Ravens Remain Atop AFC North

Behind Enemy Lines Ravens Remain Atop AFC North

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Behind Enemy Lines – Week 12

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.

Cincinnati Bengals

Record: 3-7-1

Result: L 14-19 @ Baltimore

Offensive Recap:

Watching the Bengals Sunday, it was obvious how much they missed A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard. They only managed three first half points and cashed in just one TD on the day when Andy Dalton connected with Tyler Eifert.

The running game was almost non-existent for the Bengals against the stingy Ravens run defense. Jeremy Hill did make an impact as a receiver, collecting six catches for 61 yards. Hill, not known for his receiving abilities, actually set a career high for catches in a game, with his previous high being four.

The Bengals pass offense came on in the second half and was the key to sustaining drives. The lack of Jimmy Smith hurt the Ravens once again, but the Bengals just seemed to lack the true playmaker that they usually find in Gio or Green and it wasn’t enough to come out on top in Baltimore.

Defensive Recap:

The most disappointing unit for the Bengals defense was the defensive line. The Ravens OL has struggled this season, but the combination of Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, Domata Peko and Michael Johnson didn’t cause chaos like some had predicted.

The Bengals finished with two sacks (Johnston and Dunlap) as well as a Rey Maualuga interception off of a tipped ball by Dunlap, who was driving Ricky Wagner into his own end zone.

The Bengals run defense did well, holding the Ravens to only 92 yards on 30 carries. However, that first drive of the Ravens finished with a beautiful TD pass to Breshad Perriman to set the tone and was enough for Baltimore to hold the lead throughout the game. The Bengals are lucky the Ravens don’t game plan better on offense because the first drive was picture perfect.

Key Performer:

Tyler Eifert – 5 catches, 68 yards, 1 TD – Eifert seemed to be the only weapon Dalton could exploit on Sunday. Outside of a beautifully batted ball by Tavon Young in the end zone, Eifert made plays and moved the sticks for the Bengals.

Look forward to Week 13:

With the season almost lost, the Bengals will look to try and spoil some teams’ playoff hopes. That starts with hosting the Eagles on Sunday.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Record: 6-5

Result: W 28-7 @ Indianapolis

Offensive Recap:

Thursday night, the Steelers showed just how potent their offense can be. Ben Roethlisberger completed 70% of his passes for 221 yards and three TD (all went to Antonio Brown, who added 91 yards). Ladarius Green and Eli Rogers both brought in big passing plays with completions of 35 and 30 yards, respectively.

Le’Veon Bell rushed 23 times for 120 yards and 1 TD. Overall, the offense was explosive and made numerous big plays.

Not something you want to see a black and purple supporter, but it looks like the Steelers offense may get hot at the right time as they chase the #1 spot in the North.

Defensive Recap:

Let’s be realistic – with a healthy Andrew Luck this is a different ball game. However, kudos to the Steelers defense for stacking the box and game planning well. Frank Gore was bottled up, only managing 28 yards on 15 carries. Overall, the Colts had 91 yards on 23 carries; however, that is skewed by two big runs by Jordan Todman and Robert Turbin that went for 19 and 18 yards.

Backup QB Scott Tolzien did his best and actually got into some rhythm in certain parts of the game, but his lack of experience and composure was obvious. He threw two picks, one each to Mike Mitchell and William Gay. The Colts will be praying for Luck to clear the concussion protocol and get back ASAP.

Key Performer:

Antonio Brown – 5 catches, 91 yards, 3 TD – He’s a machine. End of story.

Look Forward to Week 13:

The Steelers will host the red-hot Giants as they look to keep pace with the Ravens, who hold the tiebreaker in the AFC North.

Cleveland Browns

Record: 0-12

Result: L 13-27 vs. New York Giants

Offensive Recap:

The Browns continue to Brown their season away. At the beginning of the year the rushing offense was the only positive, but even that has completely disappeared. On Sunday Isiah Crowell was held to 44 yards on 16 carries and Duke Johnson Jr. only found 14 yards on five carries.

The real loser though? Josh McCown. He was sacked seven times and fumbled twice. He did manage 322 yards and a TD in the loss. The Cody Kessler injury is very costly for the Browns. He was stringing together some solid performances and for a rookie QB the best development tool is to be playing the game.

Defensive Recap:

Another week, another 24+ points allowed performance for the Browns defense. The Browns have allowed 24 or more points in every game this year. Eli Manning toasted them for three scores, two of which went to Odell Beckham Jr.

The Browns only sacked Manning once.

Not much else to report. They’re abysmal.

Key Performer:

Terrelle Pryor Sr. – 6 catches, 131 yards. Pryor continues to be a threat for the Browns. You have to think he is the priority signing this offseason, as he’s the only offensive threat they have and he continues to do it while defenses adjust to him. If I’m Ozzie Newsome he’s on my radar, knowing the Browns’ record of poor player management.

Look forward to Week 13:

The Browns will have a bye week, which will mark the first week in which they haven’t lost a football game since September. Unless they find a way to lose the bye week – and I wouldn’t rule that out given how their season has gone.

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Cole Jackson

About Cole Jackson

Cole Jackson has been an avid follower of the Baltimore Ravens for over a decade. Born and raised in Brockville, Ontario, Canada, Cole’s love for the Ravens was born and bred in following the playing style of Ray Lewis, which he tried to emulate in his own football career, (ultimately failing to do so). Cole graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Criminology before becoming a Policy Analyst with the federal government. Cole’s football career now involves being a columnist for RSR, yelling at others who are beating him in Madden and being a regular on the RSR forum where he is known as GreatWhiteNorthRaven. Cole has a knack for the team-building aspects of the Ravens, which includes player scouting, free agency and the draft.

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