Scouting the AFC North: Ravens Remain Atop, & Troy Polamalu Declared Out vs Titans


Oct 7, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce (30) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry (29) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Baltimore won the game 9-6. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

In the AFC North on Sunday, the Ravens headed to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs, while the Steelers hosted the Eagles, and the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants hosted the win-less Browns, meaning the entire division had 1 p.m. kickoffs on Sunday.

The Eagles had a chance to take an early 7-0 lead, but Michael Vick fumbled at the 1-yard line as it was recovered by Pittsburgh for a touchback. The Steelers would finally strike first with a 20-yard TD pass from Ben Roethlisberger to returning starting RB Rashard Mendenhall to give Pitt a 7-0 lead. Mendenhall also rushed for 81 yards and a TD as he scored both Steelers TDs in his 2012 debut, but the Steelers were still trailing 14-13 with 6:33 remaining. On the Steerls final drive,  Ben Roethlisberger converted a pair third-downs during a 64-yard drive over the final 6:33 and Shaun Suisham booted in the game-winning 34-yard field goal as time expired to give the Steelers  a 16-14 victory.

The win didn’t come without setbacks however, as safety Troy Polamalu re injured his calf and has already been declared out for this week against the Titans.

In one other noteworthy stat, Eagles QB Michael Vick eclipsed 150 career touchdowns (117 passing, 34 rushing).

After an early fumble by the Giants, the Browns capitalized on a Trent Richardson TD-run to give them an early 7-0 lead. Rookie QB Brandon Weeden would later hit rookie WR Josh Gordan on a 66-yard TD pass to increase the lead to 14-0, but wound up trailing 27-17 at the half. The Browns would lose MLB D’Qwell Jackson to a head injury late in the first half, and the Giants would take advantage, rushing for 243 yards on 34 carries en route to a 41-27 victory.

Browns WR Greg Little had several more drops, and now has just 11 catches on 27 targets this season, the worst target-to-catch ration in the NFL for a starting receiver.

The Ravens and Chiefs played a sloppy first-half that saw both teams tied at 3 at halftime. After allowing Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles to explode in the first-half for 125 rushing yards on 20 carries, the Ravens defense stiffened in the second-half as he gained just 15 yards on 10 carries after halftime. The Ravens would muster up just enough offense to squeak out a 9-6 victory.

By day’s end, the Ravens remained atop the AFC north at 4-1, while the Bengals dropped to second-place at 3-2, with the Steelers remaining at third with a 2-2 mark. The Browns remained the leagues’ only winless team at 0-5 as they head home to host the Bengals for round 2 of the Battle of Ohio.

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