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AFC North Afternoon Roundup

AFC North Afternoon Roundup
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Friday’s here!  Friday’s here!  It’s also the last official Friday of summer; hence the inclusion of the scantily-clad cheerchick above.

This gives us all a reason to celebrate and forget about last night’s eyesore of a football game, and it gets us one day closer to seeing our preferred teams in action (seriously, what an awful game.  The Buccaneers should be arrested and jailed for stealing three hours of our lives).  There’s a good slate of games Sunday, which should also be enough to wake us from our doldrums and let us shout incessantly at our TVs for awhile.

For now, though, we’re stuck with the written word.  Enjoy today’s AFC North links.

Baltimore Ravens

Wideout Torrey Smith is confident he’ll make an impact.

My Take:  Smith hasn’t been getting much separation this season, and regardless of whether the coverages dictate it, he simply hasn’t been effective.  That probably won’t change as he faces off against Browns stalwart cornerback Joe Haden this Sunday.

Cleveland Browns

Here’s a profile of safety Donte Whitner, who’s brought a toughness and accountability to the Browns’ defense.

My Take:  Whitner’s been used to winning throughout his career, which surely factored into the Browns’ decision to bring him aboard this past offseason.  The fact that he’s a natural leader in the secondary helps tremendously.

Cincinnati Bengals

Wideout A.J. Green says he’ll play Sunday.

My Take:  He’d better.  The Bengals will be without inside linebacker Vontaze Burfict, leaving them susceptible to the run and potentially more scoring.  If the Titans are up to it, expect a shootout.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Panthers, Pittsburgh’s Sunday opponent, are limping in the backfield.

My Take:  This news should come as some relief to the Steelers, who have had trouble stopping the run this season.

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