Monday, August 16, 2010

AFC North Preview

AFC NorthPredicted RecordLast Years Record
Ravens11-59-7
Bengals10-610-6
Steelers8-89-7
Browns5-115-11
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Good Fantasy Week
Bad Fantasy Week

Baltimore Ravens

Key Additions: Marc Bulger, Anquan Boldin, Donte' Stallworth, Cory Redding, Ken Hamlin, Shayne Graham

Key Losses: Frank Walker, Quinn Sypniewski, Adam Terry, Dwan Edwards, Justin Bannan, CB Samari Rolle, Walt Harris

Week 1@ JetsWeek 10@ Falcons
Week 2@ BengalsWeek 11@ Panthers
Week 3vs. BrownsWeek 12vs. Buccaneers
Week 4@ SteelersWeek 13vs. Steelers
Week 5vs. BroncosWeek 14@ Texans
Week 6@ PatriotsWeek 15vs. Saints
Week 7vs. BillsWeek 16@ Browns
Week 9vs. DolphinsWeek 17vs. Bengals

The Ravens had no trouble scoring the football last season as they averaged just over 24 points a game.  A top 5 running team (137.5ypg) and just an average pass game(213.7ypg) they went out and aquired Anquan Boldin.  In doing so the Ravens now have one of the best all around games in the league.  Ray Rice is a top 5 RB and Boldin, Mason and Heap are verterans who can help Flacco feel very comfortable. The Defense lost coach Rex Ryan to the Jets last year but didnt miss a beat.  Allowing 16.3 points a game, good for 3rd best, the D still smoothers offenses.

Cincinnati Bengals

Key Additions: Terrell Owens, Antonio Bryant, Matt Jones, Pacman Jones, Mike Nugent, Gibril Wilson

Key Losses: Laveranues Coles, J.P. Foschi, Shayne Graham, Jeremi Johnson, Larry Johnson,  Shaun Smith

Week 1@ PatriotsWeek 10@ Colts
Week 2vs. RavensWeek 11vs. Bills
Week 3@ PanthersWeek 12@ Jets
Week 4@ BrownsWeek 13vs. Saints
Week 5vs. BuccaneersWeek 14@ Steelers
Week 7@ FalconsWeek 15vs. Browns
Week 8vs. DolphinsWeek 16vs. Chargers
Week 9vs. SteelersWeek 17@ Ravens

The Bengals won 10 games last year by controlling the clock with the run game and shutting offenses down on defense.  This year should be more of the same with a much improved pass game.  Carson Palmer had Chad Ochocinco last year but now has Terrell Owens, Matt Jones, Antonio Bryant and rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham.  It will come down to division games this year to decide who will make it to the playoffs, and should see some very physical games with the Steelers who they play twice after Big Ben returns.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Key Additions: Will Allen, Arnaz Battle, Larry Foote, Byron Leftwich, Bryant McFadden, Antwaan Randle El, Jonathan Scott

Key Losses: Tyrone Carter, Santonio Holmes, Travis Kirschke, Willie Parker, Darnell Stapleton, Deshea Townsend

Week 1vs. FalconsWeek 10vs. Patriots
Week 2@ TitansWeek 11vs. Raiders
Week 3@ BucanneersWeek 12@ Bills
Week 4vs. RavensWeek 13@ Ravens
Week 6vs. BrownsWeek 14vs. Bengals
Week 7@ DolphinsWeek 15vs. Jets
Week 8@ SaintsWeek 16vs. Panthers
Week 9@ BengalsWeek 17@ Browns

If the Steelers want to avoid missing the playoffs for a second straight year after winning the Super Bowl then everybody will have to pick up the slack. Ben Roethlisberger is missing at least 4 and up to 6 games to start the season so Byron Leftwich or Dennis Dixon will have to be at the top of their game.  They will be a lot healthier this year than last year, and still have 20 players on the roster that they had on their last Super Bowl team which include many veterans, so they know how to win.  With Polamalu, Harrison, Farrior, Smith and Hampton leading the defense, the Steelers should still be able to shut teams down which will come in handy the first half of the season.  The Steelers will have to do damage in the division if they want to overtake the Bengals or Ravens.

Cleveland Browns

Key Additions: Sheldon Brown, Jake Delhomme  Scott Fujita, Chris Gocong, Peyton Hillis, Tony Pashos, Alex Smith, Seneca Wallace, Benjamin Watson

Key Losses: Derek Anderson, Hank Fraley, Mike Furrey, Michael Gaines, Rex Hadnot, Alex Hall, Steve Heiden, Jamal Lewis,  Brodney Pool, Hank Poteat, Brady Quinn, Donte’ Stallworth, Corey Williams, Kamerion Wimbley

Week 1@ BuccaneersWeek 10vs. Jets
Week 2vs. ChiefsWeek 11@ Jaguars
Week 3@ RavensWeek 12vs. Panthers
Week 4vs. BengalsWeek 13@ Dolphins
Week 5vs. FalconsWeek 14@ Bills
Week 6@ SteelersWeek 15@ Bengals
Week 7@ SaintsWeek 16vs. Ravens
Week 9vs. PatriotsWeek 17vs. Steelers

The Browns are in an unfortunate situation in that they share a division with 3 of the best teams in the AFC.  So don't expect much from them this year, as you can see from their schedule it's not pretty.  They got no production from their QBs last year but they brought in veteran Jake Delhomme who should help get it going.  Jerome Harrison will handle the RB duties and should be a beast regardless of how bad this team might be.  He proved last year why he deserves to start in this league and really made a name for himself.  Cleveland picked up some nice pieces on defense picking up Sheldon Brown, Scott Fujita, and Chris Gocong.  Look for a much better team then last year (they started 1-11 and won the last 4 games of the year), but don't expect them to win too many games in a very tough division.

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