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Around the AFC North: Week 7


BALTIMORE (5-2)**: The Ravens apparently are finding their stride and their identity.

They threw two interceptions, lost a fumble, and committed nine penalties on Sunday and still breezed past the Falcons, 29-7.

"It just shows what we can do," OLB Terrell Suggs told about a Baltimore defense that held Atlanta to 254 total net yards. "It's on film now and everybody is seeing how our defense can control games. That's going to be the standard from now on."

Baltimore amassed five sacks for a second consecutive game – including one for a safety by Suggs in the fourth quarter – the first safety of his career and the Ravens' first since November 2008.

The defense appears ready heading into this Sunday's showdown at Cincinnati. Baltimore visits Pittsburgh on Nov. 2.

The Falcons averaged 4.3 yards per carry against the Ravens but ran only 16 times for 68 yards. Baltimore rushed for 123 yards on 36 attempts (3.4 average) … LT James Hurst, an undrafted rookie who has been filling in for Eugene Monroe the past three games, was flagged for holding three times against Atlanta … Baltimore outscored NFC South opponents Carolina, Tampa Bay and Atlanta by a combined 115-34. The Ravens will visit New Orleans on Nov. 24.  

CINCINNATI (3-2-1): The Bengals were 3-0 and the AFC's last unbeaten team three games ago. Now they're reeling, or so it would appear, after a 27-0 loss in Indianapolis.

"I think it's a good wake-up call for everyone on this team," QB Andy Dalton said after the Colts game. "There is so much in front of us. There is no reason to be concerned. The only thing we should be worried about is playing a lot better and doing whatever it takes to win."

Added S George Iloka, "Yeah, we're disappointed, and some people are embarrassed about how we came out these last two, three weeks but we're still together. It's a long season and it's not how you start, as you can see, or how you are in the middle, it's how you finish. We just need to start by stacking some good practices and stacking some good games on top of each other and start getting some wins in the win column again."

Cincinnati didn't have linebackers Emmanuel Lamur and Rey Maualuga against Indianapolis due to injury, and then lost linebacker Vontaze Burfict late in the first quarter. The Bengals wound up surrendering 506 total net yards … The Colts gained 171 yards on the ground and averaged 5.0 yards on 34 carries. The Bengals went 12-32-2.7 on the ground ... Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw looked ahead to this Sunday's trip to Pittsburgh immediately after the Cincinnati game. "The Steelers are a hard-nosed football team," he said. "We just got to come out and punch them in the mouth first, and I think it'll be a great game for us."

CLEVELAND (3-3): The Browns had been combustible thanks to a productive running game that set up QB Brian Hoyer to do damage via play-action bootlegs.

But Cleveland rushed for just 69 yards last Sunday in Jacksonville, Hoyer completed only 16 of 41 passes, and the Browns lost to the previously-winless Jaguars, 24-6.

Jacksonville rushed for 185 yards on 35 carries, including 127 on 22 attempts by RB Denard Robinson, who had 160 career rushing yards entering the game.

The Browns failed to score at least 21 points for the first time this season … LT Joe Thomas had this to say to on emotional reactions to wins and losses outside the locker room: "It's the nature of the league. You win one game and you're crowned Super Bowl champions. You lose one and you're announced as the worst team in the league. I hope that we have the perspective on this team to understand that that's the way it goes in the NFL." … Cleveland converted four of 20 third downs at Jacksonville.

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