Some stats will really surprise you or make you think. They can also go against your preconceived notions of a team or player. These stats are the ones I find the most important for week 12 for the AFC North.
5. This is the number of games that the Ravens have won this season by a touchdown or less. Of their 10 games thus far, 6 have been within a touchdown and the Ravens have won 5 of those. This sat is remarkable to me and is a clear indication of the maturity and leadership on the field and in the coaching staff. Glancing at the statistical rankings, the Ravens have no business having so many wins. They aren’t in the top half of the NFL in rushing or passing offense or defense, yet they are 8-2. A team that is ranked 21st in total offense and 25th in total defense has the 3rd best record in the NFL. Very impressive job by John Harbaugh and the Ravens thus far.
109. This is how many more yards the Pittsburgh Steelers had than the Baltimore Ravens last week. For all intents and purposes, the Steelers controlled the game. On offense and defense they looked superior, even without Ben Roethlisberger. Yet they ended up losing a very crucial AFC North game. The biggest shot was taken by Jacoby Jones when he returned a 63 yard punt to the house in the first quarter. This was the only touchdown the Ravens scored on the day. The Steelers should be optimistic though, considering the stats indicate that they are better than their record. One thing is for sure, this loss makes their game in 2 weeks against the Ravens a must win if they want to make the playoffs.
409. This is the number of yards that the Cincinnati Bengals put up on the Chiefs this week. Now the Chiefs aren’t exactly great of defense, but they have put up a top 15 NFL defense so far. Also, the game was in Arrowhead where they tend to play much better. However, Andy Dalton and the Bengals came in and dominated the game from beginning to end. BenJarvus Green-Ellis had another good game and the defense played superb, holding the Chiefs to only 6 points. The Bengals have winnable games coming up on the schedule, if they can rattle of 3 more in a row they could play division rivals Pittsburgh and Baltimore for a shot at the playoffs in December.
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7. This is the number of sacks that the Browns defense tallied on the Cowboys this week. There isn’t a whole lot of great play going on in Cleveland, but this young defense is showing signs of maturing. Not only did they keep the Browns in the game, they gave them a chance to win it in overtime. Don’t get me wrong, this defense isn’t great right now. However, they are very young and very talented and are showing that they could be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.