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Around the AFC North: Week 15

Posted Dec 10, 2013

BALTIMORE (7-6)
The frantic finish in the Ravens’ 29-26 victory over the Vikings was one for the record books. Here’s what the Elias Sports Bureau came up with along those lines:

* It was the first game in NFL history with five go-ahead touchdowns in the final 2:30 of a fourth quarter.

* It was the first game in NFL history with six lead changes in the fourth quarter.

* And the five touchdowns in the final 2:05 were the five fastest touchdowns in the last 50 years.

The win was the 61st in the regular season for Ravens QB Joe Flacco, which moved Flacco ahead of Ben Roethlisberger (60 from 2004-09) for the most victories in NFL history over the first six years of a career. Flacco also achieved his 18th game-winning drive in a fourth quarter or overtime.

The Ravens accounted for three of the five touchdowns in the game-ending frenzy. They hadn’t scored three touchdowns in a game since Sept. 22. Baltimore also allowed two late touchdowns and has surrendered 54 fourth-quarter points in its last five games (only Detroit, Minnesota and Cleveland have allowed more over that span).

The Ravens had TE Dennis Pitta active (he caught a touchdown pass from Flacco with 2:01 remaining, and the subsequent two-point conversion put Baltimore up by 15-12). TE Dallas Clark was a healthy scratch.

OLB Elvis Dumervil (ankle) missed his first game since the 2011 season.

CINCINNATI (9-4)
LT Andrew Whitworth may have found a new home.

Whitworth replaced LG Clint Boling (knee/out for the season) early in the Bengals’ victory on Dec. 1, and Cincinnati wound up rushing for a season-high 164 yards. Whitworth stayed at LG for last Sunday’s game against the Colts, and the Bengals rushed for 155 yards in a 42-28 victory.

Rookie RB Giovani Bernard also had quite a day against Indianapolis by accounting for a season-best 148 total yards from scrimmage (99 rushing, 49 receiving). PR Brandon Tate averaged 18.3 yards on four punt returns, and that’s a season-high total for a multi-return game.

The Bengals were balanced against Indianapolis, with 35 runs and 35 passes, and they scored 40 or more points in a third consecutive home game for the first time in franchise history. Cincinnati had no sacks allowed and committed no turnovers in a game for the first time since its victory over the Steelers on Sept. 16.

S George Iloka (head) and CB Terence Newman (knee) left the game against Indianapolis and did not return. A preliminary report had Newman's injury as a sprained MCL that could cause him to miss one-to-three weeks.

CLEVELAND (4-9)
The Browns’ 27-26 loss to the Patriots was beyond agonizing.

Cleveland led 26-14 with 2:39 remaining in the fourth quarter but surrendered a touchdown with 1:01 to play, allowed an onside kick to be recovered by New England and then coughed up another TD. The Browns came up short on a 57-yard field goal attempt on the game’s final play.

“Trust me, it’s devastating,” LB Paul Kruger said.

The Cleveland collapse included a personal foul penalty on the first touchdown in New England’s rally – a penalty that moved the onside kick attempt to the 50-yard line – and a pass interference call that set up the Patriots’  game-winning score.

“I think they were both terrible calls,” Kruger said. “I think we got robbed a little bit.”

WR Josh Gordon remained prolific by finishing with 151 receiving yards and a team-leading 34 rushing yards. Gordon has 774 receiving yards and five touchdowns over his last four games. The four-game total is an NFL record, and included among the touchdowns are 95- and 80-yard efforts.

QB Jason Campbell returned from missing time with a concussion and finished with 391 passing yards, three touchdowns and a passer rating of 116.8

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