Bengals need a linebacker, but what if a QB is there?
CINCINNATI (AP) — Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick looked around the locker room on the first day of the Bengals' voluntary workouts and noted that not all that much had changed.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Six-time Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle has bid farewell to Baltimore after apparently being cut by the Ravens.
Weddle's release was reported by NFL Network on Tuesday...
Steelers hope to see less of Brown if they pull off trade
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert insists he would gladly welcome back Antonio Brown next season.
If things don't work out, Colbert has a plan for that,...
Ravens coach John Harbaugh gets new 4-year deal
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Ravens coach John Harbaugh has received a new four-year contract following a season in which he guided Baltimore to the AFC North title.
The new deal is designed to keep the winningest coach in Ravens history under contract through the 2022 season. It replaces a pact that was slated to end after next year.
The 56-year-old Harbaugh took over as Ravens coach in 2008. Under his guidance, the team has reached the playoffs seven times and won a Super Bowl.
Northern Illinois hires former star RB Hammock as coach
DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Northern Illinois has hired former star running back Thomas Hammock as its head coach.
Hammock is taking over at his alma mater after spending 16 seasons as a college and NFL assistant — the past five as the Baltimore Ravens' running backs coach. With the hiring announced Friday, he becomes the first African-American head football coach at NIU.
Chargers-Ravens in wild card is rematch of late-season game
BALTIMORE (AP) — It's been six years since the Ravens hosted a playoff game, so forgive Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda for forgetting protocol regarding the distribution of tickets.
"Somebody was asking me if we got tickets during the playoff games, and I couldn't really remember," he said this week. "I was like, 'Uh, it's been a little while.'"
Chargers get set to face Ravens for second time in 3 weeks
COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers don't need much of a refresher course on their first-round playoff opponent, considering they played them less than two weeks ago.
Ravens enter playoffs as 1 of the league’s hottest teams
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — John Harbaugh was still fired up one day after the Baltimore Ravens finally ended a three-year NFL playoff drought.
Over the course of this whirlwind season, Baltimore has gone from a team on the cusp of spiralling downward to one that poses a formidable challenge to any opponent.
ICYMI in Week 17: Ravens hang on, move on after Browns scare
All the Ravens had to do to make the playoffs was beat the Browns.
It's not as easy as it used to be.
Baltimore needed a late fourth-down interception to stifle Baker Mayfield's momentum, secure a 26-24 victory over Cleveland and wrap up the AFC North.
The win ended the season for the Steelers, who had closed out their own victory over Cincinnati minutes earlier and were standing on their home field, cheering for the Browns as they watched the end of the game in Baltimore on the scoreboard.
Steelers edge Bengals 16-13 but miss out on playoffs
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The win they needed but at times didn't act like they particularly wanted finally secured, the Pittsburgh Steelers lingered on the Heinz Field turf after a sluggish 16-13 victory over Cincinnati on Sunday and turned their eyes to the massive videoboard in the south end zone.
Ravens win AFC North, Eagles, Colts get wild cards
The playoff chase went down to the final minutes of the season Sunday, when Baltimore squeezed in as AFC North winner, and defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia got some help to secure an NFC wild card.
Ravens squeeze past Browns 26-24 to earn AFC North tile
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens flipped the script and put one heck of an ending on a regular season that featured countless surprises and plot twists.
Getting two rushing touchdowns from rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson and a late defensive stand, Baltimore squeezed past the Cleveland Browns 26-24 Sunday to reach the playoffs as AFC North champions.
Plenty of playoff implications going into Week 17
There are plenty of playoff implications heading into the final day of the NFL's regular season on Sunday.
Already in the playoffs, the Texans need a win over the Jaguars to clinch the AFC South.
In Kansas City, the Chiefs need a win over Oakland to clinch the AFC West and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
Steelers hope for a win (and some luck) vs. Bengals
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is modifying his jersey, using a marker to add an "s" to the end of his last name.
Safety Sean Davis is mulling a present or two to Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield, promising to send the rookie "a little something something" if the Browns can beat the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and open the door for the Steelers to win a third straight AFC North title.
Ravens get what they wanted: Beat Browns to earn playoffs
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens couldn't have asked for a better scenario heading into Sunday's AFC North matchup with the Cleveland Browns.
"At the beginning of the season, if we say we control our destiny going into the last game, we can win the division, we'd have all signed up for that," coach John Harbaugh said this week.
