The AFC North performed decently in Week 11, compiling a 2-2 record. Cincinnati won its second straight by beating the Chiefs, the Browns dropped a close one to the Cowboys in overtime, and the Ravens edged the Steelers in the marquee game of the week. Some guys had career games and played huge roles in their team’s effort; I’ll hand out my week 11 game balls below.
Baltimore Ravens: Dannelle Ellerbe isn’t the first guy who comes to mind when thinking about the Raven defense but he came up big against the Steelers this week. With the absence of Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, Ellerbe is getting a lot more action lately. He helped the Ravens hold the Steeler running backs to only 134 yards. As I mentioned last week, the key to victory for the Ravens was to stop the Steeler run game and Ellerbe did that. He racked up a career high 12 tackles, 8 of which were solo. His big performance forced the Steelers to throw the ball more than they wanted, and ultimately helped his team win the game.
Pittsburgh Steelers: The defensive unit played well against the Ravens, however my game ball goes to Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders had a huge game tallying up 82 yards in the loss. The reason he gets my game ball however though is because the Steelers needed some aid from receivers to help out Byron Leftwich. Sanders definitely did his duty, unfortunately it wasn’t enough to overcome the loss.
Cincinnati Bengals: The Law Firm, BenJarvus Green-Ellis gets my game ball for week 11. Against the Chiefs, all the Bengals needed to do was control the ball and not make big mistakes and they would come out with a win. Ellis did more than that, he racked up 101 yards and a touchdown to take all the pressure off of Dalton and the passing game. The Bengals are dark horse playoff contenders and if they want to make a real run at it, they need Ellis to continue his good running.
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Cleveland Browns: My game ball this week goes to Trent Richardson. Although he didn’t blow up the stat book, he had a very efficient game of 95 yards rushing and 49 yards receiving. His rushing success is exactly what the Browns need if they’re going to get this team back on track. Richardson has been pretty underwhelming thus far, but if he can continue to put up numbers like this he will emerge as one of the top running backs in the league and will lead the Browns to a few wins.