Friday, November 12, 2010
Final Word: AFC North
By James Walker
Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 10:
Expect Jets receiver Braylon Edwards to be excited to play in Cleveland, where his career began.
Braylon Edwards returns: The Cleveland Browns should expect a motivated Braylon Edwards when they host the New York Jets Sunday. As a former first-round pick of the Browns, Edwards developed a reputation as a "bright-lights player" during his tenure in Cleveland. Despite his inconsistency, when the spotlight was on, Edwards usually was at his best. Although this isn't a prime-time game, this is a big one for Edwards, who wants revenge after being traded by the Browns. He also felt mistreated by Cleveland fans. The Browns should expect his best effort. Edwards has 25 receptions for 453 yards and five touchdowns with the Jets.
Fourth-quarter woes: If the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots comes down to the final quarter, the advantage could be for New England. According to ESPN's Stats and Information, Pittsburgh has the NFL's No. 2 defense in the first three quarters, but is ranked last in yards allowed in the fourth quarter. Last week the Steelers led the Bengals, 27-7, on "Monday Night Football." Cincinnati scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, but an incomplete pass to rookie Jordan Shipley ended a late rally. Pittsburgh's late struggles on defense date to last season.
The Palmer rollercoaster: Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer has yet to put consecutive quality starts together. He will try to accomplish that feat against the Indianapolis Colts. In three previous outings this season when Palmer had a passer rating of 80.0 or higher, his average rating was an abysmal 60.6 in the following game. Palmer posted a respectable 88.7 passer rating against Pittsburgh and will need to perform well again to have a chance against the Peyton Manning-led Colts.
Getting Ocho involved: Bengals Pro Bowl receiver Chad Ochocinco blew up on national television last week after catching just one pass for 15 yards against Pittsburgh. His frustration boiled over toward Palmer, and Ochocinco was briefly benched. To avoid this from happening again, Cincinnati's coaching staff must find a way to get Ochocinco involved. Yes, Ochocinco is getting most of the coverage, which has freed up Terrell Owens to have a big season. But little wrinkles such as quick outs, hitches and screens are creative ways the Bengals can get Ochocinco the football.