AFC North: 2012 Week 2 coverage

Wrap-up: Steelers 27, Jets 10

September, 16, 2012
Thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers' 27-10 win over the New York Jets on Sunday at Heinz Field.

What it means: The Steelers avoided their first 0-2 start in a decade and moved into a first-place tie with the Ravens and Bengals, all of whom are 1-1. The Pittsburgh defense didn't just show it could survive without two former NFL Defensive Players of the Year, linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu, the Steelers proved they could dominate without them, holding the Jets to 219 total yards.

Roethlisberger looks like Roethlisberger: A week after throwing an interception returned for a touchdown, Ben Roethlisberger looked like his old self in the home opener. The Jets were successful in getting pressure on Roethlisberger, but he did his trademark moves to shrug off defenders and complete passes downfield. Connecting with 10 players, Roethlisberger was 24 of 31 for 275 yards and two touchdowns.

Rude homecoming for Holmes: It looked like Santonio Holmes was going to get the better of his former team when the Jets wide receiver caught a 14-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. That was one of the last times anyone heard from Holmes. Shadowed by Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor, Holmes had one catch in the final three quarters. Taylor was flagged for pass interference in the second half, but he never touched Holmes. It was an embarrassing call by the replacement referees.

Closing it out: The Steelers never abandoned the running game even though they had good reason to do so. After getting very little out of the ground game for three quarters, Pittsburgh ran the ball eight times for 31 yards in a marathon fourth-quarter drive that took 10 minutes, 13 seconds off the clock. It was the longest drive in terms of time for the Steelers in five years. Isaac Redman broke several tackles on that grind-it-out series, including the two-yard touchdown run. Pittsburgh dominated time of possession, 36:36 to 23:14.

What's next: The Steelers make their second trip to an AFC West opponent in the first three weeks of the season, traveling to Oakland. The Raiders are 0-2 for the first time since 2007.

Wrap up: Eagles 24, Ravens 23

September, 16, 2012

Thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens' 24-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

What it means: For the third straight season, the Ravens fell to 1-1 after failing to follow up a strong performance in the season opener. Baltimore, which had never trailed in the second half, couldn't stop Michael Vick on a third-and-goal, 1-yard sneak that put the Eagles ahead with 1:55 remaining. On their final drive, the Ravens never crossed midfield as Joe Flacco went 2-of-6, including an incompletion to Ray Rice on fourth down. It closed out a game filled with fights, turnovers and Eagles injuries.

Flacco falters: Flacco had a strong six quarters to begin the season, but he struggled mightily in the second half. He was 8-of-25 for 140 yards after halftime. It started with his first drive in the third quarter, when he was intercepted throwing into triple coverage. Flacco's best throw, a touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones, was negated by a questionable offensive pass-interference penalty.

Tucker's strong leg: Justin Tucker delivered three long kicks: 56, 51 and 48 yards. His 56-yarder before halftime was four yards longer than his career best in college. Last season, then-Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff was 1-of-6 on kicks of more than 50 yards.

Slipping at goal line: The Ravens came up with three turnovers in the red zone, including an interception by Bernard Pollard (who was later injured and didn't return) in the end zone and a forced fumble by Lardarius Webb. But Baltimore couldn't make critical stops at the goal line. Two of the Eagles' touchdowns came from 1 yard out, including Vick's game winner.

What's next: The Ravens play their second prime-time game when they play host to the New England Patriots on Sunday night. It's a rematch of last season's AFC Championship Game. But wide receiver Lee Evans and Cundiff are no longer on the Ravens. The Patriots were upset at home by the Arizona Cardinals 20-18 on Sunday.

Wrap-up: Bengals 34, Browns 27

September, 16, 2012

Thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals' 34-27 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

What it means: The Bengals (1-1) rebounded from a disappointing season-opening loss to win their fourth straight in the Battle of Ohio. Unlike last year, the Bengals didn't need to come back in the fourth quarter. Cincinnati took the lead on Adam Jones' 81-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter and held off a rare solid effort by the Cleveland offense. This was the 11th straight loss in the AFC North for the Browns (0-2).

Bengals receivers step up: The stat sheet will say Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes. Take a closer look and you'll see how much Cincinnati's receivers delivered on those scores. There was a 10-yarder to A.J. Green, who ran through Dimitri Patterson's tackle; a 44-yarder to Brandon Tate, who got behind safety Eric Hagg; and a 50-yarder to Andrew Hawkins, who weaved through the Browns' defense after a short pass.

Impressed yet, Rey Maualuga? Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson played inspired with 109 yards rushing, 36 yards receiving and two touchdowns. This came after Maualuga described Richardson's debut last week as "nothing spectacular." His 23-yard touchdown catch-and-run, which featured several broken tackles, pulled the Browns to within 24-17 in the third quarter. Richardson became the first Browns rookie since Lee Suggs in the 2003 finale against the Bengals to go over 100 yards in a game.

Dalton shows toughness: Despite getting sacked six times, Dalton completed 24 of 31 passes for 318 yards. It marked the third 300-yard passing game of Dalton's career. The efforts by Dalton and Richardson overshadowed Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, who was 26-of-37 for 322 yards and two touchdowns.

What's next: The Browns return home to play the Buffalo Bills. The Bengals go back to the mid-Atlantic area for the second time in three weeks with a trip to the Washington Redskins.