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Friday, October 12, 2012
Wake-up: D'Qwell Jackson expects to play

By Jamison Hensley

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Ravens were criticized for winning ugly Sunday in Kansas City. My guess is the Steelers would take a win instead of the pain of losing on a game-ending field goal in Tennessee. The same goes for the Bengals, who were upset by the Dolphins on Sunday. Another frustrating road loss kept the Steelers (2-3) firmly in third place, two games behind the Ravens (4-1) and one game back of the Bengals (3-2). After a late-night game, I hope everyone is ready for their wake-up call ...

RAVENS: It's unlikely that the Ravens will put Bryant McKinnie back into the starting lineup despite the struggles of left tackle Michael Oher on Sunday, a source told The Baltimore Sun. When asked about his prospects for playing time, McKinnie said, "I do have a feeling like I have a good chance of playing later this season." Oher has to bounce back against one of the best pass-rushers in the league, Dallas' DeMarcus Ware, who has five sacks and three forced fumbles this season.

BENGALS: Tight end Jermaine Gresham is on pace to have his best season. But he's still disappointed with his results. “In the sense where I’m at league-wise, to me I’m just an average tight end in this league,” Gresham told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I’m just trying to do something that separates myself from the others and try to put myself there with the elite.” He is on pace for career highs in receptions (70) and yards (714).

STEELERS: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ron Cook thinks the Steelers have the look of a .500 team at best and certainly not a playoff one. "The Steelers got what they deserved," Cook wrote. "It just wouldn't have been right if they had won this game. There is a bit of good news. The Steelers don't play again until a week from Sunday night against the Bengals in Cincinnati. It's a good thing they have the extra time between games. They have so much to improve."

BROWNS: Middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson returned to practice Thursday and expects to play against the Bengals. That's good news for the 26th-ranked run defense. After Jackson left with a head injury against the Giants, running back Ahmad Bradshaw gained 135 of his 200 yards, according to The Plain Dealer. "When the bleeding starts we have to sew it up quick," Jackson said. "It's every guy doing their job and not panicking. . . . It's about playing sound, consistent football."