By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8
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.
Let’s see what’s been going on in the North….
A few minor injuries this week running back Gus Edwards, wide receiver Miles Boykin and guard Jermaine Eluemunor are already listed as “Questionable” for the first week of the season vs the Miami Dolphins.
Week 2: Ravens 26 – Packers 13 QB Lamar Jackson played well, including an exciting TD run that was called back for an illegal block from WR Willie Snead. While head coach John Harbaugh seems enamored of his rushing talents, I have to wonder (along with everyone else) if he can stay healthy all year. In his backup role, Trace McSorley had another good week with one TD, one INT.
Next up: Ravens travel to Philadelphia to face the Eagles on Thursday, Aug. 22 at 7:30 pm
First NFL TD for @McSorley_IX❗️
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 16, 2019
Three injuries reported so far for the Bengals as well. Tackle Cordy Glenn, WR Hunter Sharp, and RB Trayveon Williams are all “Questionable” for their week one matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. With their offense struggling to find an identity, hopefully, these injuries are minor.
Week 2: Bengals 23 – Washington 13 Everything about this game has been overshadowed by the sudden death of former Bengal RB Cedric Benson. Anyone who saw him play remembers how electric it was, how anything really could happen each time he touched the ball. This loss reminds all of us how precious and fleeting life can be.
Next up: Bengals host the New York Giants on Thursday, Aug. 22 at 7:00 pm
The Bengals mourn the loss of Cedric Benson.
“Our organization is deeply saddened by his sudden and tragic passing. The Bengals extend our deepest condolences to Cedric’s family.”
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) August 18, 2019
QB Baker Mayfield had an interview appear this week in GQ Magazine… Lord, why do athletes give interviews to fashion magazines? But I digress. I guess his comments on NY Giants QB draft pick Daniel Jones weren’t really harsh, but they sure didn’t earn him any fans in the greater New York area. It’s always something with this team…
Week 2: Browns 21 – Colts 18 Another game where the teams enjoyed joint practices leading up to the main event. I think it showed in how evenly matched they were for the game. And it appears that QB Garrett Gilbert is totally winning the competition for backup QB. I must say, it’s interesting to not see a starting QB problem there.
Next up: Browns travel down to sunny Florida to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday, Aug. 23 at 7:30 pm
#Browns practicing. Baker Mayfield rips #Giants for drafting Daniel Jones in GQ article. #Browns on Sports Illustrated cover. Odell Beckham Jr. tells SI that #Giants “thought they’d send me here to die.”
Here. We. Go.
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) August 20, 2019
The Steelers didn’t avoid the injury blues this week… LB Devin Bush, LB Anthony Chickillo and RB Benny Snell are all listed as “Questionable” for their season opener vs the New England Patriots. With the drama of RB Le’veon Bell and Antonio Brown behind them, losing Snell for any length of time is problematic. He’s clearly competing with James Connor and Jaylen Samuels for a job and you can’t do that from the sidelines.
Week 2: Steelers 17 – Chiefs 7 The sudden death of wide receivers coach Darryl Drake was felt all across the league, but nowhere more than in Pittsburgh. “Shut out the noise” was a favorite saying of Drake and one that the players will be focused on this season as a tribute to him. There were “DD” stickers on their helmets, which will remain there for the entire season.
More on this morning’s sobering death of Steelers’ WR coach Darryl Drake, who was beloved around the league. He was 62.https://t.co/FZvwVessoL
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 11, 2019
Next up: Steelers head to Tennessee to face the Titans on the only Sunday night game, Aug. 25, at 8:00 pm
Talk AFC North with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8