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Around the AFC North: Week 14

Posted Dec 3, 2013

BALTIMORE (6-6)
QB Joe Flacco rose to the occasion in the Ravens’ Thanksgiving night victory over the Steelers.

Flacco completed 68.5 percent of his passes, his second-best effort of the season in that department, and posted a passer rating of 98.6, his second-best number in 2013 in that category. He snapped a streak of having thrown at least one interception in four consecutive games, and he directed an offense that converted a season-high 59 percent of its third downs (10-for-17).

The Ravens didn’t run any wildcat plays against the Steelers. Flacco had complained publicly that doing so in their previous game against the Jets had made the Ravens look like a “high school offense.”  But Coach John Harbaugh said the lack of wildcat against the Steelers was circumstantial rather than philosophical.

“We will continue to have it in the game plan,” Harbaugh said. “But the flow of the game (against the Steelers) dictated the way we were playing, and it wasn’t in our best interest to put it out there.”

Kicker Justin Tucker’s five field goals against the Steelers tied the Ravens’ franchise record. Tucker has accounted for 29 of Baltimore’s 41 points over the last two games and has made his last 27 field-goal attempts (the franchise record is 36 by Matt Stover).

CINCINNATI (8-4)
Coach Marvin Lewis was worried LG Clint Boling might be lost for the season due to a “significant” knee injury sustained in Sunday’s 17-10 win at San Diego.

When Boling went down in the first quarter against the Chargers, LT Andrew Whitworth shifted inside to Boling’s position, RT Anthony Collins shifted over to replace Whitworth, and Andre Smith came off the bench to play the spot Collins vacated. The Bengals were already without RG Kevin Zeitler (foot) for a second consecutive game.

Cincinnati ended up rushing for 164 yards and ended the game with a running-game exclamation point. The Bengals took possession with 4:43 left after the Chargers had closed to within 17-10, completed a pass and then ran the ball on eight consecutive snaps, right up until kneel-down time.

LB Vontaze Burfict suffered an ankle injury during practice on Friday and boarded the team flight to San Diego that afternoon in a boot. Despite officially being listed as “questionable” for the San Diego game, Burfict played and registered 13 tackles.

“Not many guys would have played, but he’s got special powers,” Lewis said. “He played sideline to sideline on a bad ankle. We’ll put him back in the boot and take him out on Thursday and get back to work with him.”

The three turnovers generated by the defense at San Diego included the first career interception for second-year CB Dre Kirkpatrick.

CLEVELAND (4-8)
QB Brandon Weeden was diagnosed with a concussion after Sunday’s 32-25 loss to Jacksonville. QB Jason Campbell had missed the Jaguars game due to a concussion.

The Browns had signed QB Alex Tanney off the Cowboys’ practice squad on Nov. 26.

WR Josh Gordon’s 261 receiving yards against Jacksonville surpassed the franchise-record 237 Gordon had amassed on Nov. 24 against the Steelers. Gordon became the first player in NFL history to achieve consecutive 200-yard games receiving and set an NFL record with a two-game total of 498 yards (breaking Calvin Johnson’s mark of 484).

Gordon is 41 yards shy of breaking Braylon Edwards’ Cleveland record for receiving yards in a season (1,289 in 2007).

CB Joe Haden was beaten for the game-winning TD pass in the Jacksonville game, the second consecutive week Haden was beaten for a TD after surrendering just one all season prior to the Browns’ 27-11 loss to the Steelers.

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