Week 11 of the 2012 NFL Season is in the books and the Baltimore Ravens now enjoy a two game lead in the AFC North over the Pittsburgh Steelers. All four AFC North teams were in action last week and all four teams will be in action this week and every week for the rest of the season as the bye weeks are complete after week 11.
Without question, we will begin with the marquee, rivalry matchup between the Ravens and the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Baltimore's defense showed up to play and held off Pittsburgh to snag the 13-10 road victory and a massive two game lead in the AFC North. If you were to really break down the scoring, Pittsburg scored 10, Baltimore's offense scored three, and Baltimore's special teams/defense scored 10. The Ravens offense was abysmal once again on the road gaining just 200 total yards, while Joe Flacco completed 20 of 32 pass attempts for 164 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Pittsburgh completely shut down Ray Rice, holding him to 40 yards on 20 carries, but Baltimore's defense and special teams bailed out the offense as newly signed CB Chris Johnson forced a Mike Wallace fumble that S Ed Reed picked up and returned it to the Steelers 12 yard line giving the offense a golden opportunity to tie the game at seven, after Pittsburgh scored a touchdown on their opening drive. The Ravens offense only gained four yards and had to kick a field goal, so in my opinion the three points go to the defense. Later in first quarter, Jacoby Jones returned a Steelers punt 63 yards to the house for his third return touchdown of the season and gave the Ravens a lead they would not relinquish, and just like that the special teams bails out Baltimore with their only touchdown of the game. After allowing a touchdown on Pittsburgh's first drive of the game, the Ravens defense only surrendered three points the rest of the game and continue to get better each week. Baltimore improved to 8-2, while the Steelers drop to 6-4 and the loss snapped their four game winning streak.
The Cincinnati Bengals were also in action in week 11 as they traveled to Kansas City to take on the horrid Chiefs. Kansas City jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but it would not last long as the Bengals scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive and never looked back cruising to a 28-6 road victory. The Bengals had a very balanced offense as quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 230 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, while running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 101 yards with a touchdown and wide receiver AJ Green continued his amazing season reeling in six grabs for 91 yards and a touchdown, his ninth straight game with a touchdown reception. The victory brings the Bengals back to .500 at 5-5, but still trail the Ravens by three games in the AFC North, but it is their second straight win.
Cleveland traveled to Dallas to take on the Cowboys and looked to be poised to become yet another team to beat the Cowboys in Dallas as they jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first half and led 13-3 heading into the fourth quarter. Dallas mounted a comeback and forced overtime as Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey nailed the game tying field goal with two seconds to send it to overtime, and he then drilled a 38 yard field goal in overtime to give Dallas the victory. Rookie running back Trent Richardson had a nice day accumulating 95 yard rushing on 28 carries and quarterback Brandon Weeden threw for 210 yards with two touchdowns, both to TE Benjamin Watson. The Cleveland Browns continue to find a way to lose football games and are now out to just find a way to keep teams out of the playoffs and work towards a top five draft pick in the 2013 draft. The loss drops the Browns to 2-8 on the season.
All four AFC North teams will be in action in week 12:
- Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) at Cleveland Browns (2-8) Sunday 1pm EST
- Cincinnati Bengals (5-5) vs Oakland Raiders (3-7) Sunday 1pm EST
- Baltimore Ravens (8-2) at San Diego Chargers (4-6) Sunday 4:05pm EST
It will be another great week of AFC North football in week 12 as the Ravens will be looking for their fourth straight victory and fans are anxious to see the offense perform well on the road. Baltimore will try to not look ahead to week 13 as they play host to Pittsburgh in a game that could basically all but clinch the AFC North for the Ravens. Here is how the AFC North standings look after week 11:
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