Week 17 NFL Preview

It’s the final push for NFL teams as the regular season ends on Sunday, January 1st. All 16 games in Week 17 are division contests. With one week to go, there are still 16 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. And for the 16th consecutive year, at least five teams will qualify for the playoffs that were not in the postseason the year before.

San Francisco, Houston and Detroit are already in. Joining those clubs will be the NFC East winner (New York Giants/Dallas) and the AFC West champion (Denver/Oakland). And a sixth club could potentially come from the AFC’s last remaining Wild Card spot (Cincinnati/Oakland/Tennessee).

In the AFC, four of the six playoff spots have been secured – New England (AFC East, first-round bye), Houston (AFC South), Baltimore (playoff berth) and Pittsburgh (playoff berth). The Patriots can clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win or losses by both Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

Two division titles are still on the line in the AFC – the North and the West.

Baltimore wins the AFC North and secures a first-round bye with a victory or a Pittsburgh loss. The Ravens also gain home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win and a Patriots loss. Pittsburgh wins the AFC North and secures a first-round bye with a victory and a Baltimore loss. The Steelers also gain home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win and losses by the Ravens and Patriots.


(Click on the 'Jump' to see the preview and game capsule for the Ravens-Bengals game)

BALTIMORE RAVENS (11-4) at CINCINNATI BENGALS (9-6) (Sunday, CBS, 4:15 PM ET)

A lot is on the line for both teams when the Ravens visit the Bengals in an AFC North showdown. Baltimore clinches the division and a first-round bye with a victory. If New England also loses, the Ravens secure home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. Entering Week 17, Cincinnati has a one-game lead for the final Wild Card spot. With a win on Sunday, the Bengals clinch a playoff berth.

"It’s going to come down to a good week of preparation and executing on Sunday," says Bengals quarterback ANDYDALTON, who has teamed with A.J. GREEN to become the first rookie tandem with a 3,000-yard passer and 1,000-yard receiver in NFL history. "You can’t ask for it any other way. This is where we want to be, with a chance for the playoffs."

BALTIMORE RAVENS (11-4) AT CINCINNATI BENGALS (9-6)

SERIES

RAVENS

BENGALS

SERIES LEADER

17-14

STREAKS

3 of past 5

COACHES VS. OPP.

Harbaugh: 4-3

Lewis: 10-7

LAST WEEK

W 20-14 vs. Browns

W 23-16 vs. Cardinals

LAST GAME

11/20/11: Bengals 24 at Ravens 31. Baltimore RB Ray Rice rushes for 2 TDs & rookie WR Torrey Smith catches 6 passes for 165 yards & TD. Ravens’ defense forces 3 INTs.

LAST GAME AT SITE

9/19/10: Bengals 15, Ravens 10. Cincinnati’s Mike Nugent kicks 5 FGs (36, 30, 46, 38, 25) & Bengals’ defense forces 4 INTs in victory.

BROADCAST

CBS (4:15 PM ET): Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts. SIRIUS: 134 (Bal.), 94 (Cin.). XM: 227 (Cin.).

STATS

PASSING

Flacco: 297-523-3,480-19-12-79.7

Dalton (R): 278-472-3,166-20-13-81.8

RUSHING

Rice: 267-1,173 (3C)-4.4-10 (T1L)

Benson: 260-1,016-3.9-6

RECEIVING

Rice (RB): 74-696-9.4-3

Green (R): 63-1,031-16.4-7

OFFENSE

338.1

318.8

TAKE/GIVE

+1

+1

DEFENSE

285.7 (3L)

314.2

SACKS

Suggs: 13 (1C)

Atkins: 8

INTs

Webb: 5 (3C)

Nelson: 4

PUNTING

Koch: 46.5

Huber: 43.8

KICKING

Cundiff: 116 (35/35 PAT; 27/36 FG)

Nugent: 122 (3C) (32/33 PAT; 30/34 FG)

NOTES

RAVENS: Bal. seeks undefeated record in division for 1st time in franchise history…QB JOE FLACCO (3,480) needs 143 passing yards to surpass career-high of 3,622 in ’10. Has 43-20 (.683) record as starter since entering NFL in ’08. Ravens are 22-2 (.917) when Flacco has 100+ rating…RB RAY RICE leads NFL with 1,869 scrimmage yards in ’11 & needs 131 scrimmage yards to reach 2,000 for 2nd time in career (2,041 in ’09). Leads AFC RBs with 74 receptions. Needs 27 rush yards to reach 1,200 for 3rd straight season. RB RICKY WILLIAMS (9,981) needs 19 rush yards to become 26th player in NFL history to reach 10,000 career…WR TORREY SMITH had 6 rec. for 165 yards (27.5 avg.) with TD catch in only meeting vs. Cin…TE ED DICKSON had 2 TD rec. in past 2…Defense leads AFC w/ 47 sacks. Had 3 INTs in last game vs. Cin…LB TERRELL SUGGS (13) needs 2.5 sacks to surpass PETER BOULWARE (15 in ’01) for most in season in Ravens history…CB LARDARIUS WEBB has career-best 5 INTs in ’11…BENGALS: Club can clinch playoff berth with win. Has won 5 of past 6 at home vs. Bal…QB ANDY DALTON (20) is tied with HOFer DAN MARINO (1983) & CAM NEWTON (2011) for 3rd-most TD passes ever by rookie QB (PEYTON MANNING, 26 in ’98; CHARLIE CONERLY, 22 in ’48). Dalton (3,166) needs 275 passing yards to surpass MATT RYAN (3,440 in ’08) for 4th-most by rookie in NFL history…RB CEDRIC BENSON (1,016) has rushed for 1,000 yards for 3rd season in row. Tied career-best w/ 2 rush TDs in last game vs. Bal…WR A.J. GREEN leads NFL rookies in catches (63), & needs 5 catches to surpass CRIS COLLINSWORTH (67 rec. in ’81) for club rookie record. Green’s 1,031 rec. yards are most by rookie in team history. Dalton & Green are 1st rookie duo in NFL history with 3,000+ passing yards & 1,000+ rec. yards…TE JERMAINE GRESHAM has career-high 6 TD rec. in ’11…Defense had season-high 3 INTs last week…DE JONATHAN FANENE has 3 sacks in past 2…DT GENO ATKINS has career-best 8 sacks…S REGGIE NELSON has 2 INTs in past 3 games.

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