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AFC North Round-Up; Bengals Drop One at Home


The Bengals couldn't comeback and fell to the Dolphins yesterday in Cincinnati.

Hard to believe it, but Week Five could have gone a long way towards finding out who was going to win this division in 2012. Wins by Baltimore and Cincinnati combined with a Pittsburgh loss would have put three full games between the rivals. This is why they play the games however as Baltimore survived in Kansas City, Pittsburgh won on the final play at home and Cincy dropped a winnable game to Miami at home.

Miami 17 at Cincinnati 13 – The Dolphins contniued to play well behind rookie QB Ryan Tannehill and went into Paul Brown Stadium and knocked off the Bengals. Tannehill was 17 of 26 for 223 yards while his counterpart Andy Dalton threw two interceptions and was sacked three times. The Bengals now fall a game behind Baltimore who won their game over the Chiefs.

Baltimore 9 at Kansas City 6 – The Chiefs outgained the Ravens on the day, but turned the ball over four times and kicked one less field goal than they did in losing. The Ravens move to 4-1 on the season. Joe Flacco completed less than 50% of his passes, was intercepted once and sacked fout times. The Ravens looked to Ray Rice to carry the load and he did to the tune of 102 yards rushing on 17 carries. The Ravens’ D gave up 180 yards rushing to Jamaal Charles and Shaun Draughn with Charles totaling 140 of that on 30 carries.

Cleveland Browns 27 at New York Giants 41 – The Browns jumped out to a 14-0 lead in New York but was held to just 13 points over the final three quarters. The Giants racked up 502 yards of offense and almost split those yards perfectly between the run and the pass. The Browns had another decent week from rookie Trent Richardson who had a touchdown and 81 yards on the ground while Brandon Weeden threw for 291 yards with a pair of TDs and two interceptions.

Philadelphia 14 at Pittsburgh 16 – Steelers’ kicker Shaun Suisham knocked through a 34-yard field goal as time expired to give the Steelers a huge victory moving them to 2-2 on the year. Pittsburgh led 10-0 at half following an ugly first half filled with Steelers’ penalties and Philadelphia turnovers to which both belonged to Michael Vick. The Steelers benefited from a return to the team by Rashard Mendenhall who saw his first action of 2012. He ran for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Looking Ahead to Week Six

Steelers' LaMarr Woodley

The Steelers may have to get along without Woodley who left with a hamstring issue yesterday.

Pittsburgh at Tennessee – The Steelers travel to Nashville to take on the Titans on Thursday Night Football. As of right now, it looks like the Steelers will once again be without Troy Polamalu who re-aggrevated his calf injury in the first quarter yesterday. LaMarr Woodley will be a question mark as well with a hamstring issue. The Titans will be coming off a 30-7 loss in Minnesota.

Cincinnati at Cleveland – This is the second and final meeting of the season for the Ohio rivals. The Bengals clawed their way to a victory in the first match-up and will look to keep the Browns winless in 2012. Cleveland has now lost 11 straight games dating back to last year. I think the Bengals were humbled a bit yesterday by the Dolphins and perhaps it was a good wake-up call for them. They’ll look to get Dalton back on track and set him up with some strong rushing. The Browns are essentially led by two rookies in Weeden and Richardson who will need to carry the offensive load. I expect another hard-fought game here, but I like Cincinnati to win.

Dallas at Baltimore - The Cowboys are coming off their bye week while the Ravens are returning home after a hard-fought 9-6 win in Kansas City. I expect that Dallas will be able to move the ball against a Ravens defense that gave up a bunch to the Chiefs. Meanwhile, Baltimore will need to do a better job of protecting Joe Flacco than they have recently with DeMarcus Ware and company pass rushing the way they do. The difference in this one is Ray Rice. The Ravens will get out with a win.

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