AFC North Week 12 Recap

AFC North Week 12 Recap
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The Steelers offense could move at will but turnovers cost them.
By late Monday night, the AFC North playoff and draft picture became clearer for the top and bottom AFC North teams, while the Steelers find themselves at the bottom of four 6-5 teams battling for two wildcard spots. The Bengals are clinging to the 2 seed, and the Browns and Ravens are currently drafting #2 and #8, respectively.
St. Louis Rams @ Cincinnati Bengals
This game was never in doubt. The only question was how the Bengals would start the game after two sub-par primetime affairs. There were a few semi-anxious moments early in the 2nd quarter, but the Bengals scored on their opening drive and never really looked back.
The Bengals rolled over the Rams like they should have. Concerning their ultimate goal of a 1st round bye,the Broncos beat the Patriots, meaning that Cinci’s chances will likely come down to a… wait for it… a prime time game in Denver on December 28th. If Peyton Manning does play, it’s anyone’s game. If he doesn’t, Denver may have the advantage.
Next up, the Bengals travel to Cleveland to face a quarterback to-be-determined.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Seattle Seahawks
With Seattle’s recent defensive reputation, and Pittsburgh’s historical reputation, it only makes sense that the game ended with 69 points and nearly 1,000 yards of offense. The Seahawks sealed this one late as “kick or not to kick” decisions continue to haunt the Steelers.
The biggest difference in the game was the 4-0 turnover disadvantage for the Steelers as they led in most other offensive categories. The other major factor was that Seattle scored touchdowns and Pittsburgh settled for fieldgoals in three of their six scoring drives, two from close range. Speaking of place kicking, not a loss seems to go by without puzzling kicking decisions by the Steelers head coach, whether its an ill-timed fake, a point after TD decision, or a kick or go-for-it scenario. This game included them all, and in hindsight, they were all the wrong choices.
Next up, the Steelers host Indy in what should be their 7th win.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns

This game wasn’t pretty but it was competitive and exciting at the end. Matt Schaub tried to give the Browns the win, but the Browns decided against it.
For the Browns, the loss put them in solid position for a top two draft pick, while the Ravens “dropped” from 2nd to 8th in the 2016 draft with the unlikely win. They do keep their paper thin playoff hopes alive, although after watching them play on offense and defense, it would take nothing less than devine intervention to make that happen. As far as the questionable ending is concerned, the Ravens may not have been offsides after all as the line of scrimage was allegedly not accurarely portraid in the circulating internet photo. As bad as the refs have been this season, it wouldn’t be the first time a post game still photo has been misinterpreted by AFC North fans or media.
Next up, the Browns host the Bengals, and the Ravens head to South Beach to play in front of hundreds of screaming fins fans.

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