AFC North Game Balls

December, 27, 2011
12/27/11
9:30
AM ET
We're handing out game balls after Week 16 and here is who's getting them:

OFFENSE: Jerome Simpson, Bengals. The AFC North blog will give Simpson the game ball after giving him another standing ovation. The Cincinnati wide receiver made the highlight of the season when he flipped over a Cardinals linebacker and landed in the end zone on his feet. The Bengals needed this touchdown in the end when they held off Arizona for a 23-16 win.

DEFENSE: Steelers defense. Just like in Week 2, everyone on Pittsburgh's defense deserves a game ball for recording a shutout against the Rams. Sure, it came against the lowest-scoring offense in the NFL. But let's not forget that it was the NFL's top-ranked defense that delivered the shutout. It's the first time since 2007 that the Steelers have recorded two shutouts in the same season.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Shayne Graham, Ravens. This was a close call over the Browns' Josh Cribbs, who returned a punt 84 yards for a touchdown -- the longest punt return of his great special-teams career. But the Ravens beat the Browns by two field goals, both of which came from a replacement kicker. Graham, who was filling in for Billy Cundiff, hit kicks from 48 and 43 yards. His kicking allowed Baltimore to stay on course for the AFC North title and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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AFC NORTH SCOREBOARD

Sunday, 12/21
Monday, 12/22