After the “Miracle against Minnesota” and Monday Night’s finish, I don’t even want to know how next week’s game ends. Whether it was a 61-yard field goal or a crucial defensive stop, the Ravens came through clutch when they needed to.
With some help from the Steelers—who are also still in the playoff hunt—the Ravens are in prime position to take the AFC North, and quite possibly, a first-round bye.
Here’s what is going on Behind Enemy Lines:
Injury Update: Sunday night’s loss against Pittsburgh was embarrassing. Although the score got a bit closer near the end, Cincinnati never really had a chance in a true blowout at Heinz Field.
Here’s a quick roundup of the injuries that occurred during the 30-20 loss:
• P Kevin Huber (jaw)— may be out for the season
• LB James Harrison (concussion)—status uncertain
• TE Jermaine Gresham (hip)—didn’t return to Sunday’s game
• CB Dre Kirkpatrick (leg)—returned in the 4th quarter
Next Week’s Blueprint: Sunday’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings may seem like a cupcake game, but this Vikings team is the real deal despite their poor record. They’re a team with nothing to lose after beating the Eagles while putting up 48 points in the process.
For the Bengals to win, they’ll need to overcome the injuries on the defensive side of the ball and stop Matt Cassel, who shredded a very poor Eagles’ secondary. Cassel threw for 382 yards and 2 touchdowns against Philadelphia, and will go against a Bengals team that just allowed five incomplete passes to Ben Roethlisberger.http://youtu.be/PMS4nTP0iis
How They Won: They may have been underdogs in some eyes, but the Steelers had this game locked up from the first snap. They were far from perfect, but the Bengals’ mediocre play helped secure this game for Pittsburgh.
Dick LeBeau’s defense effectively stopped Giovanni Bernard, who ran for just 33 yards on 13 carries. On the other side, Antonio Brown had another big game, reeling in a touchdown and over 66 yards on five catches. The Steelers took a 20-point lead into halftime and carried momentum throughout the entire game. They proved that once you jump on the Bengals, they are an average team at best.
Is There Still Hope?: Sitting at 6-8, the Steelers will need a miracle to secure the AFC’s 6th seed. It won’t be easy, but there’s still hope in the locker room that they have a chance at the post-season. Here’s a quote from Ziggy Hood from Steelers.com.
“I have seen crazier things happen with this team, especially if we play like we did Sunday night and finish the season strong,” said Hood. “Who knows what will happen. We just have to keep believing and keep playing and go out there and win the next one.”
Struggles against Chicago: Oh, Cleveland.
Just when you think the Browns are going to ruin their draft position even more and pull off an impressive win against the Bears, they blow it in typical Cleveland Browns fashion. They allowed 21 points in the 4th quarter, including a 40-yard run to Michael Bush to put the Bears up big with about three minutes left.
What else should we really expect from the Browns?
Laugh of the Week: Through 14 games, Paul Kruger has just 4.5 sacks and has accounted for no turnovers—proving that the Browns targeted a rather average player on an exceptional Baltimore D-Line, paid him in a way that made him the opposition’s primary focus, and now they suffer from buyer’s remorse.
What else would you expect from the Factory of Sadness?