The situation would have been even more ideal if these were the same old awful Browns, who went 1-15 in 2016 and 0-16 last year.
Browns-Ravens Preview Capsule
CLEVELAND (7-7-1) at BALTIMORE (9-6)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST, CBS
OPENING LINE - Ravens by 6
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Cleveland 9-6, Baltimore 8-7
SERIES RECORD - Ravens lead 29-10
LAST MEETING - Browns beat Ravens 12-9, OT, Oct. 7
LAST WEEK - Browns beat Bengals 26-18; Ravens beat Chargers 22-10
AP PRO32 RANKING - Browns No. 16, Ravens No. 9
BROWNS OFFENSE - OVERALL (14), RUSH (10), PASS (15).
BROWNS DEFENSE - OVERALL (29), RUSH (24), PASS (27).
RAVENS OFFENSE - OVERALL (12), RUSH (2), PASS (21).
Bengals-Steelers Preview Capsule
CINCINNATI (6-9) at PITTSBURGH (8-6-1)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
OPENING LINE — Steelers by 14
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Cincinnati 10-5, Pittsburgh 8-6-1
SERIES RECORD — Steelers lead 63-35
LAST MEETING — Steelers beat Bengals 28-21, Oct. 14
LAST WEEK — Bengals lost to Browns 26-18; Steelers lost to Saints 31-28.
AP PRO32 RANKING — Bengals No. 26, Steelers No. 12
BENGALS OFFENSE — OVERALL (25), RUSH (22), PASS (23).
BENGALS DEFENSE — OVERALL (32), RUSH (29), PASS (30).
Ravens thrive behind contribution of Jackson, rookie class
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Lamar Jackson has gotten most of the headlines, yet the former Louisville quarterback is merely one of several rookies whose contributions have helped the Baltimore Ravens move within striking distance of the AFC North title.
Tomlin trying to keep reeling Steelers focused despite odds
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mike Tomlin isn't going to complain about the officiating. Or lament the turnovers and missed opportunities over the last month that have the Pittsburgh Steelers on the outside of the playoffs looking in heading into Week 17.
Ravens have been here before: Win, and they’re in playoffs
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — After missing the postseason for three straight years, the Baltimore Ravens probably wouldn't complain at all about squeezing into this year's playoffs as a wild card.
Entering as AFC North champions is so much better — a scenario that stands as a distinct possibility entering the final weekend of the regular season.
Bengals clinch last place, adding intrigue to Lewis’ fate
CINCINNATI (AP) — A lackluster showing in Cleveland consigned the Bengals to last place for only the second time in coach Marvin Lewis' 16 seasons and added another twist to Cincinnati's futile and fan-alienating season.
Titans-Colts game flexed into prime time on NBC
NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has moved next week's Titans-Colts game into prime time on NBC.
Both AFC South teams are 9-6 and the winner of the regular-season finale will reach the playoffs.
The Colts won the first meeting 38-10 in Week 11 in Indianapolis.
Bengals clinch last-place finish with 26-18 loss to Browns
CLEVELAND (AP) — Marvin Lewis spent about 60 seconds summing up his team's latest loss. Hue Jackson was nowhere to be found.
At this point, there's not much left to say — the Cincinnati Bengals are a mess.
Jackson leads surging Ravens to 22-10 victory over Chargers
CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Just like that, the Baltimore Ravens have gone from a midseason swoon to the brink of their first playoff trip in four years.
The resurgent Ravens continued their late push with a 22-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday behind Lamar Jackson's first 200-yard passing game and a stingy defense that held one of the NFL's top offenses under 200 yards for the first time since 2014.
Ravens-Chargers matchup features dramatic differences at QB
CARSON, Calif. (AP) — The quarterback matchup for Saturday's pivotal game between the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers might offer the biggest contrasts this season.
The Chargers, who have clinched their first postseason berth since 2013, feature cagy veteran Philip Rivers, who is having one of the best seasons of his 15-year career. The Ravens have surged back into postseason contention behind fleet-footed rookie Lamar Jackson, who has won four of his five starts.
