(Editors note: A few times a year we have guest contributors add to our website. Please enjoy.)
There have been many debates over the years. Waffles or pancakes? Chocolate or peanut butter? Tastes great or less filling? Allow me to add one more related to the NFL draft: Best available or fill needs?
I decided to dig into which strategy works better by researching ten years of drafts from 2009 through 2019. I chose the best team in each NFL division based on the overall record from that same period. I first looked at statistics for each season for these eight teams.
Items such as points scored and allowed, offensive and defensive rankings in each season, sacks allowed and recorded, and depth issues formed the baseline for what I saw as team needs for each draft. Any player chosen that would help improve the team in any of these areas was seen as a need pick, not a best available. Here are the teams and my analysis:
All four of these teams need this break to heal and regroup. What’s interesting to me, is the startling similarities between these four teams.
Two from the AFC North and two from the NFC South. Two struggling with first-year head coaches and sub-par quarterback play, while the other two are dealing with injuries that have taken out their starting QB and left their entire offenses struggling.
But I wonder… will this “Bye” week hurt or heal these teams?
Week 5 didn’t do anything to clear up the picture in the AFC North. In fact, the waters got even more muddy.
The Pittsburgh Steelers lost a close division matchup to the Baltimore Ravens. The Cincinnati Bengals lost a tight one to the Atlanta Falcons. And the Cleveland Browns got ripped apart in front of the entire football nation on Monday night by the San Francisco 49ers.
The Ravens may be at the top of the division with a 3-2 record, but they are a long way from claiming dominance.
Let’s take a look back at the action, and a look forward to this week’s games.
Between the hard-fought ground battle in Baltimore between the Ravens (2-2) and the Cleveland Browns (2-2), to the Monday Night Football showcase of two winless teams, Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3) vs Cincinnati Bengals (0-4), the AFC North is a division undergoing a huge transformation.
How did this week’s games impact the division standings – and what do the upcoming weeks have in store for these hard grinding teams?
Let’s take a look at the first quarter of the 2019 season for this division…
Divisional Match-ups are finally here in the AFC North and there are two great ones this weekend.
Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens (2-1) host the Cleveland Browns (1-2). Then on Monday Night Football, the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3) host the Cincinnati Bengals (0-3)
During the off-season, it appeared that there would be a battle going on in this division. However, a season-ending injury to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has left the team floundering. And first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens is struggling with discipline and penalty issues for the Browns.
Will this week’s match-ups ultimately decide the division?
The Baltimore Ravens sit alone atop the AFC North after one week due to surprising losses by the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cincinnati Bengals loss to the Seattle Seahawks was only surprising in that the game was so very much closer than anyone predicted.
The Ravens looked amazing, but is that because the Miami Dolphins are worse than advertised? And after all the pre-season hype, are the Browns really this bad?
No one was surprised to see the New England Patriots man-handle the Steelers, yet the complete beat-down was unexpected. And quarterback Andy Dalton put up better numbers than Russell Wilson!!!! How did that happen?
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.