Week eight of the 2012 NFL Season is in the books, and the AFC North got a little tighter. The Baltimore Ravens still sit atop the division, but with the Ravens on their bye week and Pittsburgh Steelers victory, Baltimore's lead is now down to just one game. Only two of the AFC North teams were in action during week eight, with the aforementioned Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals on their bye weeks. All four AFC North teams will be in action in week nine.
We will begin with the second place team in the division, the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) as they played host to RG III and the Washington Redskins (3-5). Pittsburgh's defense showed no fear of the versatile Robert Griffin III and held the Redskins offense at bay, with a pretty dominant performance, beating Washington 27-12. Pittsburgh never trailed in the game, and jumped out to an early 10-0 lead after a Leonard Pope touchdown reception and a field goal in the first quarter. Washington would score a touchdown to make it 10-6, but Pittsburgh would add ten more points to take a 20-6 lead at halftime. The Steelers offense looked as good as it has all season with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throwing for 222 yards and three touchdowns and Jonathan Dwyer rushed for over 100 yards for the second straight game with 107 yards rushing. The Steelers defense looked better as well holding RG III to just 177 yards passing and the entire Redskins offense to just 255 total yards. The victory improved Pittsburgh to 4-3 on the season and now just sit one game back of the Ravens for the division lead.
The Cleveland Browns played a hard fought game in nasty weather to beat the visiting San Diego Chargers 7-6. The star of the show, other than the weather, was Cleveland rookie running back Trent Richardson. Richardson, who was playing with a rib injury, rushed for 122 yards on 24 carries and made the play of the game when he broke two tackles and was gone for a 26 yard touchdown in the first quarter, and the Browns defense held San Diego to two field goals to hold on for their second victory of the season. With steady rain and 40 mph winds throughout the entire game, it was tough for either offense to ever really get going. The win improved the Browns to 2-6 on the season.
All four AFC North teams will be in action during week nine:
- Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) vs Denver Broncos (4-3) at 1pm EST
- Baltimore Ravens (5-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-6) at 1pm EST
- Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) at New York Giants (6-2) at 4:25pm EST
It should be another exciting week of AFC North football with the Baltimore Ravens looking to enforce the adjustments and changes they have come up with after a week of self scouting when they travel to Cleveland in a division rival matchup. Here are how the AFC North standings look after week eight:
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