AFC North Gameday Thread – Week 5

AFC North Gameday Thread – Week 5
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Jacksonville Jaguars @ Pittsburgh Steelers  

1:00 pm EST, CBS



The Steelers return home to face the Jaguars with some confidence in leading their division despite not playing their best football, while the Jaguars appear to have finally established a long-sought measure of respectability.  Despite Antonio Brown’s histrionics last week, look for the Steelers to run the ball with resurgent back Le’Veon Bell, while the Jaguars will likewise lean heavily on rookie RB Leonard Fournette (currently listed as questionable).


Key players:

Jaguars  – Fournette, WR Allen Hurns, DT Malik Jackson

Steelers – Bell, DT Javon Hargrave, LB Vince Williams



Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals  

1:00 pm EST, CBS



The Bengals collected their first win last week against the hapless Browns, but whether they’ve truly moved past their offensive issues remains to be seen.  The Bills find themselves in first place after a quarter of the season, which seems to surprise everyone except themselves.  Expect the Bengals to pass the ball consistently and force the Bills into thin run coverage, while the Bills will continue their unpredictable, balanced play.


Key Players:

Bills – TE Charles Clay, DE Jerry Hughes, S Micah Hyde

Bengals – WR A.J. Green, RB Gio Bernard, CB Dre Kirkpatrick



New York Jets @ Cleveland Browns

1:00 pm EST, FOX



The Browns, still seeking their first win, welcome the Jets, who have clawed their way to a surprising 2-2 record.  Considering the rosters for both teams, it’s tough to imagine how this game will play out, but if each team’s trends hold, expect the Browns to pass the ball far more than they run it, as starting RB Isaiah Crowell has done little to inspire confidence, while the Jets will do their utmost to keep the ball in competent QB Josh McCown’s hands.  This won’t be a “barnburner”.


Key Players:

Jets – McCown, WR Jermaine Kearse, LB Darron Lee

Browns – RB Duke Johnson, LB Christian Kirksey, CB Jason McCourty



Baltimore Ravens @ Oakland Raiders

4:05 pm EST, CBS



The Ravens catch a “break” of sorts this week, as the once-title hopeful Raiders will be without starting quarterback Derek Carr and possibly without top wideouts Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree (both questionable).  Given the Ravens’ offensive issues, it most likely won’t make a difference unless quarterback Joe Flacco finds ways to reverse his litany of bad habits.  The Raiders will make every effort to take advantage of the Brandon Williams-sized hole in the middle of the Ravens defensive line by rushing RB Marshawn Lynch into it.


Key Players:

Ravens:  RB Alex Collins, TE Benjamin Watson, CB Brandon Carr

Raiders:  QB E.J. Manuel, TE Jared Cook, DE Mario Edwards Jr.


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