AFC North Afternoon Roundup

AFC North Afternoon Roundup
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Cornerback Darqueze Dennard has been flying into a starting role during training camp and preseason



In today’s AFC North roundup, the Steelers and Ravens showed that the previous week’s play was no indication of this week’s performance, and the two rivals were involved in the most talked about games of the weekend.


Baltimore Ravens

After a decent showing last week, especially in the first half, the Ravens threw in a stinker. Lucky for them, a Terrell Suggs’ hit kept the national media’s focus off of a dismal performance by the Ravens in all phases of the game.


My Take: While I can see why Eagles fans would be upset (and it normally doesn’t take much), the NFL has to throw the defense a bone when the offense runs the deceptive read-option. Although Chip Kelly said they were not running the
read-option, it looked exactly like a read option play… BECAUSE THE PLAY IS INHERENTLY DECEPTIVE to look like a draw, pass, QB run, or roll-out option pass. Suggs appeared to go hard, then “let up” and arm-tackled Bradford near the knee (as you can see by the dozen replays in the article above), but louder mouths have prevailed (ironically). The Eagles have labeled Suggs the dirtiest of players, so then it shall be… despite (to my knowledge) amassing a whopping fine total of $8,268 in his career (not including the $5,512 for wearing a pregame gladiator helmet, both fines against the Steelers.)


Cincinnati Bengals

I mentioned AJ McCarron’s debut late last week, and the remaining interesting articles out of Bengal land were from Cincinnati pay-for-access outlets, so here is a read from an overly optimistic Bengals fan.


My Take: While its true that the Bengals have a very good shot at winning the AFC North, not dissimilar to the Steelers and Ravens, stating that one of the positive reasons is “pressure to win” seems to be the opposite take by most. Pressure has not been kind to the Bengals over the years. Add in an assumed 5-1 division record, and a Hill > Bell comparison, and you get the homer article of the week.


Cleveland Browns

On a slow news day, why not talk ’bout PRACTICE?!?


My Take:
There is quite a bit of optimism in Browns camp as there should be during the preseason. This team has been just a few parts away from making a run over the past few years, and the biggest part has been the mental game in my opinion. Well that, combined with player health and a full season’s worth of confidence out of the quarterback position.


Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers/Packers game made national headlines for all the wrong reasons with key injuries to Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson and Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey. There was plenty of good news for Steelers faithful, however, none more than the progress of Bud Dupree, who without taking a regular season snap was called the “B” word by some in the media just a couple of days ago.

My Take:

The Steelers had a solid all around game to silence the critics after two shaky contests. Regarding Pouncey, who will be out an estimated eight weeks, the Steelers do have a capable experienced backup, but they will lose a top caliber athletic and fiery center, and their offensive line replacement pool just became a little thinner (if no moves are made). On Dupree’s success, I wrote about the knee-jerk reaction during the last Roundup. He is a raw talent and will have ups and downs early in his career. Steelers fans can hope that last game proves he is becoming more comfortable to the new defensive system, and that this week’s production will be more of the norm.

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