Around the AFC North: Week 14


CINCINNATI (8-4-1)**: The Bengals emerged from the 42-21 loss they absorbed at the hands of the Steelers maintaining that nothing had changed but their record.

"I just finished telling those guys that we'll need to have the same focus the next three weeks, regardless," Coach Marvin Lewis said in his postgame media session on Sunday. "I was going to have the same message. I just wish I was able to tell them with a smile on my face."

Cincinnati maintained its lead in the AFC North Division and, like Pittsburgh, would win the division should it win its final three games.

"It's one of those things that we knew going in, regardless we would still be in control," QB Andy Dalton said. "We still have three big games coming up. Obviously, you want to win every game that you play, but we're still in a position where we control everything."

Added NT Domata Peko, "We'll see the Steelers again in a couple of weeks, and we are still in control of the AFC North race."

The Bengals surrendered three touchdown passes against the Steelers after allowing only 11 in their first 12 games … The Steelers' 193 rushing yards weren't an issue, Lewis maintained. "What's concerning is seeing the other team's running back going into the end zone (twice)," Lewis said. "I didn't like that." … Peko called Le'Veon Bell "one of the top runners in the game."


BALTIMORE (8-4)**: The Ravens fell behind Miami, 10-0, in the first quarter and then rallied furiously for what they perceived to be a statement-making, 28-13 victory.

Baltimore played its first game without NT Haloti Ngata, who had been suspended earlier in the week for four games because of a violation of the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

"Guts," Coach John Harbaugh told the Ravens' website. "Our guys just played their hearts out. To start off the way we did and come back and get stronger as the game went on, it's such a statement for our guys."

Added outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, "We showed people that we're special and we still got it. It was a good opportunity for us to show the world that we're starting to come together."

Miami gained 102 yards in the first quarter and 147 thereafter.

"We had to make some adjustments," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "We had to get accustomed to what they were doing. We have the best coaches in the league, and we made the proper adjustments."

QB Joe Flacco was 3-for-3 converting sneaks into two first downs and a 1-yard touchdown … LB Elvis Dumervil had 3.5 sacks to push his season total to 16, which broke Peter Boulware's franchise record of 15 in 2001 … RB Justin Forsett finished with 71 yards on 13 carries after three consecutive 100-yard efforts.


Photos from the last regular season game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals.

CLEVELAND (7-6)**: The Browns' defense scored a pair of touchdowns (on a fumble recovery and a pick-six), held the Colts to a 31-percent conversion rate on third downs (5-for-16), produced four turnovers and three sacks, and it still wasn't enough.

Not enough to win the game (Cleveland lost, 25-24), and not enough for the defense to point fingers, particularly after the unit surrendered an 11-play, 90-yard drive for what became the game-winning touchdown with 32 seconds remaining.

"It's frustrating," Donte Whitner told "But at the end of the day we're still a team. Special teams, offense, defense, it doesn't go to one side of the ball. But we have to get better. We have to do the small things, the little things that help us win football games."

QB Brian Hoyer emerged from the Colts game having directed one touchdown drive in his last 29 possessions. Hoyer has one touchdown pass and eight interceptions in his last five games … K Billy Cundiff missed a field goal attempt (39 yards) for the fifth consecutive game … WR Josh Gordon had two catches for 15 yards on seven targets against the Colts.

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