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AFC North & NFL Roundup: Week Of Dec. 26-30

We’ll round up the biggest stories from AFC North enemy territory each day. We’ll also bring you any NFL national news and updates on former Ravens, if there’s something to pass along.

Posted by BR.com on Friday, December 30th, 2011 at 9:20 am | Categories: AFC North, AFC North Roundup

We’ll round up the biggest stories from AFC North enemy territory each day. We’ll also bring you any NFL national news and updates on former Ravens, if there’s something to pass along.

Friday Dec. 30

SteelersWR Brown Named Team MVP
 The Steelers announced their team MVP yesterday and second-year wide receiver Antonio Brown was the team’s somewhat surprising selection. The former sixth-round pick has emerged as a breakout player on offense and special teams, and is one of the Steelers’ most dangerous weapons. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

BrownsMcCoy Says He Hopes To Stay In Cleveland
 Browns quarterback Colt McCoy spoke with the media yesterday for the first time since suffering a concussion in the Steelers game on Dec. 8. McCoy’s status as Cleveland’s  franchise quarterback is up in the air after a disappointing second season, and he said that he hopes to remain with the Browns. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

BengalsBengals Lower Season Ticket Prices 
The Bengals announced yesterday that they will lower season ticket prices for more than 14,000 seats heading into the 2012 season. The Bengals have sold out just two games this season – Pittsburgh and Baltimore – and they needed a two-for-one deal to sell out this weekend’s game against the Ravens. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

NFLTomlinson Says This Game Could Be His Last
New York Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson said yesterday that he could see this weekend’s game against the Dolphins as his final game in the NFL. The 32-year-old running back is in the final year of his contract and his production has steadily declined this season. [SI.com]

Thursday, Dec. 29

SteelersRoethlisberger Hoping To Play Sunday
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is likely to return to the starting lineup Sunday in Cleveland after missing a game due to a high ankle sprain. He practiced on Wednesday and said that he’s  hoping to play in the Steelers’ regular-season finale. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

BrownsWallace To Start Against Pittsburgh
Browns quarterback Colt McCoy has not been cleared to practice or play as he recovers from a concussion, meaning that Seneca Wallace will get the start Sunday against Pittsburgh. “[McCoy is] trying to get back as quickly as he can,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “And he’s expressed that. He wants to get out there and get competing.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

BengalsWhitworth Named Pro Bowl Alternate
Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth has been named a Pro Bowl alternate after he was not among the top-five vote-getters at his position in the fan vote. The player and coach vote pushed him up to alternate status.  “I definitely think I deserve to be there, but that’s not the issue to me,” Whitworth said. “You got a lot of guys that got slighted.” [Cincinnati Enquirer]

NFLSuh Apologizes For Stomp
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh grabbed attention from around the NFL when he stomped on Green Bay Packers’ offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith during the Thanksgiving Day Game. Dietrich-Smith said there’s no hard feelings and that Suh called to apologize after the incident. [ESPN.com]

Wednesday, Dec. 28

SteelersRushing Rankings Atypical This Year
The Steelers are typically one of the best teams in the league at running the ball and stopping the run, but this year their rankings are down in both statistical categories. Pittsburgh ranks 16th in rushing offense and 9th at stopping the run, but the Steelers have the ninth-best passing offense, and top passing defense. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

BrownsThomas Makes Fifth Straight Pro Bowl
 Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas was selected to his fifth straight Pro Bowl last night.  He was the only Browns player to crack the Pro Bowl’s starting lineup, and he is the first Browns player since Jim Brown to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first five seasons. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

BengalsBengals Hope To Crowd Out Ravens
With ticket sales down this year, the Bengals are making special efforts to fill Paul Brown Stadium for the season finale against the Ravens. In addition to the two-for-one ticket offer the Bengals are running, the players are also encouraging the fans to show up as a show of support. [Bengals.com]

NFLNFL Announces Pro Bowl Rosters
The NFL announced the rosters for this year’s Pro Bowl, and the Patriots and 49ers are leading the way with eight selections each. The Packers and Ravens are right behind them with seven players  on the roster. [SI.com]

Tuesday, Dec. 27

SteelersScoreboard Watching Back In Style
 The Steelers-Browns game will be going on at the same time as Ravens-Bengals this weekend, so neither Pittsburgh nor Baltimore will have the luxury of knowing the result of the other team’s game. Steelers players admitted that they’re going to be hoping for the Bengals to take down the Ravens, just like the Ravens cheered on the 49ers last week. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

BrownsMcCoy Not Built For AFC North
Browns quarterback Colt McCoy has not played the last two weeks since suffering a concussion after a hit from Steelers’ linebacker James Harrison. The Browns have a re-match with the Steelers this week, and Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur said he is not ruling out the second-year quarterback from starting. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

BengalsTicket Push In Full Swing 
The Bengals are offering season ticket holders a buy one, get one free ticket promotion for the team’s game Sunday against the Ravens. The Bengals have sold out just one home game this season, and are making an effort to pack Paul Brown Stadium for a game that has tremendous playoff implications for both teams.  [Cincinnati Enquirer]

NFLBrees Breaks Marino’s Passing Record
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees broke one of the longest standing passing records in the NFL last night by surpassing Dan Marino’s record for most passing yards in a season. Brees threw for 307 yards to give him 5,086 on the year, as the Saints drilled Atlanta 45-16 to clinch the NFC South title. [SI.com]

Monday, Dec. 26

SteelersSteelers Don’t Miss Big Ben In 27-0 Victory
The Steelers decided to give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger some time to rest this weekend, and backup Charlie Batch led the Steelers to a 27-0 win over the St. Louis Rams. The win keeps the Steelers right behind the Ravens in the AFC North race, and also gave Roethlisberger a chance to heal his injured ankle. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

BrownsMcCoy Not Built For AFC North
The Browns are at a decision point with quarterback Colt McCoy as their approach the 2012 draft, and Cleveland Plain Dealer Columnist Terry Pluto says that McCoy isn’t built for success in this division. Successful quarterbacks in the AFC North tend to have big, strong arms, which McCoy lacks. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

BengalsMore On Jerome Simpson’s Touchdown 
The touchdown reception by the Bengals’ Jerome Simpson was the top highlight off the NFL this weekend, as he got flipped heading in for a touchdown, and stuck the landing the in end zone. Here’s more from the around the web on the impressive play. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

NFLPackers Clinch No. 1 Seed In NFC
The Green Bay Packers clinched the top seed in the NFC with a 35-21 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football. The Packers can now rest some of their players in the final week of the season, as they are guaranteed a first round bye and homefield advantage throughout the postseason. [SI.com]

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