The AFC North posted three formidable teams this year, a surprise team in the Bengals, the underachieving yet still strong Steelers and our Ravens. In a division mostly known for its defenses, the AFC North had two top 15 ranked offenses, the Steelers led by Ben Roethlisberger and the Ravens led by a standout sophomore half back, Ray Rice. The other two teams were in the bottom third of the NFL, Bengals ranked 24th andthe Cleveland Browns ranked dead last at number32.
So without further ado, I shall break down what players made some offenses fly high, or players that simply kept their team afloat at times in the 2009-2010 edition of the All AFC North Team: Offense.
Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
This pick was relatively simple for me seeing as though Big Ben is leading all quarterbacks in the AFC North in every major statistic.
Runner Up: Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals
Running Back: Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the regular season for the Baltimore Ravens, young Ray Rice emerged from his backfield companions, Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain, to rack up 2,041 total yards from scrimmage, 2nd in the NFL.
Runner Up: Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals
Fullback: Le’Ron McClain
Le’Ron McClain not only is a great blocker coming out of the backfield, but he is solid in short field situations and is above average is caching out of the backfield for such a big player.
Runner Up: Dan Kreider, Pittsburgh Steelers
Wide Receiver #1: Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers
While teammate Santonio Holmes has more receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, Hines Ward is still the number one wideout in the AFC North. He puts up solid stats every year, andis a vicious blocker. Ward is an all around great receiver.
Wide Receiver #2: Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers
I struggled for the top two receiving spots. Hines Ward emerged as the obvious number one for me, but the #2 spot was open to three candidates, Derrick Mason, Chad Ochocinco, and Santonio Holmes. I gave Holmes the nod due to his big play ability. Although, I had Ochocinco on my mind just in case I needed a kicker.
Wide Receiver #3: Derrick Mason, Baltimore Ravens
Wide Receiver #4: Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals
Tight End: Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers
This was very close as well. I went with Heath Miller over Todd Heap because of the fact that he is a bit less injury prone, and is a better blocker.
Runner Up: Todd Heap, Baltimore Ravens
Left Tackle: Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns
Despite being on such a horrific team, he and Josh Cribbs may be the only bright spots in this whole organization.
Runner Up: Jared Gaither, Baltimore Ravens
Right Tackle: Michael Oher, Baltimore Ravens
He came out and did his job. And when asked, he even stepped in effectively for fellow tackle Jared Gaither when he got hurt on the left side of the line.
Runner Up: Max Starks, Pittsburgh Steelers
Left Guard: Ben Grubbs, Baltimore Ravens
Ben Grubbs has emerged to be one of the top guards in the NFL, and bolsters the inside line for the Ravens.
Right Guard: Kendall Simmons, Pittsburgh Steelers
Kendall has started the past 26 games, improving with each and has helped protect Big Ben.
Center: Matt Birk, Baltimore Ravens
Matt Birk is a solid veteran presence on an otherwise young offensive line that is rising to be one of the better lines in the league.