The Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals renew their heated rivalry in a matchup most prognosticators believe will ultimately decide the AFC North. The Ravens, meanwhile, have long used their season series against the Browns as a springboard to the postseason.
There's seemingly no surefire recipe for success in building an NFL secondary, but one thing could become abundantly clear when the Ravens face the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have found a formula that works for them, while the Ravens haven't.
The Ravens' 20-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns in front of an announced 71,070 at M&T Bank Stadium, combined with the Chargers' 19-7 loss to the Chiefs, sends the Ravens to the playoffs for the sixth time in John Harbaugh's seven seasons.
Should Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel be taunted by the Cincinnati Bengals defense during his first NFL start Sunday, the former Heisman Trophy winner says he's now better equipped to maintain his composure.
Four days before the Ravens play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium, Steve Smith was reflective. In a couple of months with his new team, he's established himself as quarterback Joe Flacco's go-to target with more than double the receiving yards than the next closest Raven. Smith has quieted some of the talk that he is in steady decline.
Some sports name three stars of the game after the game. I'll do that one better: I'm going to name them before the Ravens even play. These will be the three stars of the game when the Ravens (1-1) travel to Cleveland for a third straight division matchup against the 1-1 Browns.
In his first three NFL seasons, the 2011 first-round draft pick fought injuries and inconsistency, but it was his defense in the end zone on San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree that helped preserve the Ravens' victory in Super Bowl XLVII.
Now, Smith is honoring his late brother, Tevin Jones, by announcing a scholarship fund in his name Saturday during halftime of a Battle of the Beltway charity basketball game at Comcast Center on the University of Maryland campus.