Final Word: AFC North

October, 14, 2011
10/14/11
1:30
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 6:

Get defensive early: The Pittsburgh defense is slow. Well, to be specific, the defensive players are slow starters. The Steelers have allowed three opening-drive scores in their first five games, two of which for touchdowns. This is a surprising trend considering it's a veteran defense and it's never been a problem before. Last season, Pittsburgh gave up three opening-drive touchdowns in 19 games. The Steelers will look to reverse this against the Jaguars, who have scored two of their five offensive touchdowns this season on their opening drive.

[+] EnlargeJohn Harbaugh and the Ravens host the 3-2 Texans in Week 6.
Icon SMIJohn Harbaugh and the Ravens host the 3-2 Texans in Week 6.
Regain momentum: Few teams have been as dominant as the Ravens coming off a week of rest. Baltimore is 3-0 following byes under coach John Harbaugh, winning by an average margin of 19 points. But the bye couldn't have come at a worse time for the Ravens, who were dominant in their first three wins of the season. The challenge for the Ravens is to regain that momentum against a Texans team that starts fast. Houston has averaged nearly 10 points scored in the first quarter this season.

No holes in the Black Hole: The Browns rank 25th in rushing yards allowed and have given up at least 95 yards rushing to three backs in four games: Cedric Benson (121 yards), Daniel Thomas (95) and Chris Johnson (101). The test in playing at Oakland is containing the NFL's leading rusher, Darren McFadden, who has the most 20-plus yard runs in the league with seven. Cleveland is vulnerable on the edges because the defense lacks elite speed there. Still, the Browns have allowed two runs over 20 yards. Only four teams have given up fewer.

Give the Green light: A.J. Green shouldn't have to demand the ball Sunday against Indianapolis. The Bengals should already know that good things happen when they throw the ball to the fourth overall pick of the 2011 draft. In Cincinnati's three wins this season, he has been a big-play producer, averaging 24.9 yards on 10 catches. Of those 10 catches, three have gone for over 40 yards and two have resulted in touchdowns. Overall, Green leads NFL rookies with 402 receiving yards.

On the rebound: The last time Joe Flacco took the field, he completed 10 of 31 throws (32.3 percent) and failed to connect on passes in the second and third quarters. But Flacco typically doesn’t have poor back-to-back performances. In fact, he responds quite impressively. Over the past couple of years, Flacco has completed less than half of his passes three previous times. Here’s how he has followed them up in the next game: 62 percent completion rate, 293.6 yards passing, seven touchdowns and no interceptions.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

Insider