Week 2 Wrap-up: AFC North

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North / NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Week 2 of the NFL season started with an offensive showdown in the AFC North last Thursday night, in an inner-state match-up between the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals. Yes, I said an offensive showdown!

In fact, the entire division looked good from an offensive perspective, putting up a combined 124 points. Now, they did allow 102 points so it looks like defense is going to be an issue for most of these teams…. but let’s take a closer look at what happened.

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AFC North 2020 Preview

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North / NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

The 2020 NFL offseason has been anything but typical. Training camps are underway with no fans in attendance and our glimpses of the teams have been sketchy at best.

But in looking around the AFC North, at the additions from the draft, the free agency moves and the returns from injury, it seems as if it’s just another normal off-season.

I have to say the team to beat is the Baltimore Ravens – regardless of what Steeler Fan wants to believe. And while Pittsburgh and the Cleveland Browns battle to be second fiddle, I think we all know the Cincinnati Bengals need a lot more help than #1 draft pick Joe Burrow as quarterback.

Let take a look at what each team has been up to so far this year.

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NFL/XFL Religation: Could it happen?

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

So, after being on my grad school grind for the past month or so, actually writing something NOT in APA format is well…. downright refreshing! Inserting a tweet is WAYYY easier than doing a proper APA reference page. However, I digress. Back to the matter at hand.

I came across this tweet yesterday:

I started thinking about it, and my first thought was honestly about English Premier League Soccer. I think that’s something similar to what they do in their League, right EPL fans??

But then, I actually thought about it.  I love this idea.  Like a lot.   I mean, it’s like the “Could Alabama/Clemson beat an NFL team” question, but actually on a more level playing field.

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Dolphins: A week 16 recap, and where do the Dolphins stand in the 2020 Draft?

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

On a day where the Miami Dolphins honored the NFL 100 greatest football team in history, the 1972 perfect season Dolphins, the Cincinnati Bengals came to town, sporting the worst record in the NFL this season.

The Dolphins looked to secure their 4th win of the season, starting strong, taking the opening drive 11 plays for 75 yards with Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick hitting defensive end, Christian Wilkins, for the 1-yard score.

The Dolphins would then go on to score on their next possession, which saw wide receiver Devante Parker earn his first-ever 1,000-yard receiving season. From there,  the Dolphins looked to be rolling to an easy win.

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The AFC North needs a little Christmas!

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

When I looked at the AFC North before the season started, I only got one thing right – the Cincinnati Bengals would finish at the bottom.

Who knew Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would need season-ending surgery?

Who thought Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson would not only stay healthy but be the top candidate for league MVP?

And my Cleveland Browns? Don’t get me started…

With this being the holiday season and all, I thought I’d make a few Christmas present wishes for each of these teams.

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NFL players….they’re just like us

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

The biggest news this past week was the Patriots and what their people may or may not have done on the sidelines.  But the most awesome thing is what happened after the game.

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Panthers fire Rivera – Who’s next?

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

In news that shocked me this week, the Carolina Panthers have fired head coach Ron Rivera after nine seasons.If a guy can coach a team to 5-7 while their star quarterback (Cam Newton) has been out since week 2, is any coach safe in this league?

It seems as if once one team fires their head coach before the season ends, a couple of others decide to follow suit. Who else could be on the head coach chopping block before the end of the year?

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The AFC North playoff picture could be decided this weekend

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

With only a few games left in the season, for three teams in the AFC North, this weekend will have a huge impact on the playoff picture.

The Baltimore Ravens have been lighting things up and quarterback Lamar Jackson is  fast becoming a front-runner for league MVP.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns meet again for the much-anticipated re-match following their game-ending brawl of just two weeks ago.

And the Cincinnati Bengals are still fighting to get that first win of the season.

Let’s take a look at the games for this week…

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Franchise QBs on their way out? The quarterback carousel begins early.

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303 

We are at the mid-season mark and already we have teams talking about moving on from their supposed franchise quarterbacks.

Let’s take a look at who may be leaving their quarterbacks behind.

Carolina Panthers placed Cam Newton on season-ending injured reserve this week, leaving many to question if we will ever see Newton in a Panthers uniform again., especially since they have quarterback Kyle Allen, an undrafted free agent who has played well for Carolina in relief of Newton. He has completed 60.7 % of his passes for 1,291 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions in six games.

The Panthers have gone 5-1 in the games in which Allen has started.

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Midterm Review: the 2019 NFL’s eight “Rookie” head coaches

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

It’s hard to believe we are at the mid-point of the NFL season. As such, there were eight teams starting the year with brand new head coaches. Six of them are in their first head coaching position, while two have held the job before.

In the competition to see who made the best hiring decision, the clear – and only – winner at this point is the Green Bay Packers. Matt LeFleur has this team leading their division at 7-1. Now, perhaps it’s the Aaron Duo – quarterback Aaron Rodgers and running back Aaron Jones – who deserve some credit, but there are other teams in this group with talented players who are not even close to being .500. That means I’m giving the Packers an A on the hire. Trust me – other coaches might have found a way to screw up this team so I’ll give credit to LeFleur because he hasn’t.

Let’s take a look at the other seven teams to see how they are faring…

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