Week 13 is going to be a big one for the AFC North. In fact, the division race could be wrapped up if the Ravens can take down the Steelers. There are 3 teams with legitimate shots at the playoffs and every win is crucial. These are the keys to victory for each team in week 13.
Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens face off against the Steelers in an AFC North battle that could clinch the division for Baltimore. Ben Roethlisberger is still uncertain, but I think they key to victory remains the same: limiting the Steelers on 3rd down.
Of course, if Charlie Batch is the quarterback in black and yellow, that makes the job much easier. Baltimore has been less than impressive statistically, but they somehow manage to come out with wins each week. If they can limit the Steeler damage on 3rd down they’ll do it again this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers: This week is do or die for the Steelers. It’s unlikely they’ll win a wildcard spot so they need this game more than ever. Their key victory is going to be stopping the run. They have been one of the best teams in the NFL at doing that this year and if they can shut down Ray Rice they’ll have a great shot at winning.
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Joe Flacco has been good, but he isn’t going to be able to drive up and down the field on the best passing defense in the NFL. If they can force him to throw the ball more than Jim Harbaugh wants, the Steelers will win this game and will live to fight another day in the division.
Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals have officially turned their season around. They’ve won three straight and look to make it four as they head to San Diego this week. Their key to victory is BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Green-Ellis has been on a tear lately. If he can continue his effective running against the Chargers he’ll be able to take the heat off Andy Dalton and the offense will click. Really, Green-Ellis and the rushing attack of the Bengals is the key to them completing this incredible charge that could lead them into the playoffs.
Cleveland Browns: The Browns got a gift of a win against the Steelers by being given 8 turnovers, but they’ll take what they can get. Luckily of them, they take on one of the only teams I have below them in my power rankings this week. They can legitimately go into Oakland and win the game.
Like the Bengals, the rushing game is the key to victory this week. Trent Richardson has been living up to his hype and he needs to continue because Brandon Weeden has left a lot to be desired. If Richardson can rack up a hundred yards or so, the Bengals could win this game.