The Ravens head to Seattle after coming off a huge win in Pittsburgh. There are other key match-up’s in the AFC North:
Pittsburgh (6-3) @ Cincinnati (6-2)
Big match-up in the AFC North and a good test for Cincinnati. Cincinnati hits the meat of their schedule and it starts with Pittsburgh. In fact, the Bengals face 4 division rivals in a row; Pittsburgh, at Baltimore, Cleveland and then a rematch at Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh are not happy after losing to the Ravens. Ben Roethlisberger is having a MVP type season and Mike Wallace is super dangerous.
Key match-ups: Rookie Andy Dalton vs. Steelers pass rush. James Harrison is back and gave the Ravens problems. How will Andy Dalton respond to Pittsburgh’s zone blitzing schemes? Another key is how the Bengals secondary does against Ben Roethlisberger and his speedy receivers.
Projected Score: Pittsburgh 27 – Cincinnati 23
Notes: Tough game to pick, wouldn’t be surprised if the Bengals pulled out a ‘W’ at home. Though the Steelers defense allowed a Ravens comeback, the unit is still stingy and the offense can score points. Should be one of the better games on Sunday.
St. Louis (1-7) @ Cleveland (3-5)
Cleveland sits 4th in the AFC North and they need to string together some wins in a hurry. Good news for Cleveland, their passing defense is ranked 1st (165.3 yards per game). The bad news their run defense is ranked 30th, allowing an average of 144 yard per game. Last week in Houston they gave up a ton of yards; Arian Foster gained 124 yards and Ben Tate 115 yards. The week before the 49ers Frank Gore had 134 yards on the ground.
Now Cleveland faces the Rams rejuvenated rushing attack of Steven Jackson. The Rams are playing better lately mostly due to Jackson’s dominance in games. Jackson has 289 rushing yards the last two weeks. The Rams run defense is worse, but who’s going to run the ball for Cleveland?
Key Match up: Rams running back Steven Jackson vs. Cleveland’s run defense.
Projected Score: St. Louis 20 – Cleveland 17
Notes: Not liking the fact the Browns can’t run the ball and especially can’t stop the run. To matters worse, Cleveland’s safety TJ Ward might have to sit this one out (foot injury). The Rams haven’t won a road game yet, this Sunday they just might.