Audibles: AFC North Week 13 preview

November, 28, 2008
11/28/08
3:15
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Baltimore Ravens (7-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-9-1), 1 p.m. ET

The Baltimore Ravens will try to avoid a trap game on the road Sunday against the struggling Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore beat the Bengals 17-10 in the season opener for both teams, which jump-started the Ravens and sent Cincinnati into a season-long spiral.

Baltimore currently holds the No. 6 seed in the AFC and cannot afford to drop winnable games like this one down the stretch.

Sunday also marks the highly anticipated return of Ravens veteran tackle Willie Anderson, who spent 12 years of his career in Cincinnati before being cut earlier this season. Anderson has been one of the better and most recognizable players for the Bengals during all their struggles for more than a decade.

Indianapolis Colts (7-4) at Cleveland Browns (4-7), 1 p.m. ET

Former starting quarterback Derek Anderson is back in the saddle when the Cleveland Browns host the Indianapolis Colts. This comes after Brady Quinn shut it down for the season after breaking his right index finger.

Essentially, this serves as a five-game audition for Anderson, who could be traded in the offseason or could have a shot to remain the starter in Cleveland based on his performance.

But Cleveland is experiencing complete turmoil right now as everyone -- from the players to the head coach to front-office executives -- appears to be fighting for his job.

The Browns are one of the worst NFL teams at home this year at 1-5 and the Colts hope to take advantage. Another trend going against Cleveland is that the Manning brothers -- Peyton and Eli -- are 5-1 against the AFC North this year.

The Browns are the only team in their division to beat a Manning this season. Cleveland upset Eli Manning and the New York Giants on Oct. 13.

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) at New England Patriots (7-4), 4:15 p.m. ET

The New England Patriots have had the Pittsburgh Steelers' number over the years. The Steelers hope to benefit from the absence of Tom Brady when these two teams meet in one of the best matchups of the weekend.

But Matt Cassel has been no pushover. In his first opportunity to play in the NFL, he's filled in well for Brady and is improving every week. He has thrown for over 400 yards the last two games, and he'll try to make it three-straight against Pittsburgh's top-ranked defense.

The Steelers have to be concerned about stopping the red-hot Randy Moss, who has 151 yards and four touchdowns in his last two games. Reggie Wayne of the Indianapolis Colts is the only receiver to gain over 100 yards in a game against Pittsburgh this year.

Pittsburgh had 10 days off to prepare for this game, which could be key. The Steelers are getting healthy and currently own a one-game lead over the Ravens in the AFC North.

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