Street Talk THE AFC NORTH: Week 12

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Quotes of the Week:
"You can imagine just how emotionally draining it can be to come in here and you start taking your pads off, thinking you won the game, to start celebrating with your buddies, and then you’ve got to run back out there," Ravens defensive tackle Justin Bannan said.
"It will be tough to forget this one. Any time you throw a pick, it’s frustrating," Bengals QB Carson Palmer said. "When you throw four and don’t give your team a chance to win, it just feels horrible. I feel like I let our team down; our coaches, the organization, and our fans. Anytime you throw 4 interceptions and give your opponent 14 points, it’s going to be almost impossible to win."
“We feel very fortunate," Browns coach Romeo Crennel said. "You’re disappointed when you think you lose; then you’re elated you have another opportunity. I’ve never seen anything like it."
"We’ve got to come out and play Steelers football," Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger said. "I don’t feel we did that today. They were probably the more physical team. I think it showed."
AFC North














Lost 1

Won 1

Lost 4

Lost 1
Week # 11 – AFC North Scores
Cleveland          33        Baltimore    30        
Arizona             35       Cincinnati    27
New York Jets   19        Pittsburgh   16   
Baltimore Ravens
Starting in place of an injured and ineffective Steve McNair, Kyle Boller threw 2 INT and lost a fumble. But he went 22-for-41 for 279 yards, eclipsing Vinny Testaverde as the Ravens’ career leader in passing yardage. Trailing 27-14; Kyle Boller led the Ravens on a pair of drives that produced field goals to cut the gap to 27-20 with 7:20 left. Boller then produced the tying TD operating in a no-huddle attack. A 42-yard pass to Devard Darling and an 11-yarder to Willis McGahee (21 carries, 102 yards, TD) preceded a 27-yard TD pass to Darling in the left corner of the end zone with 3:31 to go. After a Cleveland punt, Boller went 4-for-8 for 45 yards before Stover came in to kick what appeared to be the game winner, but the Browns were able to tie the game on a last second 51 yard FG by K Phil Dawson.
Cincinnati Bengals
With the Bengals revived by their first blocked punt for a TD in 18 years, Carson Palmer’s four INT killed any chance at victory. After the Bengals saw their once-vaunted offense fail 4 times in the 4th quarter to generate a tying TD in Sunday’s messy, miserable loss, their 3-7 record spoke more of a top 10 draft pick than a playoff spot. The Bengals weren’t in control of anything on a day their 2 best players accounted for 5 turnovers, their first five-turnover game since Dec. 7, 2003 in a 31-13 loss at Baltimore. Three of Palmer’s interceptions went to nickel back Antrel Rolle and 2 were returned for TD for only the 3rd time in Bengals history. Pro Bowl receiver Chad Johnson committed the 5th turnover, a killing fumble on the Arizona 9 early in the 2nd half. TJ Houshmandzadeh caught his 11th TD pass. He has a TD in every game except one.
Cleveland Browns
The Browns trailed 30-27 on the final play of regulation when Dawson attempted a tying 51-yard kick. The ball hit the left upright and seemingly bounced off the crossbar before bounding into the end zone. The kick was ultimately deemed good and the players returned to the field to play OT. The Browns took the kickoff in OT and drove 43 yards in 9 plays before Dawson kicked a 33-yard field goal with 9:10 left to win the game. Cleveland forced 4 turnovers, had a season-high 6 sacks and earned its first season sweep of the Ravens since 2001. QB Derek Anderson completed 24 of 38 pass attempts with 1 INT. RB Jamal Lewis picked up 92 yards on 22 carries and a TD. He also caught 4 passes for 30 yards. Kellen Winslow, Braylon Edwards, and Joe Jurevicius combined for 17 catches and 231 yards on the day.
Pittsburgh Steelers
