NFL Wrap-Up: Week 10 North Divisions

Underwhelming is the word of the day as no teams or individuals truly stand out in week 10.

Nash Herringtonby Nash Herrington

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The Bears offense didn't even need to show up as the defense and special teams scored enough to win, The Steelers and Bengals never felt as close as the final score, and the Ravens and Browns both choked (again) against bad teams.  



NFC North

Minnesota Vikings (2-6)
Green Bay Packers (8-0)
The long time rivals meet up for their week 10 Monday night match-up in Green Bay tonight at 8:30pm ET. Minnesota rookie quarterback Christian Ponder made his first career start when these two teams met up in week seven in Minnesota.  Green Bay won that contest 33-27.

Detroit Lions  13
Chicago Bears  37

Many people expected this game to be a slug fest, unfortunately that's exactly what they got as a 4th quarter fight overshadowed what was mostly a snoozer for anyone not rooting for the Bears.  Chicago didn't do much on offense this game only amassing 216 total yards but they didn't need to do much as the real story of the game was their defense and special teams. Bears return man Devin Hester had an 82 yard punt return for a touchdown to extend his NFL record for punt return touchdowns to 12 and put Chicago up 20-0 early in the 2nd quarter.  On defense, Major Wright and Charles Tillman returned interceptions for touchdowns on consecutive drives in the 3rd quarter to put this game well out of reach.


AFC North

Baltimore Ravens  17
Seattle Seahawks  22
The Ravens continued a recent trend of playing at the level of their competition as they allowed the Seahawks to have six scoring drives on the night (one touchdown, five field goals) and gave up 106 rushing yards to Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch in their third poorly played game against inferior competition in the past four weeks.

St. Louis Rams  13
Cleveland Browns  12

The Browns came so close…
That was the story of this game as Cleveland drove deep into St. Louis territory multiple times only to settle for field goals against the Rams' bend but don't break defense.  Kicker Phil Dawson had four field goals on the day, but a bounced snap from long-snapper Ryan Pontbriand was enough to throw off Dawson's timing as his go ahead attempt knuckled wide left with 2:09 left in the game.

Game of the Week
Pittsburgh Steelers  24
Cincinnati Bengals  17

In a game that saw two of the best defenses in the league go head-to-head, neither side ever truly dominated the opposing offense in this intense match-up.  Both teams had just over 100 yards rushing but no individual rusher had more than Cincinnati running back Cedric Benson's 57.  The Bengals defense got to Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger on multiple occasions but couldn't seem to halt Pittsburgh's momentum or get turnovers in key situations while the Steelers were able to intercept passes but could not get to QB Andy Dalton as the Bengals didn't give up a single sack.  This Steelers win combined with the Baltimore Ravens' loss to Seattle keeps the log jam atop the AFC North intact as Pittsburgh moved from 3rd to 1st in the division.
Pittsburgh's two interceptions matched their season total with both coming in their own territory in the fourth quarter including William Gay's interception at the Steelers' 19 yard line with just over two minutes to seal the game. 

Offensive Player of the Week
Matthew Stafford (QB, Detroit) – 33/63, 329 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT 

Yes, I'm being ironic here.  Matt Stafford accounted for two of the CHICAGO BEARS touchdowns, throwing two interceptions returned for scores.  I don't know what is happening to the Lions offense but they need to get this figured out if they expect to make the playoffs and Stafford needs to step his game up.
Runner up – Rashard Mendenhall (RB, Pittsburgh) – 44 yards, 2 TDs, Ed Dickson (TE, Baltimore) – 79 yards, 2 TDs 

Defensive Player of the Week
Major Wright and Charles Tillman (DBs, Chicago) – 8 tackles, 2 INT, 2 TDs

These two Bears defensive backs accounted for eight total tackles and one interception returned for a touchdown each in the third quarter.

Division Standings
NFC north
Green Bay Packers  8-0
Chicago Bears  6-3

Detroit Lions  6-3
Minnesota Vikings  2-6

AFC North
Pittsburgh Steelers  7-3
Cincinnati Bengals  6-3
Baltimore Ravens  6-3
Cleveland Browns  3-6