AFC North Breakdown – Week 9


(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 9 of the 2008 NFL regular season was all about decisions in the AFC North. The Baltimore Ravens decided that enough was enough for having a sporadic offense, the Cincinnati Bengals decided that losing was out of style, the Cleveland Browns decided that Brady Quinn was sexy enough to start, and the Pittsburgh Steelers decided the presidency of the United States.

We hope you decide to continue reading this review of Week 9 in the AFC North.

Baltimore Ravens (5-3):

Looking Back: It was the kind of game that Ravens fans had been waiting for since the team’s introduction in the mid-90’s; a defense that was capable of stopping the bleeding, and an offense that was capable of cutting an opponent’s heart out.

Joe Flacco threw for two touchdowns, Ray Rice ran wild, Matt Stover was on point, and the defense bent but never broke. Any more balance out of Baltimore and the universe might spontaneously eject Peter Angelos out of the city.

Looking Forward: The Ravens make up the game against the Houston Texans this Sunday. What looked like a close match-up just a few weeks ago, now looks a little easier for the Ravens given last week’s performance.

Cincinnati Bengals (1-8):

Looking Back: They won. I can’t believe it either, but the Cincinnati Bengals put together a nice offensive display and held defensively against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Chad Ocho Cinco is delivering kisses and catching touchdowns. Life is good.

Looking Forward: The Bengals are the hottest team in the league right now, with hot loosely translated as less of a laughing stock. Even better they have a bye week, which means that for two consecutive weeks, they cannot be defeated.

Cleveland Browns (3-5):

Looking Back: We’ve been calling for this, and it finally happened. Derek Anderson shrouded the Browns’ offense in such a stench that Brady Quinn will get the start this Thursday against the Broncos. The only bad part? The Ravens’ defense usually has that effect on quarterbacks, so we’re not altogether sure if Romeo Crennel didn’t have this move in the skillet before last Sunday.

Looking Forward: It’s the up-and-down Broncos visiting the Browns on a game eight people across the country will watch. A man named Brady with two fully-functional knees will lead a Browns team in flux against a Broncos team that will likely win the AFC West, because their divisional foes play with the same consistency that Sarah Palin reads her RSS news feed.

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2):

Looking Back: The Steelers rolled into Washington to collide with the Redskins’ bandwagon on Monday Night Football. Resting on the match-up was the Skins’ effort to keep pace with the Giants in the NFC East, the Steelers’ attempt to pull away from the Ravens in the AFC North, and the fate of the free world.

Looking Forward: Maybe you didn’t pick up what I was putting down. I said the fate of the free world. Yeah. That means that you should be voting right about now instead of thinking about the Steelers next game.