AFC North Matchups - Week 15

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2015
DENVER BRONCOS (10-3) at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-5)

The Broncos lead the AFC West by two games and can clinch the division title this weekend. Denver's defense leads the NFL in points allowed (17.3 per game), total defense (272.5 yards per game) and passing defense (188.2 yards per game) and ranks third in the league in rushing defense (84.3 yards per game). The Broncos are the only team in the NFL to rank in the top three in all four categories.

"We're motivated every week but this is like the AFC Championship Game," says Broncos cornerback CHRIS HARRIS, JR. about the upcoming showdown with the Steelers. "This is what we're motivated for. This is what we play for."

Pittsburgh has won four of its past five games and is in the AFC playoff mix. Over the team's past five games, the Steelers are averaging 35.2 points per game and the offense is averaging 494 total net yards per game. During that stretch, quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER has passed for 1,815 yards (363 yards per game) and 10 touchdowns.

"We're doing some good stuff on offense and we've been getting wins," says Roethlisberger. "Offensively, we want to score touchdowns. We get disappointed when we don't put points on the board."

NOTES
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Here is a look at the statistical leaders for the both the Steelers and Broncos heading into the Week 15 contest at Heinz Field.

BRONCOS:** GARY KUBIAK needs 1 win to join RED MILLER (12 in 1977) as only HCs with 11 wins in 1st season with Den…QB PEYTON MANNING is 3-1 vs. Pit & has passed for 1,042 yards with 8 TDs vs. 4 INTs for 92.7 rating. QB BROCK OSWEILER is 3-1 as starter & has passed for 994 yards with 4 TDs vs. 2 INTs…RB RONNIE HILLMAN has rushed for 100 yards in 2 of past 4 on road. In past 2, RB C.J. ANDERSON has 207 scrimmage yards & 2 rush TDs… Last week, WR DEMARYIUS THOMAS led team with 95 rec. yards & has 1,067 in 2015, joining ROD SMITH (6) as only Broncos with 4 consec. 1,000-yard seasons. Since 2010, has 44 TD rec., 2nd-most among AFC WRs. Needs 2 TD rec. to tie ED MC CAFFREY (46) for 3rd in club history. WR EMMANUEL SANDERS spent 4 seasons with Pit (2010-13) & had 161 rec. for 2,030 yards with 11 TDs…LB VON MILLER leads team with 10 sacks, incl. 1 last week, & joined SIMON FLETCHER (5) as only Broncos with 4 10-sack seasons. Aims for 6th in row with sack.

STEELERS: In past 3 at home, QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER has passed for 1,077 yards with 9 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 109.7 rating. Aims for 6th in row with 280 yards…In past 5, RB DEANGELO WILLIAMS is averaging 133.4 scrimmage yards per game with 5 rush TDs. Only AFC player with 750 rush yards (773), 250 rec. yards (271) & 8 rush TDs (8) in 2015…In past 5, WR ANTONIO BROWN has 48 catches for 679 yards & 5 total TDs (4 rec., 1 PR). 1 of 6 players in NFL history with 3 consecutive 100-catch seasons. Only player with multiple seasons with 100 rec. & PR-TD (3). WR MARTAVIS BRYANT has 15 TDs in 18 career games. In past 3, WR MARKUS WHEATON has 16 rec. for 316 yards & 2 TDs…Since 2007, LB LAWRENCE TIMMONS is only NFL player with 30 sacks (30.5) & 10 INTs (10). LB BUD DUPREE leads AFC rookies with 4 sacks.


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2015
CLEVELAND BROWNS (3-10) AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (8-5)

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Photos from the last matchup vs the Browns at Heinz Field on November 15th, 2015.

BROWNS:** In past 6, QB JOHNNY MANZIEL has completed 84 of 135 (62.2 pct.) for 1,021 yards with 5 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 91.6 rating, incl. 270 yards & TD last week vs. 49ers. Aims for 3rd in row with 270 yards…Rookie RB DUKE JOHNSON, JR. ranks 2nd in catches (49) & receiving yards (446) amongst AFC RBs. RB ISAIAH CROWELL rushed for career-high 145 yards on 20 att. (7.3 avg.) with 2 TDs last week…WR-PR TRAVIS BENJAMIN has 13 career TDs (10 rec., 3 PR) & averages 44.8 yards per score. Benjamin (99) needs 1 catch to reach 100 career. TE GARY BARNIDGE ranks 3rd among NFL TEs in receiving yards (901) & TD catches (8)…LB KARLOS DANSBY leads team with 89 tackles & 3 INTs. Since 2004, is only NFL player with 40 sacks (41) & 15 INTs (19). LB ARMONTY BROWN had 2 sacks last week.

SEAHAWKS: Have won 6 of past 7. Have outscored past 2 opp. 73-13…QB RUSSELL WILSON has 3 pass TDs & 0 INTs in 4 consecutive games, tied for longest streak in NFL history. Has 16 TDs, 0 INTs & 145.9 rating in past 4. Is 30-4 (.882) at home with 54 TDs, 18 INTs & 102.2 rating (incl. playoffs). In 17 starts vs. AFC (incl. SBs), has 35 TDs, 6 INTs & 110.1 rating…WR DOUG BALDWIN has 17 catches for 321 yards (107 per game) & 8 TDs in past 3. Aims for 4th in row with 2 TDs. Has 8 TDs in past 5 vs. AFC (incl. SB). Has 19 catches for 339 yards (113 per game) & 4 TDs in past 3 at home.  Rookie WR-KR-PR TYLER LOCKETT had 6 catches for 104 yards & 2 TDs last week. Joins HOFer GALE SAYERS (1965) as only rookies with 5 rec. TDs, KR-TD & PR-TD. WR JERMAINE KEARSE has 3 TDs in past 3 vs. AFC…CB RICHARD SHERMAN leads NFL with 28 INTs since 2011 (incl. playoffs). Aims for 3rd in row vs. AFC with INT. S KAM CHANCELLOR had sack in last meeting. DE CLIFF AVRIL has 5.5 sacks in past 7. Has 4 sacks in past 3 at home. DE MICHAEL BENNETT aims for 3rd in row with sack. LB K.J. WRIGHT leads team with 97 tackles.


