Week two of the NFL Preseason has gone and plenty of questions have been left unanswered for the teams in the AFC North.
All four teams (Ravens, Bengals, Browns and Steelers) seem to have locked on to their starting quarterback. It’s going to be the position battles that most intrigue fans during training camp and the preseason. At last wide receiver Antonio Brown and his helmet issues are no longer a problem in this division! Good luck with that, Oakland!
But there were two really heartbreaking losses this week in the death’s of former Bengals running back Cedric Benson and Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake.
It’s been a while since we’ve talked about the Baltimore Ravens here on Our Turf. So, I scoured the internet to find someone who I could ask about the Ravens. I came up with “The most ELITE Raven’s blog on the internet”, The Baltimore Feather! He was gracious enough to let me pick his brain about the 2018 AFC North champions. Here’s our chat!
SG: John Harbaugh. They extended him over the offseason, and a lot of people felt that he could be on the move. How do you feel about that?
The Baltimore Feather: John Harbaugh’s extension was well deserved. His win of the AFC North after changing quarterbacks and offensive schemes mid-season makes him look like a football wizard. Many people were convinced at the bye week that Harbaugh would depart from Baltimore after 2018, but his playoff push saved him from that fate.
I think the extension and the vote of confidence from the Ravens brass are well deserved and the right move for the organization. Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in the NFL, and it would be a terrible mistake to let him go.
Since the Cleveland Browns are “my” team, I thought I’d try to take an objective look at the AFC North division overall and see who did the most to improve their roster. I said I’d TRY to be objective, but no promises…
When it comes to numbers, the division kind of stair-stepped up: Cleveland had 7, Baltimore had 8, Pittsburgh had 9 and Cincinnati chose a whopping 10 players.
As to positions, Defense has 17, Offense had 16 and there was one kicker taken. Yes, you read that right… my Browns took a kicker in the 5th round… we’ll talk more about that later…
Let’s face it – the AFC North was a hot mess last year! With Le’Veon Bell sitting out, the once-dominant Pittsburgh Steelers had to root for the Cleveland Browns in Week 17 in order to make the playoffs.
The Baltimore Ravens benched quarterback Joe Flacco and began the new era of Lamar Jackson football. Can Jackson keep being the leading rusher for this team and avoid injury?
The Cincinnati Bengals landed at the bottom of a division where the Browns had held that spot for too many years to count. But the once 0-16 Browns, under the leadership of rookie QB Baker Mayfield, are making their case to take over the division.
Let’s take a team-by-team look at the moves they’ve made so far to get ready for the battle to be “Kings of the North.”
The Chargers may have lost to the Ravens week 16 of the regular season, but they are looking for revenge in an exciting wildcard matchup Sunday.
The Ravens defeated the Chargers 22-10 in their first meeting and appeared to dominate them, but the Chargers actually had a chance to win the game. The Chargers got the ball with 3:10 left on the clock and had great field position. The score was 16-10 Ravens.
Unfortunately, the usually reliable tight end Antonio Gates fumbled with 2:48 on the clock and the Ravens ran it back 62 yards to the end zone, making the score 22-10 and sealing the Chargers fate. Their first matchup was in L.A. but this time, the Chargers must travel to Baltimore to play in a hostile environment faced with a 3 hour east coast time difference.
The Baltimore Ravens started training camp ahead of all the other NFL teams. The start of the 2018 season has a lot going on. This is Ozzie Newsome’s last year as general manager and a new draft class gives Ravens fans a lot to look forward to.
The Ravens had one of it’s best drafts this year by filling the needed skill set position. With the new addition of wide receivers Micheal Crabtree and Willie Snead, quarterback Joe Flacco now has some weapons that can go after the ball. Hopefully the coordinators will make the playbook better for Flacco and company.
The first four all went in the top 10 but it took a while for Jackson to find a home. In what may have been the most joyful moment of the evening for a lot of his fans, the Ravens traded back into the first round to get him at 32. Two went to the AFC North and two went to the AFC East. Both those divisions are going to see the quality of competition rise significantly in the next couple years.