AFC North

AFC North

Speaking of which…

Speaking of which…
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AFC North fans, let’s just call them the “doldrums”.

Things can’t be that bad. No way it’s more than a blip! The AFC North is a flagship NFL icon, and it will continue to be! Let’s continue to imagine our favorite division is collectively and individually excellent, replete with competent front offices, managers, coaches and coordinators. Our scouting and talent acquisition departments are always in peak form. Speaking of which…

The Ravens’ front office continues to send signals that it’s ready to make deals, yet no one seems sure who for beyond Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey, whom the Ravens are rumored to have made a “substantive inquiry” about. While pairing Ramsey with budding all-pro Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey would be problematic for NFL wide receivers, it would neglect many spots of much greater need, including the gaping absence of a pass rush, and it would rob the Ravens of much-needed draft capital. Speaking of which…

The Bengals are inching closer to sell-off mode, with rumors abound of moving venerable wideout A.J. Green before the trade deadline. If healthy, Green would still be a substantial boost to any offense, and his quiet professionalism has been notable throughout his career. He would easily garner a third-round pick in the 2020 draft at minimum, and possibly a second, which might be too tempting for the Bengals to refuse. The idea is apparently being met with some resistance in the Bengals’ locker room, who seem unaware that an 0-5 start generally necessitates change. Grow up, fellas. There’s limited ways you’re going to get better, and the draft is one of them, even at the expense of locker room chemistry. Speaking of which…

Amid handshake controversies and hype critics, the Browns have stayed remarkably unified in the locker room and to the press, and it’s one of the few positives they currently enjoy after Monday’s lopsided loss to the 49ers. They seem to be determined to concentrate on football and let the “scandals” such as they are, dissipate within the next news cycle. The Browns obviously didn’t play well, so finding on-field solutions (e.g., using running back Nick Chubb more) would demand first priority. As for the press coverage, my best advice: Shut up. Don’t give the media anything to work with, and just play. Speaking of which…

The Steelers have had a torrent of injuries essentially ruin their play and season thus far, most notably at quarterback, where Sunday saw a woozy and compromised Mason Rudolph carried off the field due to an apparent medical cart malfunction. Due to the violence and ugliness of Rudolph’s concussion, it’s hard to picture him on the field this week, which has produced expectations of possible free agent backups that could be added to the roster, even in the short term. Head coach Mike Tomlin seems content to go with third-string rookie QB Devlin Hodges, who looked serviceable in stretches Sunday, and recently-added practice squad QB Paxton Lynch. Given that depth chart, I wouldn’t rule out another signing before Sunday.

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