AFC NORTH: Week 15

Street Talk AFC NORTH: Week 15

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Quotes of note from week #14 in the AFC North:

"I think it’s a surprise to everybody else but it’s not a surprise to us because we understood way back in March when we started this thing that we have something special," Ravens WR Derrick Mason said.

"There’s really not much to say. I don’t know what it is," Bengals WR Chad Johnson said. "I’m done analyzing. You just work and give it all you’ve got."

"We’re not last year’s team," Browns return specialist and receiver Josh Cribbs said. "We have a different football team. We have to play better football."

“What a beautiful game; and I mean that,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. “I just told the team that. People get too preoccupied with style points. That was a beautiful football game because we displayed mettle and we hung together.”

AFC North


























Won 4













Won 3













Lost 3













Lost 3


Week #14 Scores in the AFC North

Baltimore      24           Washington     10

Indianapolis   35           Cincinnati         3

Pittsburgh     20            Dallas            13

Tennessee    28           Cleveland          9

Baltimore Ravens

If the Washington Redskins are fortunate, it might be another four years before they have to face the Baltimore Ravens again. If the Redskins are lucky, maybe Ed Reed will be retired by then. Reed set up a touchdown with an interception and scored on a 22-yard fumble return, part of a stifling effort by the Baltimore defense in its victory Sunday night.

With their seventh win in eight games, the Ravens enhanced their stature in the wild-card race and remained one game behind Pittsburgh in the AFC North. Baltimore hosts the Steelers this Sunday.

On the Redskins’ third play from scrimmage, Jason Campbell was hit by Terrell Suggs while throwing the ball; and Reed picked off the pass at the Baltimore 45. Joe Flacco promptly completed a 26-yard pass to Derrick Mason, and a 21-yard run by Ray Rice on a third-and-10 play led to an 8-yard touchdown run by Le’Ron McClain. Washington’s third possession was as disastrous as the first. At the end of an 11-yard run, Clinton Portis had the ball stripped by Reed, who picked up the fumble and ran for a touchdown to make it 14-0 with less than six minutes elapsed. After Washington closed the lead to 17-10 in the 4th quarter, Baltimore launched an 83-yard drive in which McClain ran 10 times for 43 yards before Flacco threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Mason to end the scoring at 24-10. Reed ended any chance the Redskins had of coming back with an interception with 1:53 left.


Cincinnati Bengals

For the second straight week, the only Bengals points came on Shayne Graham’s lone field goal, and they have gone 11 consecutive quarters without scoring a touchdown. The formula looked awfully familiar, too. The Bengals lost four turnovers and Ryan Fitzpatrick, who again started in place of Carson Palmer, was sacked four times. Cincinnati has been outscored 96-16 during their latest three-game losing streak.

Graham’s 19-yard field goal made it 7-3, but things unraveled quickly for Cincinnati. Colts DB Kelvin Hayden jumped Jerome Simpson’s route late in the first half, picked off Fitzpatrick’s pass and ran it back to the Bengals 15 with 1:01 to go. Chris Henry’s penalty for unnecessary roughness moved the ball to the Cincinnati 7, and two plays later Manning connected with Marvin Harrison on a 5-yard TD pass.

"We moved the ball OK today," Fitzpatrick said. "It’s just a matter of finding points. This is one of those teams you have to take advantage of when you have the ball. We didn’t get enough points today."

Fitzpatrick was 18-of-26 for 170 yards, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught eight passes for 75 yards. Coach Marvin Lewis said he opted not to start Palmer to "play the other guys a little bit."


Cleveland Browns

Cleveland lost its third straight and fifth in six games; with the Browns starting a third different quarterback in as many games. It was Ken Dorsey’s first start since Nov. 27, 2005, when he was with the 49ers, and he didn’t get much help from an injury-decimated team whose top receiver, tight end Kellen Winslow, was out with a sprained ankle.