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2015
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-5) AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (4-9)

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Photos from the last matchup vs the Ravens at Heinz Field on October 1st, 2015.

CHIEFS:** 1 of 2 teams in NFL history to win 7 consecutive games immediately following 5 losses in row (1970 Bengals)…Last week, QB ALEX SMITH threw 1st INT after attempting 312 passes without an INT, 2nd-longest streak in NFL history. In past 10, has completed 195 of 301 (64.8 pct.) for 2,310 yards with 11 TDs vs. 1 INT for 98.8 rating. Since 2011, ranks 2nd in NFL in INT pct. (1.3 pct.)…In past 6, RB CHARCANDRICK WEST is averaging 95.7 scrimmage yards per game & has 4 total TDs. RB SPENCER WARE has 4 TDs in past 4…In past 3, WR JEREMY MACLIN has 24 catches for 323 yards & 3 TDs. 1 of 4 with 3 140-yard rec. games in 2015. Since 2014, TE TRAVIS KELCE ranks 3rd in AFC & 4th in NFL amongst TEs with 1,611 receiving yards…In past 21, LB JUSTIN HOUSTON has 22.5 sacks, 4 FF & 2 INTs. Since 2012, ranks 2nd in NFL with 50.5 sacks (J.J. WATT). LB DEE FORD had career-high 3 sacks last week.

RAVENS: Have scored GW points on final play in each of 4 wins in 2015…QB MATT SCHAUB is 1-1 as starter with Ravens & has passed for 540 yards with 3 TDs. In 2 career starts vs. Bal, has completed 41 of 55 (74.5 pct.) for 530 yards with 3 TDs vs. 1 INT for 115 rating. QB JIMMY CLAUSEN passed for career-high 274 yards last week…Rookie JAVORIUS ALLEN is averaging 106.8 scrimmage yards per game in past 4. Has TD catch in 2 of past 3…WR KAMAR AIKEN lead team with 90 rec. yards last week & aims for 7th in row with 5 rec. Last week, WR JEREMY BUTLER had career-highs in catches (7) & yards (72)…LB DARYL SMITH leads team with 103 tackles, incl. 8 last week. LB ELVIS DUMERVIL has 6.5 sacks & 2 FF in past 10 meetings. In past 4, LB COURTNEY UPSHAW has 2 FR, 2 FF & sack.


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2015

CINCINNATI BENGALS (10-3) AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (4-9)

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Photos from the last matchup vs the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 13th, 2015.

BENGALS:** QB A.J. MC CARRON will make 1st NFL start. Last week, completed 22 of 32 (68.8 pct.) for 280 yards with 2 TDs for 90.6 rating...RB JEREMY HILL has 95 scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. In past 6 vs. NFC, RB GIOVANI BERNARD is averaging 115.5 scrimmage yards per game & has 2 rush TDs…In past 11, WR A.J. GREEN has 68 catches for 1,061 yards & 7 TDs, incl. 6 catches for 132 yards & TD last week. Has 4 TDs in past 3 & aims for 4th in row with TD. 1 of 2 players in NFL history with 5 consecutive 1,000-yard rec. seasons to begin career (RANDY MOSS, 6). TE TYLER EIFERT is tied for 1st in NFL with 12 TD receptions, most ever by Bengals TE in season…Bengals are only NFL team to have 2 players with 8 sacks in 2015 – DE CARLOS DUNLAP (10.5) & DT GENO ATKINS (8). S REGGIE NELSON leads NFL with career-high 8 INTs & needs 2 to tie club record (DELTHA O'NEAL, 10 in 2005).

49ERS: QB BLAINE GABBERT has 93.5 rating in past 4 starts & has 90 rating in 3 of past 4…RB SHAUN DRAUGHN has 396 scrimmage yards (79.2 per game) in past 5. Has 75 scrimmage yards in 4 of past 5…WR ANQUAN BOLDIN has TD in 4 of 6 career meetings & aims for 3rd in row vs. Cin. with TD. Has 991 receptions & needs 9 to reach 1,000. In NFL history, only 12 players have 1,000 catches. WR TORREY SMITH had 6 catches for 165 yards & TD vs. Cin on 11/20/11 (with Bal.). Has 3 rec. TDs of 70 yards this season. WR JEROME SIMPSON had TD catch last week, 1st of season. WR QUINTON PATTON led club with career-high 5 catches last week. Rookie TE BLAKE BELL averaging 17.3 yards per catch in past 3…LB NA VORRO BOWMAN leads NFC with 124 tackles. Had 11 tackles in last meeting. LB AHMAD BROOKS had sack in last meeting. Spent 1st 2 seasons (2006-07) with Cin. LB AARON LYNCH has 10 sacks in past 11 at home. Rookie S JAQUISKI TARTT had 1st career INT last week. Rookie DT ARIK ARMSTEAD had sack last week.

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