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Friday, November 21, 2008
Audibles: AFC North Week 12 preview

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Philadelphia Eagles (5-4-1) at Baltimore Ravens (6-4), 1 p.m. ET

The Baltimore Ravens look to bounce back Sunday in a big game against the Philadelphia Eagles. This game has playoff implications for both teams fighting for wild-card spots in its respective conferences.

Baltimore had its four-game winning streak snapped last week against the New York Giants. But the outcome was not nearly as surprising as the way New York had its way with the Ravens' defense, rushing for 207 yards.

Despite the Ravens' struggles, they still have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 29 straight games, which is an NFL best. Eagles running back Brian Westbrook drives the engine in Philadelphia and stuffing him is key for Baltimore. Philadelphia is 3-1-1 this year when Westbrook rushes for 60 yards or more.

The Eagles have looked tired since giving it their all two weeks ago in a 36-31 loss to the Giants. After that game, Philadelphia was lethargic and disinterested in last weekend's 13-13 tie with the Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore could be catching the Eagles at the right time with distractions surrounding the futures of head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Houston Texans (3-7) at Cleveland Browns (4-6), 1 p.m. ET

Despite a short week, the Cleveland Browns feel they're on the rebound entering Sunday's contest against the Houston Texans. Cleveland broke a two-game losing streak last week against the Buffalo Bills on "Monday Night Football."

Browns quarterback Brady Quinn has been up and down thus far, but he has zero turnovers and is 1-1 in two career starts. His lack of mistakes allows Cleveland to stay close in games. Both of Quinn's starts have come down to the final possession.

One of the biggest differences between last year's Cleveland team and this year's team is the inability to win at home. The Browns were a stellar 7-1 at home in 2007 but are just 1-4 in Cleveland this season.

The Browns will continue playing the spoiler role with three consecutive games against AFC South opponents. Following Sunday's game, Cleveland hosts the Indianapolis Colts (6-4) Nov. 30, then travels to play the Tennessee Titans (10-0) Dec. 7.