Tennessee didn’t make nearly enough mistakes to help the Browns, who haven’t scored an offensive touchdown in three straight games and couldn’t add to the 6-0 lead Phil Dawson gave them after the first quarter. Coach Romeo Crennel, whose job status grows shakier with each loss, defended his team’s effort.

"The Titans are a very good football team, and I think they showed why they are today. We came down here and had some turnovers and had opportunities to try and get a little bit done. We weren’t able to get enough done," Crennel said.

The Titans out-gained Cleveland 390-178, intercepted Dorsey once and sacked him another time. Dorsey started because the Browns have lost both Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson. Dorsey hadn’t completed a pass in three years in an NFL game, and he started well enough, connecting with Braylon Edwards on the first two attempts. He wound up completing 22-of-43 as the Titans pressured him early and hit him often. Cleveland’s injury list grew when linebacker Shantee Orr hurt a knee, and running back Jerome Harrison suffered a rib injury.


Pittsburgh Steelers

Deshea Townsend scored on a 25-yard interception return with 1:40 remaining as the Steelers scored their only two touchdowns 24 seconds apart, rallying from a 10-point deficit to deal the Cowboys a potentially damaging 20-13 loss on Sunday.

Just before Pittsburgh’s comeback began, the Cowboys celebrated wildly after dropping Gary Russell for a 2-yard loss on a fourth-and-goal play from the Dallas 1 early in the fourth quarter to retain that 10-point lead. The Steelers noticed. It was the third time in a month the Steelers were stopped inside the 1 on their home field, but Dallas couldn’t take advantage — just as Pittsburgh did little with the Cowboys’ four turnovers in the first half.

The Steelers surged back to tie it on Jeff Reed’s second field goal, a 41-yarder, and Ben Roethlisberger’s 6-yard pass to Heath Miller with 2:04 remaining. Roethlisberger found Nate Washington three times for 51 yards on a 67-yard drive that led to the Miller score after the Cowboys twice stalled on drives that, if they had scored, probably would have sealed it. The Steelers won their fourth in a row and ended Dallas’ three-game winning streak. They can win the AFC North by winning Sunday in Baltimore.

The Steelers are 24-9 in December since 2001. Mike Tomlin is the first coach in Steelers history to win at least 10 games in each of his first two seasons. James Harrison’s 15th sack tied Mike Merriweather’s 1984 single-season Steelers record.


Week #15 Match-ups and Predictions

Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

Willie Parker has never rushed for more than 63 yards versus Baltimore. Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 3 times or more 7 times this season. James Harrison has already tied the single-season Pittsburgh record for sacks (15, Mike Merriweather, 1984).

Derrick Mason has caught at least 6 passes in his last 3 games versus Pittsburgh and snagged 8 for 137 yards at Pittsburgh in week #4. Le’Ron McClain has carried 63 times for 235 yards and 2 TD in his last 3 starts.

ITH PREDICTION –    Pittsburgh   20     Baltimore   17


Cincinnati vs. Washington

Cincinnati has not beaten Indianapolis in 6 head-to-head games, dating back to 1997. Cincinnati is 0-7 on the road this season. Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 18 of 26 passes for 170 yards with 2 INT before being pulled for Jordan Palmer. Cincinnati lost the turnover battle versus Indianapolis 4-1 last week. 12 of Cincinnati’s 61 offensive plays went for negative yards last week.

Washington has been held to under 21 points the past 5 games. They had only 62 rushing yards last week versus Baltimore.

ITH PREDICTION –   Washington   24     Cincinnati   9 


Cleveland at Philadelphia

Cleveland was out-rushed 235 – 35 last week versus Tennessee. They have not scored a TD in the last 182 minutes of football played (3+ games). They have not scored a passing TD since week #10.

Brian Westbrook has rushed 55 times for 241 yards and 3 TD and has caught 9 passes for 92 yards and 3 TD the last 2 weeks. Philadelphia is 5-0 when Westbrook carries 19 times or more this season.


ITH PREDICTION –   Philadelphia   30     Cleveland    10


Last Week Record:    4 – 0

Season to Date:     28 – 14
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

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