AFC North Week 10

Street Talk AFC North Week 10

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Quotes of note from week #9 in the AFC North:

"You’ve got to tip your hat to the offense, amazing what they did," Ravens LB Terrell Suggs said. "They put up 14 points fast when we were down. They scored twice and you could feel the sense of team being formed, what we’ve been searching for all year."

"We’re 0-8, but I think we’re a good 0-8 team, if that’s possible," Bengals WR TJ Houshmandzadeh said prior to the week 9 game versus Jacksonville. "I was just telling them: Are we going to the playoffs? Probably not, but we’re all men and play with pride. Basically, play with pride and let’s try to make this thing look somewhat respectable."

"It’s always deflating when you don’t make a play because we needed plays," Browns coach Romeo Crennel said. "It’s deflating when they run the ball in for a touchdown. It’s deflating when they throw the ball over your head. It’s deflating when you don’t make a catch in the open. It’s deflating when you lose a game."

"We didn’t think twice about him coming in and doing the job," Steelers WR Nate Washington said of back-up QB Byron Leftwich. "We never skipped a beat."

AFC North

Team

W

L

T

PCT

PF

PA

Home

Road

AFC

NFC

DIV

Streak

Pittsburgh

6

2

0

.750

178

116

2-1

4-1

5-0

1-2

3-0

Won 1

Baltimore

5

3

0

.625

171

137

3-1

2-2

5-3

0-0

3-1

Won 3

Cleveland

3

5

0

.375

142

160

1-3

2-2

2-3

1-2

1-3

Lost 1

Cincinnati

1

8

0

.111

125

236

1-3

0-5

1-6

0-2

0-3

Won 1

Week #9 Scores in the AFC North

Baltimore 37 Cleveland 27

Cincinnati 21 Jacksonville 19

Pittsburgh 23 Washington 6

Baltimore Ravens

Inspired by their emotional middle linebacker’s (Ray Lewis) sideline pep talk, the Ravens scored 24 unanswered points in the final 16 minutes and rallied for a 37-27 win over the up-and-down Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Matt Stover kicked three field goals; rookie quarterback Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes and first-year running back Ray Rice ran for 154 yards to lead the Ravens, who seemed to be in big trouble when they fell behind 27-13 in the third quarter. But with Lewis leading the way, Baltimore bounced back and won its third straight. Stover, who ranks fifth in league scoring history, made field goals of 41, 32 and 22 yards.

Flacco, who threw touchdown passes to Mark Clayton and Derrick Mason, completed 17 of 29 passes for 248 yards. Mason, the sure-handed 13-year veteran, had nine catches for 136 yards and Rice, filling in for the injured Willis McGahee, had a breakout game that included a critical 60-yard run in the fourth quarter to set up Stover’s last field goal. After Stover’s third field goal made it 30-27 with 5:36 left, the Ravens’ defense pressured Anderson, who threw the ball directly to Suggs. The linebacker snared the gift and raced untouched to the end zone where he taunted Cleveland’s famed Dawg Pound bleacher section with a spike and dance.

Cincinnati Bengals

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a pair of touchdown passes to Chad Johnson, who celebrated by giving the head coach a kiss, and Cincinnati stopped a late two-point conversion try Sunday, preserving a 21-19 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. With the losses mounting and history beckoning, several Bengals tried to fire up their teammates. Offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth talked to the offense after practice on Saturday; and receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh spoke up in the locker room before the game. The message: Don’t be a doormat. At 1-8, the Bengals are no longer on pace to be historically bad and proved too much for the stunned Jaguars, who fell behind 21-3 before making it close. "Being 0-for-whatever-it-was coming in, there was a lot of pressure and a lot of frustration for everybody, from the staff to the equipment managers," said running back Cedric Benson, who ran for 104 yards and a touchdown. "Everybody’s trying to figure out what’s wrong." Fitzpatrick, who studied the laws of economics at Harvard, helped the law of averages catch up with his winless team. The scrambling quarterback looked a lot more comfortable in his fourth straight start for the injured Carson Palmer, going 21-of-31 for 162 yards. After his 10-yard touchdown catch made it 14-0, Johnson flipped the ball to the official, went to the sideline and gave Coach Marvin Lewis a peck on the cheek, the second time he’s done that this season.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns had built their 14-point advantage at 27-13 thanks to return specialist Joshua Cribbs’ 92-yard kickoff return for a TD, two scoring passes by quarterback Derek Anderson and two field goals by Phil Dawson, who closed the first half by banging a career-long 54-yarder through the uprights. But Cleveland collapsed and no play hurt more than wide receiver Braylon Edwards’ drop of a certain long touchdown early in the fourth quarter with the score tied. By the time the ball slipped through his hands and fell to the ground, the Browns’ promising season had fallen into serious jeopardy. "We didn’t finish," said running back Jamal Lewis, who was held to 49 yards on 19 attempts. "That’s the lesson of the day — finish."’ Anderson finished 17-of-33 for 219 yards. "I didn’t want to hold onto it and take a sack," Anderson said of his ill-fated pass to Suggs. "I wish I would have handled that a little better, but I’m trying to win games." Anderson may not have to worry about that pass if Edwards had come through. After Flacco’s 28-yard TD pass to Mason tied it at 27, Edwards got behind Baltimore’s secondary on third down but the talented wide receiver failed to squeeze a perfectly thrown ball from Anderson while he was in full stride. It was the latest drop by the Pro Bowler, who has been plagued by them all season. Edwards declined interview requests afterward.