Steelers-Saints Preview Capsule
PITTSBURGH (8-5-1) at NEW ORLEANS (12-2)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
OPENING LINE — Saints by 7
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Pittsburgh 7-6-1, New Orleans 10-4
SERIES RECORD — Saints lead 8-7
LAST MEETING — Saints beat Steelers 35-32, Nov. 30, 2014
LAST WEEK — Steelers beat Patriots 17-10; Saints beat Panthers 12-9
AP PRO32 RANKING — Steelers No. 8, Saints No. 1
STEELERS OFFENSE — OVERALL (4), RUSH (30), PASS (3)
STEELERS DEFENSE — OVERALL (9), RUSH (6), PASS (13)
Ravens and Chargers both chasers as they meet Saturday
When they meet Saturday night in one of several intriguing games in the penultimate week of the NFL season, the Ravens and Chargers will be chasers. By Sunday night, they could be leaders.
Baltimore (8-6) trails Pittsburgh (8-5-1) by a half-game in the AFC North. The Chargers (11-3) are tied with Kansas City for the AFC West lead — and the conference's best record — but the Chiefs hold the tiebreaker.
Eliminated Bengals have 2 games before coaching decision
CINCINNATI (AP) — A win over equally downtrodden Oakland ended the Bengals' five-game losing streak, but it couldn't prevent them from being eliminated from the postseason for a third straight year.
Their final two weeks will amount to playing it out before addressing the franchise's overriding question.
Steelers activate WR Rogers; RB Conner doubtful vs. Patriots
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Looks like Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner's balky left ankle won't be ready to go against the Patriots.
The AFC North leaders downgraded Conner from questionable to doubtful for Sunday's game against New England. Conner, who is sixth in the NFL with 909 yards rushing, skipped last week's game against Oakland and was limited in practice on Friday. Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley will fill in for Conner if he's unable to go.
Steelers RB Conner questionable against Patriots
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping running back James Conner's sprained left ankle will be ready in time to play on Sunday against New England.
Bengals try to maintain slim chance vs looking-ahead Raiders
CINCINNATI (AP) — Joe Mixon had one of the best games of his career in yet another Bengals loss — making it seven of their past eight, and counting. He sees no reason to slow down even as another season slips away in Cincinnati.
"Right now, we are down but we ain't out, so that's how I'm approaching it," the second-year running back said. "I'm going to approach it like we're in."
Bengals’ hopeful season has crashed into last place
CINCINNATI (AP) — Jeff Driskel was better in his second NFL start. Joe Mixon ran for more than 100 yards. A historically bad defense held its own after a rough start.
With all that, the Bengals still couldn't get the one thing they really need.
"Need a win, and everything's better," coach Marvin Lewis said Monday.
They haven't had one of those since October, leaving Cincinnati (5-8) in a freefall that's taken it from the top of the AFC North all the way to the bottom.
Steelers’ playoff hopes iffy after pratfall in Oakland
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged his team's spotty track record in Oakland before the AFC North leaders headed west last week but added "it's not a major component of logistical preparation."
Steelers RB James Conner out with sprained left ankle
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers will head to Oakland without running back James Conner.
Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Conner is dealing with a sprained left ankle and will not play when the AFC North leaders take on the last-place Raiders.
Steelers blame themselves, not officials, for losing skid
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The excuses aren't hard to find if the Pittsburgh Steelers were in the mood to look for them.
The false start that wasn't called on a play that ended with a Los Angeles Chargers touchdown . The apparent block in the back that helped spring Chargers punt returner Desmond King for the game-tying score.
Ravens in driver’s seat to end 3-year playoff drought
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens are still fighting to end a three-year playoff drought even though they are riding their longest winning streak of the season.
The Ravens hold a one-game lead for the sixth and final postseason spot in the AFC. Baltimore (7-5) also is within a half-game of the first-place Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North after the Ravens' 26-16 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Rivers and Roethlisberger on a roll as they renew rivalry
COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — The Chargers' Philip Rivers and Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger are playing some of the best football of their 15-year careers.
On Sunday, the two meet at Heinz Field in a prime-time game that could serve as a playoff preview.
If the postseason began this week, the Chargers would be facing the Steelers in a first-round game. Los Angeles (8-3) has a two-game lead for the AFC's first wild-card spot while Pittsburgh (7-3-1) leads the AFC North and would be the fourth seed.
Chargers, Steelers only looking at small picture
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Philip Rivers didn't exactly spend a lot of time poring over the most accurate performance by a quarterback in NFL history.
The longtime Chargers quarterback understands there's no time.
Not with the Chargers (8-3) scrambling to stay ahead in the middle of a tight AFC playoff race and a trip to AFC North-leading Pittsburgh (7-3-1) looming, one that could erase all doubts about whether Los Angeles is for real.
"We've got a heck of a December ahead of us," Rivers said.
