AFC Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers


  • Bengals first-round WR Ja’Marr Chase said making the Pro Bowl wasn’t his main goal for this year: “I just never really thought about it. It’s certainly an honor, but I guess the thing I’m focusing on is making the playoffs.” (Ben Baby)
  • Chase earned a fifth-year option wage increase by being elected to the Pro Bowl. (Brad Spielberger


For the third time in as many games, Ravens HC John Harbaugh is in the news for his aggressive calls on two-point conversions. Baltimore went for two and the win two weeks ago against the Steelers, went for two after scoring a touchdown while down 14 against the Browns last week, and went for two and the win again on Sunday against the Packers. They failed to convert all three, predictably leading to criticism, both of Harbaugh and of the broader rise to prominence of analytics for in-game decision making. Harbaugh offered a rebuttal, though. 

“It’s mostly gut,” Harbaugh said via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “The numbers are the numbers, but the numbers aren’t perfect. I can tell you this: I’ve shot a lot of holes in the numbers with the numbers guys. The numbers are never going to be perfect. They don’t take everything into account, so you just make a decision. The numbers are part of it, but the numbers aren’t the main decision.”

“If you want to go back and rehash the season, I’m happy to do it. To me, in both of those cases, that gave us the best chance to win,” Harbaugh also said. “Because we didn’t win doesn’t make it not true. It’s still true now, just as true as it was then. So, it doesn’t always work out.”


  • According to Gerry Dulac, Steelers OL coach Adrian Klemm is taking the same position with the University of Oregon once the season ends.
  • Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger said that it’s important to “peak at the right time” and pointed out that Pittsburgh is doing well to win close games and come back from deficits: “You’ve got to peak at the right time. I’m not saying we’re peaking or close to it, but we’re winning the close games or we’re coming back, we’re fighting. So we know that there is a little bit of life and we’ll just keep fighting one week at a time.” (Brooke Pryor)
  • When asked about WR Chase Claypool not appearing in the final 19 minutes of Week 15’s game, Steelers OC Matt Canada claimed it was part of the rotation, not a disciplinary measure: “We’re trying to get all the guys involved at certain times. It was kind of the rotation we had going at that spot. It worked out that way for certain drives. Nothing more specific than that.” (Ray Fittipaldo)

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