Tuesday, November 1, 2011
AFC North Game Balls
By Jamison Hensley
We're handing out game balls after Week 8 and here is who's getting them:
OFFENSE: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin is a worthy candidate because he led the comeback charge, but Roethlisberger was dominant from start to finish. In beating the Patriots (in a game that wasn't as close as the final score indicated), he was the game's best offensive player (365 yards and two touchdowns) and defensive one (he kept Tom Brady off the field for nearly 40 minutes). Who needs a running game when Roethlisberger is slinging the ball like this?
DEFENSE: Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. One reason why the Ravens' offense was able to come back Sunday was because Suggs shut down the Cardinals drive after drive. He spent more time in the Arizona backfield than Beanie Wells, finishing with 13 tackles (four for losses), one sack and two quarterback hits. Suggs was upset because he could have had a couple of more sacks. That's the difference with him this season -- he's not satisfied.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Bengals punt returners. Adam Jones' 63-yard runback set up Cincinnati's first touchdown, and Brandon Tate's 56-yard touchdown made it a two-score game in the fourth quarter. It marked the Bengals' first punt return for a score since 2003 when Peter Warrick did it. All three phases -- offense, defense and special teams -- are starting to click for Cincinnati.