Pittsburgh Steelers

With Ben Roethlisberger sidelined after re-injuring his throwing shoulder, D.C. native Byron Leftwich came on at halftime and led two touchdown drives in the Steelers’ 23-6 victory over the Redskins on Monday night. Roethlisberger’s 1-yard sneak gave the Steelers a 10-6 lead in the final minute of the first half. On the play, the quarterback re-aggravated the slightly separated right shoulder that has bothered him since the second week of the season. Roethlisberger was 5-of-17 for 50 yards and an interception, while Leftwich went 7-of-10 for 129 yards and a touchdown as Pittsburgh beat an NFC East team for the first time in three attempts this season. The Steelers’ top-rated defense had seven sacks and became the first team this season to intercept Jason Campbell. It also held Clinton Portis to 51 yards rushing, ending his streak of five straight games with at least 120 yards. The Steelers didn’t cross midfield until Carlos Rogers grabbed Hines Ward on an obvious 43-yard pass interference penalty in the second quarter, setting up a field goal that cut Washington’s lead to 6-3. The Steelers went ahead after Andre Frazier blocked Ryan Plackemeier’s punt. William Gay recovered at the 13, leading to Roethlisberger’s 1-yard score. Leftwich’s big play was a 50-yard completion to Nate Washington before a 1-yard TD run by Willie Parker, who was back from a four-week layoff with a knee injury. Leftwich also had a 5-yard scoring pass to Santonio Holmes.

Week #10 Match-ups and Predictions

The Cincinnati Bengals have their bye in week #10.

Baltimore at Houston

Houston notched a season-high 3 sacks in week 9 versus the Vikings. Owen Daniels caught a career-high 11 passes for 133 yards in the game as well. Mario Williams has 20 sacks in his last 20 games dating back to last season. Houston is 9-3 at home since 2007.

Joe Flacco has thrown for 230 yards or more in 3 of his last 4 starts. Ray Rice rushed for 154 yards on 21 carries versus the Browns in week 9. He has racked up 277 total yards in his last 2 games. Baltimore has out-rushed opponents 1,190 yards to 514 yards this season.

ITH PREDICTION – Baltimore 27 Houston 16

Cleveland vs. Denver

Cleveland surrendered 429 yards to the Ravens in week 9. Jamal Lewis has not rushed for 100 yards in any game this season. Shaun Rogers has 25 tackles and 3 sacks in his last 3 games.

Denver rushed for 14 yards on 12 carries in week 9 versus the Dolphins. Andre Hall (1 carry, 7 yards) led the club in rushing. Jay Cutler has thrown 6 interceptions in his last 3 starts. Denver has surrendered 24 points or more in 6 of 8 games this season.

ITH PREDICTION – Cleveland 24 Denver 16

Pittsburgh vs. Indianapolis

Note: Pittsburgh statistics are not updated for the Monday night contest versus Washington.

Ben Roethlisberger had his lowest completion percentage game (44.8% versus the NY Giants) since 2005. Mewelde Moore is averaging 101 rushing yards the past 3 games. Pittsburgh and Indianapolis have combined for 8 postseason victories the past 3 seasons.

Anthony Gonzalez equaled his TD production of the season with 2 TD last week. Indianapolis is averaging 70.1 yards rushing per contest.

ITH PREDICTION – Pittsburgh 30 Indianapolis 20

Last Week Record: 1 – 2

Season to Date: 16 – 10

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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 ProFootball24x7.com.   More from Eric Buckner

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