Older AFCE

Older AFCE

AFC North: Speaking of Which…

AFC North: Speaking of Which…
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Week 11 has come and gone, Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and those of us affiliated with the AFC North are just as puzzled and undecided as we were in the preseason.  The entire division is sitting at a .500 or worse clip, which is hardly the stuff of Super Bowl contenders, let alone payoff participants.  The division “leading” Ravens are in possession of first place by virtue of their head-to-head victory over the wholly inconsistent Steelers.  The Bengals have all but dropped off the divisional map, and the Browns are supposedly not concerned about wins and losses.  Speaking of which…

 

As their winless streak continues, the Browns are hedging into dangerous precedent-setting territory, as they would become the second team in the 16-game era to finish a regular season without a win.  Head coach Hue Jackson may bear the indignity of being the only head coach to finish his first season with a team winless.  Speaking of which…

 

Hue Jackson claims to have received a vote of confidence from the Browns’ front office, which would be remarkable after this season.  Speaking of which…

 

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is under more scrutiny than ever following an underachieving, poorly managed 2016 campaign.  While many doubt that Bengals owner Mike Brown would actually oust his current “coach for life” for anything less than murder in the ranks, the fact remains that Lewis has yet to win a playoff game as a head coach, and his current team has vastly underperformed this season; conditions that would result in an obvious dismissal anywhere else.  Speaking of which…

 

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh muddles on, despite a questionable offensive and an even more questionable coaching staff.  There have been minor rumblings regarding Harbaugh’s job security if the Ravens don’t show marked improvement before the end of the season, but they seem to be largely unfounded, as the Ravens – miraculously – are still in possession of a playoff spot, at least currently.  Speaking of which…

 

Given the brutal nature of their schedule, no one expects the Ravens to conclude the regular season as division winners.  It’s certainly possible that the Ravens’ offense will suddenly rebound and resemble a credible NFL unit, but it says here that the odds are long indeed.  Speaking of which…

 

The Steelers were the only team in the division to produce a victory last weekend, but does that really mean much?  They still remain behind the Ravens, although they play in Pittsburgh later this season, and the team’s play was adequate, but certainly not that of a championship hopeful.  While the Steelers’ offensive talent is undeniable, their defense has been very, very inconsistent and in no way gives fans any reason to believe this team could progress in the playoffs, divisional crown or no.  Speaking of which…

 

The Bengals still have a chance to take the division, but it will most likely require winning out the rest of their schedule, which would certainly be a cause for thanksgiving in Cincinnati.  Speaking of which…

 

Happy Thanksgiving, AFC North!  Enjoy the holiday, the eats, and especially the drinks.

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