It's only week one of the 16 game 2012 NFL regular season, but if the Baltimore Ravens win tonight, they will once again be atop the AFC North. Since the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns both lost yesterday, a Ravens win over the Cincinnati Bengals will leave themas the only unbeaten team in the division after the first week of the season.
The Cleveland Browns were given every chance to win by the Philadelphia Eagles, as QB Michael Vick threw four interceptions. However, with Browns rookie QB Brandon Weeden debuting with a QB Rating of 5.1, it's hard to put points on the board. That allowed Vick to lead his team down the field for the game-winning TD last in the fourth quarter to escape with a 17-16 win.
The Pittsburgh Steelers seemed to be in line for a victory, controlling the ball for almost the entire third quarter but could not spoil new Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning's debut, as he threw two TD passes and the Broncos defense harassed Ben Roethlisberger into turnovers that ended with a fun-to-watch-for-Ravens-fans' 31-19 Denver victory.
An equally-satisfying Ravens beatdown tonight on the team they handled twice last year would vault them to the lead in the AFC North, where they went 6-0 in 2011 along their way to an undefeated home season. Starting tonight, they can send a message not only to the division, but to the entire conference and league, that they knew they were one play away from the Super Bowl last year and have no intention of missing out on that opportunity starting right now.