AFC North Breakdown – Week 10

(Jarrett Carter writes for The Ebony Bird, which is FSB’s Ravens blog. Representing the rest of the AFC North are Dawg Pound Daily, Nice Pick Cowher and Stripe Hype.)

Week 10 of the 2008 NFL regular season was all about change in the AFC North. The Baltimore Ravens are changing from a defensive rough house to an offensive power house, the Cleveland Browns changed quarterbacks for a similar result, and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ luck at home changed from good to bad.

Just don’t change pages on me, until you’re done reading the AFC North breakdown.

Baltimore Ravens (6-3):

Looking Back: Another week, another bad team, and another offensive explosion from Jump-Off Joe Flacco and the Ravens. 41 points, 100 yards rushing for Willis McGahee, and no picks for Flacco was a stark comparison to the Sage Rosenfels fire sale on pass attempts.

Everything had to go…to a Ravens defender.

Looking Forward: Next week will be the first true test for the Ravens since the Indianapolis Colts debacle a few weeks back. They draw the New York Giants on the road, which means pressure up front, and match-up problems for the Ravens’ secondary.

Cincinnati Bengals (1-8):

Looking Back: They didn’t play anybody, they didn’t lose, and Chad Ocho Cinco has not demanded a trade or made claims about Marvin Lewis being a Martian in human form. Can’t knock their hustle.

Looking Forward: Believe it or not, next to the Ravens, the Bengals are the hottest team in the division. Everything that was supposed to get them turned in a direction other than the wrong one hasn’t happened, and the team might just be better of sticking with Marvin Lewis and the defense as currently patch worked.

Cleveland Browns (3-6):

Looking Back: The Brady Quinn era began with a super showing, as he racked up yards, touchdowns and respect in his first career start. He didn’t throw any interceptions, and kept the Browns close on the road in the Denver Broncos’ house.

I would have more to say about it, but my lack of the NFL Network and the fact that Jamal Lewis is a non-factor about as often as Braylon Edwards drops passes will stop me right here.

Looking Forward: The Brownies have a Monday night date with the Buffalo Bills next week. Despite the uneven records, there’s a chance Quinn could get his first win. Or not, as the Bills are 3-1 at home this season, and will be smarting after a loss to the New England Patriots.

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3):

Looking Back: The Steelers had everything going in the first half against Peyton Manning and the Colts. And then, Ben Roethlisberger threw a pick that allowed the Colts to drive for a margin-shrinking touchdown at the end of the first half.

Then, he did it again in the fourth quarter.

Looking Forward: The Steelers are still very good. But, you have to wonder about the injuries and the close margins that the Steelers have been gambling with so far this season. And don’t look now, but Big Ben has more interceptions than touchdowns so far. You would think it would get slighty easier at home against the San Diego Chargers, but if you check your watch, this is usually the point in the season where the Bolts rip off six straight wins.

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