Ravens Take Sole Possession of The North
They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Behind Enemy Lines brings you your weekly recap of the rest of the AFC North, as the Ravens strive to be back on top of the division.
Result: L 20-21 @ New York Giants
As the season rolls on the Bengals must be concerned about their running game. Andy Dalton operates like our own QB, Joe Flacco, and relies on the run game to pull the defense in and open the passing game. Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard combined for 22 carries for only 63 yards and Hill punched in a TD.
That being said, Dalton has one thing Joe doesn’t and that is AJ Green. Green is about the only consistent piece of this offense. He finished the game with 7 catches for 68 yards and a score. Dalton completed just over 50% of his passes for 204 yards and also threw a pick.
Overall, the Bengals are struggling to sustain drives and rely on the big play to get into scoring position, rather than consistently moving the ball. It’s been a disappointing season for the Bengals offense.
The Bengals defense had a very rough start to the season and it didn’t get much easier for them against the Giants, as they struggled to get off the field. The Giants converted 23 first downs, compared to only 12 for the Bengals, which included converting 6 of 13 third down attempts.
The Bengals also struggled with their pass rush, which at one point was considered a top unit in the league, especially from the interior line of Domato Peko and Geno Atkins. The Bengals registered just one sack and it came from Atkins. Carlos Dunlap was completely ineffective and had his second straight game without a sack.
The Bengals secondary struggled with the short passes all night and Eli Manning was able to throw for 240 yards on just an average of 5.5 yards per pass. This is something to note for Ravens fans, as Joe could actually benefit from the dink and dunk offense against the Bengals.
Vincent Rey – 16 tackles (10 solo) – Rey was all over the field on Monday night. He is one of the bright spots of a disappointing Bengals defense.
Look forward to Week 11:
The Bengals will host the Bills one week before travelling to Baltimore. In a tight AFC North there’s still lots of time for the Bengals to right the ship, but they need to start putting together wins. They still have 2 games against Baltimore, 1 against Pittsburgh and 1 against Cleveland. The AFC North race is still very close….well unless you’re Cleveland.
Result: L 30-35 vs. Dallas Cowboys
This turned out to be an offensive shootout between two potent, high-powered offenses. The Steelers were led by Ben Roethlisberger who had an excellent game (much to my fantasy football team’s delight), completing 37 of 46 passes for 408 yards and 3 TD. Antonio Brown caught 14 of those passes for 154 yards and a score.
Le’Veon Bell went shot for shot with Ezekiel Elliott all night and finished with 57 yards on 17 carries and 1 TD, as well as 9 catches for 77 yards and a score. The offense really broke out against the Cowboys and may be building some momentum after being shut down for basically 3 quarters against the Ravens. Look for another momentum builder against a horrid Browns defense in week 11.
As good as the Steelers offense was, their defense left little to be desired, mind you against one of the top offenses in the league. However, it seems the days of the Steelers dominant defense are a thing of the past. Elliott had his way with the Steelers gaining 114 yards on 21 carries and 2 TD, including this gem.
I’m not sure if this shows how good the Cowboys OL is or how poor the Steelers interior DL is, but either way it’s an embarrassing way to get a walk off touchdown with 15 seconds left.
Dak Prescott had his way with the Steelers defense too, throwing for 319 yards and 2 scores to Dez Bryant and Elliott. Elliott’s 83-yard TD was one of the most well executed screen passes I have seen and the pulling OL looked like a brick wall.
The Ravens will have their hands full on Sunday against this talented offense.
Le’Veon Bell – 17 carries, 57 yards 1 TD, 9 catches, 77 yards, 1 TD. Bell did his thing and led the team on offense. It’s always great to see your playmakers show up in big games and I think this is a really a testament to Baltimore’s ability to take Bell out of the game, as the Cowboys just couldn’t slow him down.
Look forward to Week 11:
The Steelers will try and bounce back and continue the momentum of their surging offense against the Browns. This will likely be a blow out and Cleveland is going to have a tough time answering against the Steelers offense.
Result: L 7-28
Hue Jackson made a terrible call when he took Cody Kessler out of the game against the Ravens. Kessler was playing quite well throwing for 91 yards and 1 TD against the Ravens. Josh McCown, who relieved him, was just awful. He threw for 59 yards and 2 INTs, while being sacked 3 times.
The Browns offense all year has lived and died on their running game. On Thursday night the Ravens put it to rest early and only allowed 33 yards on 13 carries. This was a completely dominant game by the Ravens defense. The Browns did nothing positive outside Kessler’s TD to the relatively unknown Seth DeValve.
The Browns defense was very strong to start the game. The Ravens had a hard time establishing anything in the first half, but John Harbaugh finally unleashed Joe Flacco and the Browns defense didn’t have an answer. Flacco threw for 3 TD in the second half, which included an absolute beauty to Breshad Perriman.
Flacco looked like a completely different QB, mind you against this terrible unit. The one bright spot was Jamie Collins, who continues to show his dominance. Unfortunately for the Browns, they’re unlikely to retain their most skilled defender, as he is a looming free agent.
One person to keep an eye on is Emmanuel Ogbah, who was gulped up by Ronnie Stanley for the most part of Thursday, as he has been very solid in recent weeks.
Cody Kessler – 11/18, 91 yards, 1 TD – Kessler gets this nod for his ability to take a lead into half time. You have to feel for this kid. He has done a lot of things right in his rookie year, but has been failed by the same flaws we see each year from the Browns. Hopefully he gets the ball for the rest of the year because he shows promise.
Look forward to Week 11:
The Browns will host the Steelers, where they are in for a real tough game against an explosive offense. The Browns have failed to hold a team under 25 points this year and the trend should not change on Sunday.