AFC North: 2010 Week 5 Wrap-ups

Wrap-up: Falcons 20, Browns 10

October, 10, 2010
Here are some thoughts on the Atlanta Falcons' victory over the Cleveland Browns:

What it means: The Browns cannot string together two straight wins, which likely will be a challenge for this team all season. Cleveland failed to build off the momentum of beating the Cincinnati Bengals at home with its fourth loss of the season on Sunday. In what's been a common theme, Cleveland was outplayed in the second half in a game that was closer than the final score.

What I liked: Cleveland's defense gave up a decent amount of yards, but not a lot of points. The Browns held Atlanta's talented offense to just 13 points, which could be enough to win for most teams. The Browns also stuffed Atlanta on all three trips to the red zone.

What I didn't like: The Browns couldn't run the football, and that put too much pressure on the passing game. Peyton Hillis, who has a thigh injury, didn't look himself and registered just 28 yards on 10 carries. That forced the Browns to throw the football 39 times and it caught up to them when quarterback Jake Delhomme threw a costly pick-six that put the game away. Delhomme entered the game after Seneca Wallace injured his ankle.

What's next: The Browns travel to play the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first game for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Injuries are mounting for the Browns, and now they have even more questions at quarterback.

Wrap-up: Buccaneers 24, Bengals 21

October, 10, 2010
Here are some thoughts on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 24-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals:

What it means: The reigning AFC North champions look more like pretenders than contenders. The Bengals are in a funk, losing two in a row and falling to 2-3 on the season. Cincinnati entered the year with high expectations. But with the Baltimore Ravens (4-1) and Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) both playing well, Cincinnati is quickly falling behind in the division race.

What I liked: Bengals running back Cedric Benson finally got it going against a Bucs defense which has struggled against the rush. Benson rushed for 144 yards on 23 carries and averaged 6.3 yards per carry. Cincinnati's offensive line is built to run the football and this was the best running performance of the season.

What I didn't like: The Bengals let a fourth-quarter lead slip away at home, as Tampa pulled off 10 straight points with less than two minutes left in the win. Also, in what's becoming a weekly occurrence, the Bengals were too sloppy and inconsistent. Cincinnati had nine penalties and four turnovers, including a pick six thrown by Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer, who had three interceptions total.

What's next: Cincinnati enters the bye week sputtering and with plenty of problems to fix. The Bengals' season now reaches a critical stage. They have a tough upcoming schedule that likely will make or break this year, starting with an Oct. 24 road game against the Atlanta Falcons (4-1).