AFC Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers


Seen as a major weakness entering the season, the Bengals offensive line has been a key part of the team’s recent success. There have been a few reasons for that, including the insertion of Hakeem Adeniji into the starting lineup to stabilize the right guard position and the shift to more of a wide zone rushing scheme. Bengals LT Jonah Williams says they’re finally playing to the level they always knew they were capable of. 

“In the room, we’ve always believed in ourselves, we knew what we were capable of doing,” Williams said via Geoff Hobson of the team website. “We’ve shown little bits and pieces of that and so I think that there’s a lot of confidence in the room, there’s a lot of we have each other’s backs and there’s times where you see what we’re capable of and it’s really impressive stuff.”

Cincinnati’s run game, spearheaded by RB Joe Mixon, has really come on recently as well, especially in big wins against the Steelers. That’s taken some of the pressure off of the line to pass protect for QB Joe Burrow.

“I think that when teams have to defend that sort of running game, you know, they can’t really pin their ears back and just rush upfield and do exotic blitzes and exotic fronts and everything,” Williams said. “You’re kind of forced to play both ways, and when you’re in second-and-two versus second-and-10, the defense is a lot more limited in what they can do. It makes it a lot easier on us to pass protect when they’re so weary of the run game.”


Ravens QB Lamar Jackson didn’t feel any better about his four-interception performance after rewatching the tape of Sunday night’s game against the Browns. 

“Bad passes, inaccurate, underthrown passes. That’s all I seen. Bad reads,” Jackson said via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “I looked like a rookie.”

Jackson has now thrown multiple interceptions in three of his past five games after doing that only once in his first five. But Ravens HC John Harbaugh said there’s no worries about this becoming a trend. 

“Every week is a different week,” Harbaugh said. “We’re not trying to look at some grand answer or some psychological diagnosis about one thing or another. It’s not about all of that. It’s about playing a very competitive game for three-and-a-half hours, preparing for the week to do it, and doing the best you can [to] play your best game. That’s really all you can do.”


  • Steelers DE Cameron Heyward said Pittsburgh’s biggest tradition is “winning” and the players all feel “annoyed” about their 5-5-1 record: “I think the tradition is winning. I think we’re all pissy and annoyed about it. But at the end of the day, the tradition to be upheld is to win the gameplay with a lot of effort. Everything else is besides the point.” (Brooke Pryor)

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