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Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers Keep the AFC North Bar High

November 29th, 2011 at 7:00 AM
By Chuck Chapman

The Cincinnati Bengals got to 7-4 with their win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday, but weren't able to pick up any ground on the Baltimore Ravens or Pittsburgh Steelers thanks to a couple of prime time performances turned in by each team.

The Baltimore Raves won the Harbaugh Bowl on Thanksgiving evening 16-6. The game was a hard fought, defensive battle that came down to a relentless Baltimore defense that never let 49ers quarterback Alex Smith have any kind of comfort in the pocket. The Ravens defense got to Smith an astounding nine times and intercepted him once. For the game, the Niners only managed 170 total yards. 

The Ravens offense struggled in its own right against a stout San Francisco defense. The Niners kept Ray Rice under wraps, but couldn't force Joe Flacco into any errors. Flacco threw for a pedestrian 161 yards, but he managed the game well and did all that was needed as Baltimore took the game in the fourth quarter.

The Pittsburgh Steelers also won a low scoring affair, holding off the Kansas City Chiefs 13-9 Sunday night. The Kansas City defense played a strong game as the Chiefs fought to keep their season alive, forcing two Pittsburgh turnovers. The Steelers picked off former Pitt star Tyler Palko two times and forced a fumble in the first half, yet only led 13-6 at the break. The Chiefs added a second half field goal and were driving late in the game when Palko and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe got crossed up and Pittsburgh intercepted to put and end to the drive.

The victory could be a costly one though as All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu left the game early on with "concussion-like symptoms." He'll be re-evaluated as the week goes on as to his availability for the game against Cincinnati this Sunday in Pittsburgh.

While the Bengals and Steelers are battling it out in Pittsburgh, the Ravens and the Browns will be scuffling on Lake Erie in the first all-AFC North weekend since week one. 

Every game in the division from here on out is packed with significance as three teams contend for the title and the possibility for the other two to earn wild card berths.

Tags: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Football, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers

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