They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Behind Enemy Lines brings you your weekly recap of the rest of the AFC North, as the Ravens strive to be back on top of the division.
Result: L 14-28 @ Dallas Cowboys
The hot and cold season of A.J. Green continues. After bringing in 10 catches for 173 yards and a score last week, Green was held to just 50 yards on four catches in Dallas. Meanwhile, Brandon LaFell picked up the slack, gathering 68 yards and two TD.
It was a tough game for the Bengals, as they failed to score until the 4th quarter. Outside of the fourth quarter, their offensive series went: punt, punt, punt, punt, missed FG, punt. Both scores came after they were down 28-0 and could be considered “garbage time.” Those two touchdown drives also made up 136 of their total 345 yards.
It wasn’t turnovers that killed the Bengals; instead it was a classic bend-but-don’t-break defense from the Cowboys. However, they stopped the bending right before the Bengals could reach field goal range. Overall, it was a forgettable game for the Bengals offense.
A week after the Bengals tortured Ryan Tannehill, they were absolutely lit up by rookie Dak Prescott. There is no denying Prescott is skilled and the offensive line of the Cowboys has its reputation for a reason, but the lack of pressure on Prescott allowed him to make easy throws from start to finish.
Making matters worse, rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott gained 134 yards on just 15 carries with two TD. The Bengals defense, which boasts a very formidable front-seven, had no answers, as holes were repeatedly opened.
This rookie combination of the Cowboys is starting to look very dangerous after making a mockery of the Bengals.
Brandon LaFell – 8 catches, 68 yards, 2 TD. It’s always great for a team when their #1 receiver is put on lockdown and their #2 picks up the slack. Great game from Lafell.
Look forward to Week 6:
The Bengals’ road gets no easier, as they head to Foxborough for a date with a Patriots team that looked fantastic with Tom Brady back at QB. This could either be another nightmare for the Bengals or a statement that they will be able to compete in the AFC.
Result: W 31-13 vs. New York Jets
The Steelers continue to dominate at home. After beating up on the Chiefs last week, the Steelers welcomed the New York Jets for more of the same.
Ben Roethlisberger finished with 380 yards and four TD, Le’Veon Bell put together 154 all-purpose yards and Sammie Coates went off for 139 yards and two TD. Of course, Antonio Brown had to chip in a score on 78 yards.
This Steelers offense once again showed why they are one of the best in the league. It helped that Roethlisberger was only sacked once. Hopefully the Ravens OL can take note.
The Steelers D/ST was a popular pickup in fantasy football last week, as the Jets have been an easy opponent for opposing defenses. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick came into the week with 10 INT through four games. However, much to the dismay of those fantasy owners (which included myself), Pittsburgh was unable to force turnovers. However, they did hold the Jets to just 316 yards and 16 total first downs.
This Steelers defensive unit has been a big surprise thus far. They were not considered dangerous going into the year, but they are quickly proving doubters wrong. They are exposing the matchups with their opposition and playing to their strengths, which includes using their ILBs to their advantage. Vince Williams had another impressive game with nine tackles, three TFL and one sack.
Sammie Coates – 139 yards, 2 TD – He did a good job in the role opposite Antonio Brown and is proving to be yet another weapon for this offense.
Look forward to Week 6:
The Steelers will clash with the Dolphins in Miami on Sunday, which looks to be a lock to improve their record to 5-1.
Result: L 13-33 vs. New England Patriots
The Cody Kessler era stalled on Sunday, which was a real shame. When he left with an injury, he was 5-for-8 with 62 yards and a TD and the Browns were very much still in the game. However, Charlie Whitehurst quickly ended that. He finished the game 14/24 for 182 yards, with one TD and one INT.
Of note, Isaiah Crowell was finally shut down, amassing just 22 yards on 13 carries. Going into the week he was in the top 5 in the NFL in most rushing categories.
The Browns defense took a beating from Tom Brady and a big Patriots TE. But no, not Rob Gronkowski, it was Mertellus Bennett who did the damage on the scoreboard. Gronk was able to catch 5 balls for 109 yards, but was kept out of the end zone. On the flip side, Bennett found the end zone three times on six catches.
It looks like the Patriots have another potent TE duo, their best since they lost Aaron Hernandez (who is now auditioning for the next The Longest Yard remake).
There were not too many positives to note from this Browns defense. They were beat in every facet of the game.
Cody Kessler – 5/8, 62 yards, 1 TD. This may seem silly, but after re-watching the game, it’s obvious that Kessler may have challenged this Patriots team in a shootout. The Browns looked like a completely different team with him behind center.
Look forward to Week 6:
The Browns head into Tennessee to try and snap their winless streak against an up-and-down Titans team.