Final Word: AFC North

December, 3, 2010
12/03/10
4:00
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Here are five nuggets of knowledge about Week 13:

[+] EnlargeBen Roethlisberger
AP Photo/David DupreyThe Ravens will be sure to test Ben Roethlisberger's injured foot Sunday.
Footgate: Does Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have a broken foot or is it sprained? Either way, we will find out how badly injured Roethlisberger is in Sunday's prime-time showdown with the Baltimore Ravens. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Roethlisberger broke a bone in his foot against the Buffalo Bills. The report was quickly refuted by the team, which said it's simply "an aggravation of an old injury where scar tissue is present." There often seems to be a shroud of mystery surrounding the extent of Roethlisberger's injuries. But look for the Ravens to test his mobility with first place in the AFC North hanging in the balance.

Boldin's numbers: Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin's numbers have dipped in the past month, as teams have put more emphasis on stopping the three-time Pro Bowl receiver. He has only 13 receptions in the past four games, but Boldin said he's not concern with numbers because the Ravens are 8-3. Baltimore acquired Boldin in an offseason trade with the Arizona Cardinals, and his presence has opened things up for teammates Derrick Mason, Todd Heap and T.J. Houshmandzadeh to make more big plays the past few weeks. Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau usually takes away an opponent's best option, which means Boldin could see plenty of coverage again.

Interior concerns: An area where the Ravens have a huge advantage over Pittsburgh is on the defensive line. Buffalo's defensive line, and particularly Kyle Williams, gave the Steelers a lot of problems last week. Roethlisberger was sacked five times against the Bills, including the hit that twisted his foot. The Ravens have Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs and waves of defensive linemen to throw at Pittsburgh's struggling and banged-up offensive line. If Baltimore wins this matchup, it will go a long way toward slowing Pittsburgh's offense.

Passing attack: Can the Cincinnati Bengals defend the passing game of the New Orleans Saints? Entering the season, Cincinnati's pass defense was the strength of the team. But injuries at safety and cornerback have made this an unexpected area of concern. New Orleans is third in the NFL in passing with a variety of weapons and a dynamic quarterback in Drew Brees. The Saints are the type of team Cincinnati doesn't want to face right now. It also doesn't help that New Orleans is on a four-game winning streak.

Delhomme gets another nod: Cleveland Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme will be the starter for the second straight week against the Miami Dolphins. Cleveland's revolving door at quarterback has been a big topic of discussion all season. It's questionable whether Delhomme -- who has one touchdown, six interceptions and a 54.2 passer rating -- has earned another start. But Browns coach Eric Mangini remains confident in the veteran, who is making $7 million this season. Rookie quarterback Colt McCoy (ankle) is hurting, but backup Seneca Wallace is healthy and has put up much better numbers (88.5 passer rating) in his four starts.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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AFC NORTH SCOREBOARD