It's a quick turnaround this week because of the Thursday night game. I'll be headed to Tennessee to watch the Steelers play the Titans in what could be monumental game for the Steelers franchise. You just need to peruse the wake-up call to find out why ...
RAVENS: Baltimore is looking to figure out a way to end its slow starts. The Ravens have managed three first-quarter points over the past three games. That field goal came Sunday after the Chiefs fumbled at their own 42. According to The Baltimore Sun, over the last four games, the Ravens have totaled 168 yards on 43 plays, an average of 3.9 yards per play. "There are a lot of reasons. When you watch the tape, there are a lot of reasons," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Getting first downs, that's the key."
BENGALS: Cincinnati has to do a better job of running the ball and converting on third downs. There's another issue to put on the improvement list: holding onto the ball. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, of the Bengals' 10 turnovers (six interceptions and four fumbles), five have led to opponents touchdowns (including two interceptions returned for scores), one a field goal, three no scores and one at the end of the game where the opponent ran out the clock. "We’ve got to make sure that as we’re trying to gain more yardage we keep the ball secure," coach Marvin Lewis said. "The most important thing that we have is the football, and we have to possess it. Armon (Binns) gets up trying to run for more yardage after he stumbles on the throw. We’ve got to take care of the ball. Same thing with A.J. (Green) -- trying to get more yardage. We’ve got to do a good job of that."
STEELERS: Ben Roethlisberger is close to passing Terry Bradshaw as the Steelers' all-time leading passer and he could set the record Thursday night in Tennessee. In going against the NFL's 25th-ranked pass defense, Roethlisberger only needs 300 yards to eclipse the club record of 27,989 yards. "It's an awesome honor, you know?" Roethlisberger told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Shoot, a storied franchise and he's The Guy, the face of this. I know there's a lot of '70s Steelers, but, when you're talking about quarterbacks and offense and stuff, he's the guy. To have an opportunity to break another record -- and this one is a pretty big one." Bradshaw played 14 seasons. Roethlisberger will break the record before he reaches the halfway point of his ninth season.
BROWNS: The 62-yard pass from Brandon Weeden to Josh Gordon was the fourth-longest touchdown pass by a Browns rookie quarterback and the longest since 1999, when Tim Couch hit Terry Kirby on a 78-yarder on Nov. 28. Gordon's only other catch was a 20-yard touchdown in what could be a breakout game for the rookie receiver. “Personally, I think it was something that I need to get done for myself," Gordon told the Akron Beacon Journal. "But I really have my mind set on team goals and aspirations and really just battling and trying to get a win. When I contribute to a win, that’s when I’ll consider it a breakout game.”