AFC North – Week 5 Update

By Kate Arhar (aka Cleveland Kate) // @ClvlndK8

After years of tough competition and league-leading stats, the AFC North seems to have fallen on hard times.  Through four weeks, the Pittsburgh Steelers are at the top with a predictable 3-1 record.  They are currently ranked 5th on the Bleacher Report Power Rankings. Then, there’s the REST of the division. Down at #22 we have the Baltimore Ravens (2-2), at #23 the Cincinnati Bengals (1-3), and, pulling up the rear as usual, my Cleveland Browns (0-4).

Pittsburgh’s only loss so far came in overtime vs the Chicago Bears. They look good. Really good. Going to the Playoffs and maybe the Super Bowl good. (Man it hurts just to type that!).  They host a tough and improving Jacksonville Jaguars team this week but their offense, which has put up a division-leading 90 points so far, is up to the challenge.

Don’t let that 2-2 record the Ravens are boasting about fool you. They’ve scored a measly 60 points (least in the division) while giving up 80 points to opposing teams. After starting the season with two wins, they’ve given up 44 points to Jacksonville and 26 points to Pittsburgh. This week they face the Oakland Raiders – IN Oakland – so unless their defense steps up, they don’t have enough offensive weapons to win.

Next we have the surprisingly bad Bengals. It wasn’t that long ago that people were talking about their fight to win the division and their playoff chances but this season they’ve been a huge disappointment.  Aside from their one win again the Browns, during which they scored 31 of their season-total 64 points, they haven’t put up much in the way of offense.

And we all know how hard it is for any defense to hold off opponents forever.  They travel to Buffalo to face a Bills team coming off a huge win against the Atlanta Falcons this week so things may not get better any time soon.

Last, and most likely least, are my Browns.  The offense under rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer has struggled, wide receivers lead the league in dropped passes and don’t even get me started on the mental mistakes and penalties. They’ve put up 64 points so far, which is actually the second highest point total in the division, but it’s the 107 points they’ve given up that tells the real story.

Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams gave all fans hope during the off-season that at least the defense would be good but that has just not proven to be the case.  On the bright side, #1 overall draft pick Myles Garrett will finally join them on the field this week as they host the NY Jets.

Fantasy Rankings: Quarterbacks     

12  Ben Roethlesberger, Pit

17  Andy Dalton, Cin

18  DeShone Kizer, Cle

21  Joe Flacco, Bal

Fantasy Rankings: Running backs

1. Le’Veon Bell, Pit

15. Joe Mixon, Cin

19. Duke Johnson Jr., Cle

24. Isaiah Crowell, Cle

26. Javorius Allen, Bal

33. Giovani Bernard, Cin

35. Alex Collins, Bal

Photo from zimbio.com
Le’veon Bell running from Ravens defender Photo from zimbio.com

Fantasy Rankings: Wide Receivers

2. Antonio Brown, Pit

4. A.J. Green, Cin

31. Jeremy Maclin, Bal

32. Martavis Bryant, Pit

34. Mike Wallace, Bal

51. Kenny Britt, Cle

Fantasy Rankings: Tight Ends

14. Benjamin Watson, Bal

21. Tyler Kroft, Cin

Fantasy Rankings: Defense/Special Teams

2. Pittsburgh Steelers

3. Baltimore Ravens

11. Cincinnati Bengals

21. Cleveland Browns

Myles Garrett and Gregg Williams
Myles Garrett and Gregg Williams

That’s it for now….  unless you want to discuss Routes?

Talk AFC North with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8

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