In front of a crowd that sometimes looked as if it was a home game for the Steelers, with fans decked out in black and gold waving their Terrible Towels, the Jets hung tough. Thomas Jones was a huge reason, running for 117 yards on 30 carries and becoming the first RB in 35 games to reach 100 yards against the top-ranked Steelers defense. "Quite simply, we missed tackles," Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. "We missed more tackles than I’ve ever seen us miss. That’s the story." Actually, that was only part of it. The Jets defense had its best game — by far — by sacking Ben Roethlisberger 7 times and holding Willie Parker to 52 yards on 21 carries. New York came in ranked 30th overall on defense, and last against the run. Roethlisberger was 15-of-25 for 195 yards with a TD and an INT. 
Week # 12 Predictions
Baltimore Ravens (4-6) at San Diego Chargers (5-5)
Baltimore has allowed 14 sacks in its last 3 games after allowing 9 in its first 7 games. The Ravens have yet to throw more than 1 TD in any game this season. WR Derrick Mason is on pace for 115 catches. Baltimore is trying to avoid losing 5 straight for the first time in Brian Billick’s tenure as head coach.
San Diego RB LaDainian Tomlinson hasn’t rushed for 100+ yards since week 6. TE Antonio Gates has 90 combined receiving yards in his last 3 games (54 last week vs. Jacksonville). The Chargers have lost the time of possession battle the last 5 games.
SAN DIEGO   24     BALTIMORE   17 
Cincinnati Bengals (3-7) vs. Tennessee Titans (6-4)
Cincinnati is averaging 56.7 rushing yards and 2.4 yards per carry the last 3 games. WR Chris Henry has caught 12-180-1 since returning to the lineup. Cincinnati is 5-7 in its last 12 regular-season home games
Tennessee is 10-3 vs. Cincinnati since 1997, but Cincinnati won the last meeting between the clubs, 31-23, in 2005. Since 2002, Tennessee is 7-4 in the 2nd of back-to-back road games. The Titans haven’t made the playoffs since 2003. They have lost their last 3 games that fall 6 days after a Monday night game.
Cleveland Browns (6-4) vs. Houston Texans (5-5)
Four of Houston QB Matt Schaub’s 7 TD passes have gone to WR Andre Johnson. RB Ron Dayne has rushed for 42-211-1 in his last 2 games. DE Mario Williams has more sacks in 10 games (5) than he had all of last season (4.5). Williams has sacks in 2 of his last 3 games. Houston held New Orleans to 47 rushing yards in Week 11, the first time in 5 games it had held an opponent to less than 100 yards rushing.
Cleveland RB Jamal Lewis rushed for 92 yards in Week 11; he had rushed for 72 yards on 36 carries in his 2 previous games. Cleveland is averaging 32.4 points in its last 5 games. They have also allowed at least 365 yards in every game this season.
CLEVELAND   31     HOUSTON   21 
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) vs. Miami Dolphins (0-10)
Miami has allowed 140+ rushing yards in 7-of-10 games. QB John Beck completed 9-of-22 passes for 109 yards in his NFL debut in Week 11. Miami QBs have thrown 8 TD passes in 329 attempts this season.
Pittsburgh has allowed an average of 103 passing yards in its last 3 games. QB Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 11 times in his last 2 starts. Pittsburgh allowed NYJets RB Thomas Jones to rush for 117 yards on 30 carries in Week 11. They had not allowed a 100-yard rusher since then-Indianapolis RB Edgerrin James rushed for 124 yards on Nov. 28, 2005.The Steelers are 5-0 at home and have outscored opponents 153-54 at Heinz Field.
PITTSBURGH   20     MIAMI   10 
Week # 11:      2 – 1         
Season:         21 – 10
Photo by Sabina Moran

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Eric Buckner

About Eric Buckner

Eric Buckner is a native of Baltimore and has lived in the area his entire life. A graduate of Towson University , Eric has been a student of professional football since the day he wept in his grandfather's bedroom after the Baltimore Colts were upset by the New York Jets in Super Bowl III. A loyal fan of the Colts and subsequently the Ravens, Eric's passion for the NFL is unwavering as evidenced by his near flawless attendance record at Ravens' games. He's missed only one preseason game -- back in 2005. We'll cut him some slack since he was on his honeymoon. You won't find Eric slacking when it comes to covering the AFC North for   More from Eric Buckner


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