AFC North and NFL Roundup: Week of Oct. 29-Nov. 2


Friday, Nov. 2

!Wallace Adjusts To New Offense
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace has seen a dip in his receiving statistics this season in the Steelers new offense, but the speedy wideout has kept a positive outlook. "You have to stay positive," Wallace said. "We're winning right now; you don't want to try to fight it or go against it if it's being productive." [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

!**Richardson Wants To Exchange Jerseys With Rice**
Ray Rice said earlier this week that hopes to exchange jerseys with Browns running back Trent Richardson after Sunday's game, and the Browns rookie running back like the idea. "If Ray Rice wants my jersey, I'll send it to him," he said. "I want a Ray Rice jersey (too)." [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

!Kirkpatrick Turning The Corner 
Bengals first-round draft pick Dre Kirkpatrick has still yet to get on the field this season, but after a bye week to continue helping his knee heal, the rookie could suit up for this Sunday's game. Kirkpatrick said that he feels like "they're getting ready to debut me." [Cincinnati Enquirer]

!**Chargers Rout Chiefs **
The San Diego Chargers routed the Kansas City Chiefs 31-13 on Thursday Night Football, improving to .500 on the season. The loss is the latest mishap is a frustrating season for the Chiefs, who fell to 1-7 on the season. The win improves the Chargers to 4-4 on the year. [] Thursday, Nov. 1

!Mendenhall Should Start Upon Return
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is nearing a return from an Achilles injury that has sidelined him the last three weeks. While injuries have hobbled him through the first half of the season, the Steelers expect him to take over the starting running back job when he is able to get back on the field. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

!**Harbaugh Impressed By Weeden**
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh is impressed by the progress Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden has made through the first half of the season. Harbaugh said that Weeden is right up there with the other quarterbacks in the division, which makes  the AFC North very tough. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

!Lewis Takes Dalton To Task 
The Bengals have lost three straight games and Head Coach Marvin Lewis said that the team needs more leadership from quarterback Andy Dalton and middle linebacker Rey Maualuga. The second-year quarterback is going through a bit of a sophomore slump and Lewis wants to see him step into more  of a leadership role. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

!**Tebow To Jags Rumors Shot Down **
Recent reports suggested that the Jacksonville Jaguars had interest in bringing in New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow at the trade deadline. Those reports, however, were dismissed this week by a number of media outlets saying that a deal is not likely before Thursday's 4 p.m. deadline. [] Wednesday, Oct. 31

!Polamalu Out Again This Week
The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to play the New York Giants on Sunday, but they will be without veteran safety Troy Polamalu for the fourth straight game. Polamalu is dealing with a lingering calf injury that has sidelined him for much of the season. []

!**Browns Trying New Look In Backfield**
The Cleveland Browns are trying a new look in their backfield, giving veteran tight end Alex Smith a chance to be the starting fullback. Smith played 23 snaps at fullback on Sunday, and making him the lead blocker for Trent Richardson could be the plan moving forward. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

!Bengals Have Tickets Remaining, Hope For Sellout 
The Cincinnati Bengals have not yet sold out Sunday's game against the AFC West leading Denver Broncos. The Bengals have struggled to sell out games in the past, but it appears that they are within range of getting an extension to sell their remaining tickets for Sunday's matchup. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

!**Vick To Remain Starter **
Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid announced this morning that Michael Vick will remain the team's starting quarterback for Monday's game against New Orleans. The Eagles has reportedly considered moving to rookie quarterback Nick Foles, but opted to give Vick at least one more week. [] Tuesday, Oct. 30

!Dwyer Straightens Out Running Game
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer appears to have sealed the starting job at this point of the season. With Isaac Redman and Rashard Mendenhall battling injuries, Dwyer has shouldered the load and it's paying off for the Steelers. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

!**Browns Still Need More Offensive Output**
The Browns have won two of their last three games, but Plain Dealer beat reporter Mary Kay Cabot says that in order for them to have success in the second half of the season, they need to get more offensive output. The defense has played well for the Browns, but the offense still needs to catch up. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

!Hall 'Pretty Impressed' With Broncos 
Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall says that he has was "pretty impressed" with the way the Denver Broncos took down the Saints 34-14 on Sunday Night Football. The Bengals take on Denver this weekend, and hall said the key will be eliminating big plays by the Broncos. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

!**QB Smith Leads 49ers To MNF Win**
Monday Night Football's matchup between the 49ers and Cardinals was never really in doubt, as Alex Smith led his 49ers to a 24-3 victory on the road.  Smith finished the game 18-of-19 passing for 232 yards and three touchdowns. [] Monday, Oct. 29

!Steelers Top Redskins 27-12
The Steelers were sharp and in command during yesterday's 27-12 victory over the Washington Redskins, which moves them to just one game behind the Ravens in the AFC North Standings. The Steelers shut down Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III in the victory. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

!**Richardson Leads Browns To Second Victory**
The Cleveland Browns won their second game of the year on Sunday, taking down the San Diego Chargers 7-6 on a cold, rainy afternoon. Rookie running back Trent Richardson led the way for Cleveland, as he rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

!Burfict Fulfills Promise To Lewis 
The Cincinnati Bengals took a chance this spring when they signed undrafted free agent Vontaze Burfict, who dropped out of the draft mostly over character concerns. At the time, Burfict promised Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis "I will prove that I am a good person and a great football player," and he has held up that statement up to this point. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

!**Broncos Win Big Over Saints**
Peyton Manning threw for 305 yards and three touchdown passes and the Denver Broncos topped the Saints 34-14 on Sunday Night Football. The Broncos now have a comfortable lead in the AFC West and look primed to make a postseason run with Manning at the helm. []

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