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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Are we seeing another Heisman Curse?

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

The most coveted award in college football, the Heisman Trophy.  Aside:  Do players still strike the Heisman pose anymore as a celebration?  I don’t think I’ve seen that in a while.

But in the land of Turnover Chains and other celebrations, I’m assuming that the Heisman pose is a thing of the past?  Please, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Back to the topic at hand.  Remember way back when, when there was a debate as to which quarterback would have the best career? Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota??

This conversation reached a fever pitch back in 2015 when they were both drafted by their respective teams.  They were going to turn the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tennesee Titans around, and get them back to being playoff caliber type teams.

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2019 Cleveland Browns season preview

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

Editors Note: OurTurf Football has had a great, long-time friendship with Russell Baxter and we were honored when he asked a few of our writers to do team season previews for his website, PFG Vibe/ProFootballGuru. OTFB’s Kate Arhar wrote up her thoughts on the upcoming season for the Cleveland Browns. The article was originally published on Aug 27, 2019, and can be seen here.

2019 Cleveland Browns Preview

By Kate Arhar (@ClvlndK8)

Special to Pro Football Guru

Even with a first-time head coach, new offensive coordinator and new defensive coordinator, the Cleveland Browns have never engendered higher hopes among their fans than they have in this off-season. While a 7-8-1 record is not usually something to give one much hope, the Browns were a combined 1-31 for the two previous seasons.

Their woes at the quarterback position are the stuff of legend – and ESPN film reels. But the drafting of quarterback Baker Mayfield seems to have changed all that. For the first time in my memory, and I’ve been following the Browns since 1975, the talent on this roster may actually be up to the challenge of meeting the fans expectations.

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News from the AFC North

 

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

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….

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Do quarterbacks have to be leaders?

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter

 

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

I’m taking a break from my quarterback series to discuss a trait found in some quarterbacks. Leadership.

Leadership has come into question quite a bit in the past month or so, especially among the quarterback position.  Specifically Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger,   whose leadership skills have recently been called out.

Of course, this could be just some silly, off-season stuff to keep us talking.  If so, I fell for it. But it did get me to thinking, do quarterbacks really have to be good leaders?  I don’t think it’s a true requirement.  Respect, yes.  Leadership skills? I’m going to go ahead and say no, and this is why.

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Browns get key piece in Odell Beckham Jr.

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

As a fan of the Cleveland Browns, I am often on the wrong end of trades or free agent signings.

But things have started to change for this team, and for once they were on the winning side of a deal!

While I have some sympathy for New York Giants fans, it’s every fan for themselves in the NFL. And the addition of Pro-Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., has definitely lifted my hopes from having a winning season to now having playoff and – dare I say – Super Bowl aspirations.

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NFL Free Agency – Quarterback Roulette

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

As we near the end of the first week of 2019 NFL Free Agency, Quarterback Roulette seems to be the name of the game.

Many familiar faces have found new homes, while some are still sitting on the bench, waiting to see where they will land.

I guess if former NFL QB Johnny Manziel can get kicked out of Canada and land on the roster of the American Alliance of Football’s Memphis Express…. then there’s hope for everyone!

Let’s take a look at the QB moves from this week!

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Browns beat Broncos; end 28 year losing streak!

Kate Arhar
Cleveland Browns Reporter

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

Browns 17 – Broncos 16

It wasn’t pretty by any means, but for the first time since 1990, the Cleveland Browns beat the Denver Broncos in Mile High Stadium.

Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield is everything fans have waited for these long, lonely years. While many questioned General Manager John Dorsey’s pick of Mayfield in the 2018 NFL Draft, week after week he is proving why he was the right choice.

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Browns face Chiefs in first test after coaching changes

Kate Arhar
Cleveland Browns Reporter

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Chiefs 37 – Browns 21

Its been tumultuous week here in Cleveland. On Monday, head coach Hue Jackson was fired. While fans speculated on the timing and on when offensive coordinator Todd Haley would be named as interim coach, the announcement came that Haley was fired also.

This leaves defensive coordinator Gregg Williams as the “last man standing” in this year’s edition of “Cleveland Browns Coaching Survivor.” Not sure if you can call being put in charge of this team a personal victory, but Williams had his hands full facing the insanely productive Kansas City Chiefs offense and their incredibly talented quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

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Cleveland Browns: shoulda, coulda, woulda

Kate Arhar
Cleveland Browns Reporter

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

Browns 14 – Chargers 38

Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit was one of my favorite movies. What does that have to do with football? Well, stay here with me just a moment…

There is a scene when Rita (Lauryn Hill) is talking to her mother (Sheryl Lee Ralph) and mom says “But there are a lot of talented people right down there on the streets singin’ their ‘shoulda-coulda-woulda’s.'”

Of all the lines in that movie, it’s one that really stuck with me. And after the blistering loss the Cleveland Browns took this week from the Los Angeles Chargers, it seems like the perfect theme to recap the game.

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