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Around the AFC North: Week 5


CINCINNATI**: The Bengals entered their bye week as one of the last three unbeaten teams in the league and emerged as one of just two remaining NFL clubs without a loss.

Part of the challenge of that heading into the upcoming Sunday night game at New England involved dealing with the accompanying notoriety.

"Ignore the noise," LB Rey Maualuga advised. "Ignore the positive, just like you try to ignore the negative. We're happy, we've got a lot of pride in what we accomplished, but it's a long and tough road ahead. We know what we've got to do. We've got things we can fix."

Scoring defense likely wasn't included on that list.

Through Week Three the Bengals ranked first in the NFL in that category with 33 points allowed. That was the fewest for the Bengals in Games 1-3 since 2005 (28).

Cincinnati didn't allow a sack in its first three games for the first time in franchise history and is the only team in the NFL not to have allowed one this season … The Bengals are 4-7 in post-bye games under Coach Marvin Lewis (3-3 in their last six) … Cincinnati's franchise-record 11-game home winning streak (regular season) includes eight double-digit victories, including the last seven in succession.

BALTIMORE: The Ravens' 38-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday kept the good times rolling at M&T Bank Stadium.

Baltimore improved to 41-10 at home since John Harbaugh became the Ravens' head coach in 2008. The Ravens also upped their record to 12-1 against NFC teams under Harbaugh.

Former Panthers WR Steve Smith led the way with seven catches, 139 receiving yards and two touchdowns against Carolina. Smith sung the praises of Baltimore QB Joe Flacco afterward.

"One of the coolest things is how calming Joe is," Smith said. "We call him 'Joe Cool.' Throughout the whole game, good or bad, Joe stays the same. It's so refreshing to have a quarterback who makes the huddle so calm. It's so much easier to concentrate and do our job."

The Ravens allowed three sacks in their first game and none in games two, three and four … Baltimore's 3-1 start is its fifth in seven seasons under Harbaugh and first since 2012 … The Ravens had 16 penalties enforced against them in their first four games.

CLEVELAND: The Browns came out of their bye looking forward to this weekend's trip to Tennessee in at least one respect.

None of the quarterbacks on the Titans' roster, Charlie Whitehurst, Zach Mettenberger and Jake Locker, has won a Super Bowl.

Cleveland opened the season facing three quarterbacks with Super Bowl rings – the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger, the Saints' Drew Brees and Flacco of the Ravens.

LT Joe Thomas' start on Sept. 21 against Baltimore was his 115th in a row since being drafted third overall in 2007. C Alex Mack's start against the Ravens was his 83rd in a row since being drafted 21st overall in 2009 … QB Brian Hoyer ran his streak to 157 attempts without an interception over the Browns' first three games. It's the fourth-longest such streak in Cleveland history (Vinny Testaverde is third with 174 in 1995) ... The Browns committed zero turnovers in their first three games.

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