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Thursday, October 7, 2010

AFC North Quarter Review

Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

On paper the Ravens still look like super bowl favorites to me. They have a top rated defense, and are going to get even better with the return of Pro-Bowl safety Ed Reed. Their offense has surprisingly started off slow, but Flacco seems to be getting more comfortable with the new faces on offense and things look like they are starting to click in the passing game. The key for the Ravens will be to get RB Ray Rice going. Rice averaged 5.3 YPC last year to go along with 78 receptions. This year the rushing attack looks pretty weak. If the Ravens can get Rice back to last years form, it is hard to imagine any team that can compete with them.

Surprise Players: Anquan Boldin, Dawan Landry, Haloti Ngata

Pittsburg Steelers (3-1)

As a Steelers fan you have to be very happy about how the season is going. The Steelers played four pretty tough opponents without their starting QB, and two of them with their third sting QB, yet they are sitting at 3-1. The Steelers have a great rushing attack with RB Rashard Mendenhall and the number one rated defense in the league. The only weakness is their passing attack which ranks 31st in the NFL. With former Super Bowl MVP QB Ben Roethlisberger under center, it won’t take long for the Steelers to start passing the ball effectively.

Surprise Players: Rashard Mendenhall, Mike Wallace, Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley

Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)

The reigning division champs are currently sitting third and looking up at two very talented teams ahead of them. In their two losses the Bengals got down early and were forced to play catch-up. What made the Bengals such a good team last year was their ability to run the ball effectively. This year RB Cedric Benson has only averaged 3.3 YPC, and has forced the Bengals to be pretty one dimensional on offense. QB Carson Palmer has passed almost 40 times per game so far. The Bengals really need Benson, and Palmer to step it up the rest of the way if they want to win.

Surprise Players: Terrell Owens, Leon Hall, Dhani Jones

Cleveland Browns (1-3)

Coming into the season, I thought the Browns were one of the worst teams in the NFL. I think they have turned some heads with the way they are playing. Usually the best word to describe the Browns is sloppy, but so far they have played some tough physical games, and they are giving some talented teams a run for their money. Even though the Browns are in a very tough division, I could see them winning 6-7 wins this season based on how they are playing right now.

Surprise Players: Peyton Hillis, Seneca Wallace, Ben Watson, TJ Ward, Scott Fuijita

Prediction: I still like the Ravens to win the division; they are 3-1 and have yet to play their best football. The Steelers could be a dangerous team with the return of QB Ben Roethlisberger, at worst they should win the wild card.


  1. I've heard numerous announcers/analysts predict 3 different Super Bowl teams from this division; obviously Cleveland wasn't invited to the party, they go to the "super bowl". Jokes aside though, this division essentially is wide open IMO.