OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers congratulates Carson Palmer #3 of the Oakland Raiders after the Raiders beat the Steelers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 23, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Following their 38-31 win over the Washington Redskins, the Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) put their legs up and leaned back in their reclinders while the AFC North battled. And when Sunday came to its glorious conclusion, the Bengals, along with the Baltimore Ravens, remain tied atop of the division. Here's how the weekend broke down.
+ BUFFALO BILLS 24, CLEVELAND BROWNS 14. At one point in the third quarter the Cleveland Browns threatened, reducing Buffalo's 10-point lead to a three-point advantage following Travis Benjamin's 22-yard touchdown reception. Cleveland's defense followed that up with a strong three and out effort, giving Cleveland the football back with 1:21 remaining in the third quarter at their own 40-yard line. A third down sack ended the threat and Buffalo went on a 68-yard, ten-play drive to take a 24-14 lead, capped by Ryan Fitzpatrick's third touchdown of the afternoon.
+ OAKLAND RAIDERS 34, PITTSBURGH STEELERS 31. When Ben Roethlisberger completed a ten-yard pass to Antonio Brown that was fumbled at the one and recovered in the endzone midway in the third quarter, Pittsburgh took a 31-21 lead and appeared to be well on their way to beating the Raiders for their second win of the season.
God bless Carson Palmer, who completed 14 of 19 passes for 150 yards passing and a touchdown during the final four plays in the third and the entire fourth quarter. It was actually more impressive than that. After Pittsburgh's Jonathan Dwyer second quarter fumble with the Steelers leading 14-7, the Raiders outscored the Steelers 27-17 with Palmer leading five consecutive scoring drives.
+ BALTIMORE RAVENS 31, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 30. A classic game with a controversial ending and intense hatred for the replacement officials. Baltimore scored a touchdown with 4:08 remaining in the game, reducing New England's nine-point lead to two. New England tried killing the clock, but they put together an offensive gameplan that included passes, some of which fell incomplete, along with a quarterback sack that forcefully stalled New England's progress with over two minutes remaining.
Joe Flacco brilliantly completed the first three passes during the two minute drill, taking the Ravens from their own 21-yard line to New England's 34. A Devon McCourty pass interference put Baltimore on New England's seven-yard line and Justin Tucker converted the game-winning 27-yard field goal. A field goal that many question if it was good or not.