AFC North: Final Word AFC 2011 Week 11

Final Word: AFC North

November, 18, 2011
11/18/11
1:30
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 11:

Struggles against Bengals: Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has yet to figure out the Bengals' Cover 2 defense. In his past four games against Cincinnati, he's thrown two touchdowns and nine interceptions. His quarterback rating against the Bengals during that stretch is 52.8. The worst regular-season game of his career came at Cincinnati a year ago when he was picked off four times. What works in Flacco's favor this time is the Bengals' cornerbacks are different. Johnathan Joseph went to Houston as a free agent, and Leon Hall went down with a season-ending injury last Sunday. He'll be throwing against Nate Clements and Kelly Jennings on Sunday.

[+] EnlargeMaurice-Jones Drew
Grant Halverson/Getty ImagesThe Browns' 30th-ranked run defense will face a stiff test against Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew.
Struggles against the run: If you're the Cleveland Browns, one of the last running backs you want to face is Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew, who has gained 100 yards rushing in two of his past three games. Comparatively, the Browns have allowed an NFL-worst six running backs to crack 100 yards in eight games this season. No other defense has allowed more than four running backs to do this, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The struggles on run defense are surprising because the Browns have been so strong up the middle with defensive tackles Ahtyba Rubin and Phillip Taylor along with middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. Cleveland ranks 30th in run defense.

Protecting the rookie: A major reason why Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton has succeeded this season has been his offensive line. The Bengals have allowed 13 sacks for the season, which is tied for third fewest in the NFL, and have given up just two over the past four games. The Bengals' protection will get tested by the Ravens, one of the most aggressive defenses this year. Baltimore has recorded the third most sacks in the league with 27. At Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium, where teams are often forced to use the silent count, the Ravens have had 16 sacks in four games.

Not cooking at home: The Browns have gone back-to-back home games without scoring a touchdown, and the last time they've gone three straight without reaching the end zone at home was the end of the 2008 season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The last Browns touchdown at Cleveland was seven weeks ago against Tennessee. The touchdown drought at Cleveland Browns Stadium has lasted 25 consecutive drives. That's only four short of the winless Colts, who have the NFL's longest current one at home (according to STATS LLC). Cleveland plays Sunday against the Jaguars, who have allowed the sixth-fewest points in the league (18.4 points).

Grounded by the 4-3: The Ravens are 1-3 against teams that play the 4-3 defense (the only win coming at St. Louis). The biggest problem has been running against the four-man front. In losses to Tennessee, Jacksonville and Seattle -- all of which run the 4-3 -- Baltimore's running backs have averaged 38 yards per game and 3.1 yards per carry. The Ravens have yet to score a rushing touchdown against a 4-3 defense this season. Now comes the showdown with the Bengals, who just happen to line up in the 4-3 defense. Cincinnati has the NFL's second best run defense, holding teams to 86.8 yards on the ground.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider