts, the Cleveland Browns went into Indianapolis and emerged with a 27-19 win. Colt McCoy was a solid 22 of 32 for 211 yards and a touchdown while Peyton Hillis was steady on the ground, amassing 94 yards on 27 carries and scoring twice. Cleveland needed some help from the Colts' offense however, who failed to dent the end zone in four red zone visits before a score in the final minute. Joshua Cribbs' kick return set up the Browns' winning score. Cleveland will be back at home this week to host Miami.

Looking at division opponents this week, the Bengals will need a win against San Francisco to keep pace in what looks to be a very competitive AFC North this year.

Tags: Baltimore Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Colt McCoy, Football, Joe Flacco, NFL, Peyton Hillis, Pittsburgh Steelers

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