AFC North Breakdown: Week 5
(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 5 of the 2008 NFL regular season was had two big winners and two big losers in the AFC North. The Pittsburgh Steelers further displayed that they can win the close ones, and the Cleveland Browns showed that bye weeks don’t always mean arrests, tasering incidents, or controversy.
But the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals came up short, but the degrees of mediocrity weren’t what the experts expected. Let’s take a look back
Baltimore Ravens (2-2):
Looking Back: The Ravens blew it against the Steelers on Monday Night Football, and were looking to get back into the groove of smacking offenses around. A match-up with the Tennessee Titans, a team that was once a big-time rival of the Ravens and minus Vince Young, figured to be a solid home victory for the Ravens to keep pace with the Steelers in the division.
Two picks from Joe Flacco, a bad call by referees, and a Kerry Collins sighting later, the Ravens were 2-2 and in fairly middlin’ land amongst the NFL elite.
Looking Forward: Next week is an away game against the locally-despised Indianapolis Colts. The Colts got a victory gift wrapped for them by the Houston Texans last Sunday, but who’s to say the Ravens won’t do the exact same thing.
Looking Back: Here’s the thing about the Cincinnati Bengals; they’re not exactly bungling away games. They are getting beat pretty convincingly, but they are relatively competitive against some pretty good competition. On the season, the Bengals have only one double-digit loss, which is not something you expect from the worst team in the NFL.
Looking Forward: It’s a shame that Marvin Lewis likely won’t make it through the season, because he’s actually a good coach. But when you have a team of selfish prima donnas looking at Brett Favre and the Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers in back to back weeks, 0-7 means the firing squad has to come out on somebody.
Looking Back: The Browns had a bye week, which means that for one weekend, they were the kings of the football world. They didn’t throw interceptions, they didn’t give up touchdowns. All they had to do was not get arrested. Congratulations Browns on a job well done.
Looking Forward: The Brady Quinn watch hasn’t taken a week off just because the team didn’t play. Changes are still necessary for an offense that is near dead last in the major offensive categories of total yards, rushing yards, passing yards and points per game.
Looking Back: Sure its getting old that the Pittsburgh Steelers are the cream of the AFC crop. Ben Roethelisberger is so 2006, and Steely McBeam is about two seconds away from an appearance on “How Do I Look?” But they are winning over solid competition, and last week’s handling of the Jacksonville Jaguars served notice of their authority in the division.
Looking Forward: The Steelers go into a bye week, hoping to rest up players, fine tune the passing game, and audition Mike Tomlin for In Too Deep 2….You know, since Omar Epps is busy with ‘House’ and all, the producers just wanted some continuity.