Steelers look to clean up mistakes after sloppy loss
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger called the interception that ended Pittsburgh's six-game winning streak fluky.
On the surface, the Steelers quarterback is right.
The only reason Denver defensive lineman Shelby Harris found himself in position to make a leaping grab of Roethlisberger's pass intended for Antonio Brown was because Harris was mashed off the line of scrimmage by Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey. Yet that didn't stop Harris from improvising and getting his hands on the ball.
Bengals drubbed by Browns 35-20 as free fall continues
CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals coach Marvin Lewis exuded confidence when he fired his defensive coordinator and assumed leadership of the NFL's worst defense. All he's gotten is two more losses that have essentially scuttled Cincinnati's fading hopes.
The Bengals are free falling, with no sign of slowing down. And now their starting quarterback is hurt, too.
Now what? Fourth loss in 5 games leaves Bengals in free fall
CINCINNATI (AP) — Head coach Marvin Lewis fired the defensive coordinator and installed himself in a dual role. Bengals players talked about their trip to Baltimore as a pivotal moment in the season, almost a last-stand opportunity. They wound up getting run over.
Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell refuses to sign tag, out for 2018
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Le'Veon Bell's patience on the football field sets him apart.
In a game built on chaos, the star running back rarely hurries or makes hasty decisions.
His ability to put his hand on the back of an offensive lineman while waiting for the hole to open — much like a child sticking close to a parent in a crowded store — helps him make the remarkably difficult at times look remarkably easy.
Ravens QB Flacco status for Sunday’s game ‘up in the air’
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Carrying a three-game losing streak and a losing record, the Baltimore Ravens now face the burden of uncertainty at the quarterback position.
Joe Flacco is nursing a hip injury that could keep him out of Sunday's game against Cincinnati, an AFC North matchup that carries huge ramifications for the sagging Ravens.
Roethlisberger skips practice, but expects to face Panthers
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sat out practice on Tuesday to give his broken left index finger a rest but he is expected to play on Thursday night when Carolina visits Heinz Field.
Roethlisberger said the finger was "fine" after he threw the ball 47 times in last Sunday's victory over Baltimore.
He did leave the game briefly in the third quarter after getting the wind knocked out of him, but he returned after missing just one snap.
Surging Steelers and slumping Ravens kick off Week 9 in NFL
The surging Pittsburgh Steelers and the slumping Baltimore Ravens are among the NFL teams kicking off Week 9.
The AFC North-leading Steelers (4-2-1) are aiming for their fourth straight win on the road against the division rival Ravens (4-4), who have lost three of four.
Gregg Williams has a challenging debut as Cleveland's interim head coach as the Browns (2-5-1) host the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs, who are a conference-best 7-1.
Steelers’ offense seeks success in Baltimore
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have an opportunity to create some mid-season separation in the AFC North.
To do that, they will have to beat the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Sunday, a venue where the Steelers have found it difficult to win and generate offense at times in the past.
Steelers-Ravens II: Different month, same pressure to win
BALTIMORE (AP) — In each of the last two years, the Baltimore Ravens have been eliminated from playoff contention with late-season losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
For the first time since 2014, these AFC North rivals will wrap up the season series before December. That doesn't mean Sunday's game is any less important to the skidding Ravens (4-4).
Steelers secondary faces challenge in rematch with Ravens
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Joe Haden knows about losing to the Baltimore Ravens.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback has been on the losing end of 11 of his 14 games against Baltimore. Ten of those 11 came when he was with the Cleveland Browns. He's only lost to the Ravens once with the Steelers, 26-14 in Week 4 of this season.
That one felt different. So will the game Sunday, where the Steelers secondary will look to take another step in a third straight game against an AFC North rival.
Steelers looking to get aggressive at Baltimore
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers were bullied the last time they faced the Baltimore Ravens. In a rivalry mostly defined by physicality, that might be the worst that could be said about either side following a game.
When the Steelers travel to Baltimore for their second matchup on Sunday they want to re-establish an aggressive approach on their way to what would be a third straight win against AFC North opponents.
Steelers QB Roethlisberger dealing with broken index finger
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is dealing with a broken index finger on his left hand.
Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Roethlisberger sustained the injury on his non-throwing hand at some point in Pittsburgh's 33-18 victory over Cleveland on Sunday. Tomlin does not expect the finger to be an issue for Roethlisberger when the AFC North-leading Steelers (4-2-1) travel to Baltimore (4-4) on Sunday.