AFC North: preseason week one

 

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North & NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8  

It’s hard to believe Week 1 of the NFL Preseason is already in the books.

This season, I’ll be covering the AFC North:  Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers.

For the past few years, this division has easily been dominated by the Steelers and Ravens. This season may bring quite a few surprises!

Ravens 29 – Jaguars 0

In what may have been the most lopsided game of the week, the Ravens started off with a Justin Tucker field goal, followed by a touchdown pass from quarterback Lamar Jackson to wide receiver Willie Snead.  After three field goals by kicker Kaare Vedvik, their defense got into the action with a pick-six from cornerback Cyrus Jones. Vedvik put up a 4th and final FG to end the game.

It would appear that Justin Tucker’s job as the premier kicker in Baltimore is safe, however, because they traded Vedvik to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Week 2: Thursday they will host the Green Bay Packers with a 7:30 pm kickoff.

 

Browns 30 – Washington 10

Cleveland told Washington that they were going to start the game as if the offense was in a two-minute drill. I presume head coach Freddie Kitchens wanted their defense to be prepared for a real test of QB Baker Mayfield and the offensive line. Instead, Baker had his way with Washingon.  Mayfield made the seven-play drive that ended in a 24-yard TD pass to WR Rashard Higgins look easy.

Browns took a 17-10 lead into the half and then didn’t allow any Washington points after that. Two highlights of the night were the performance of rookie linebacker Mack Wilson with two interceptions and surprise standout WR Damon Sheehy-Guiseppe‘s 86 yard punt return for a TD!

Week 2: Browns travel to Indianapolis for joint practices this week and the game on Saturday 8/17, kickoff 4:00pm

Chiefs 38 – Bengals 17

This game was fairly painful to watch. It’s not like the Chiefs trotted QB Patrick Mahomes out onto the field. QB Chase Litton just had his way with the Bengals defense, who were mostly second-team guys but still. Bengals backup QB Ryan Finley had a decent night.  He threw for 109 yards with one TD and one INT.  The biggest issue in my mind is that the Bengals only managed 26 rushing yards. I know, it’s preseason, but still, that’s not gonna play for long in this division, especially if they are playing from behind or in bad weather.

Week 2: Thursday 8/15 the Bengals will head to FedEx Field to take on Washington and QB Colt McCoy, kickoff 7:30pm

 


Steelers  30 – Buccaneers 28

QB Ben Roethlisberger didn’t play. QB Jameis Winston did.  At least until he scored a TD on a 9-yard pass to Chris Godwin. Then it was just a whole bunch of guys we don’t really know. Buccaneers backup QB Ryan Griffin played quite a lot, ending with 26/43 for 60% completions, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Meanwhile, the Steelers seemed to be holding backup QB tryouts, with three guys competing for the job.

QB Mason Rudolph was 5/8 for 62.5% and two touchdowns, Joshua Dobbs also went 5/8 for 62.5% and got sacked twice. Finally, Devlin Hodges was 8/14 at only 57.1% but he did get a touchdown. I know it’s early, but Steelers faithful should hope Big Ben stays healthy this year.

Week 2: Steelers host the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field on Saturday 8/17, kickoff 7:30pm

And who doesn’t love a 55 yard field goal!  #OneJob

 

Talk AFC North with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8

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