Aug
06
2014
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14 comments

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens – Without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed last season, the Ravens were somewhat of a rudderless ship; the long-time veterans were gone, leaving a huge leadership void in Baltimore. That doesn’t appear to have been rectified, as the team has spent most of the offseason dealing with the Ray Rice situation, continually stubbing its toe at every turn. Joe Flacco and Terrell Suggs should be the team’s new leaders, but they aren’t Lewis and Reed in any way, shape or form.
Storyline: Devoid of leadership, the Ravens continue to unravel, as the Ray Rice situation is indicative of their rudderless ship.

Cincinnati Bengals – Leave it to the Bengals to give $100-plus million to a guy who has never won a playoff game; signing Andy Dalton to a mega-extension just reeks of desperation, as the QB-starved franchise panicked to keep him in Cincinnati for the next six years. Yes, he has a nice 30-18 record in the regular season. And yes, he’s led the Bengals to the playoffs in each of the past three seasons. But once in the playoffs, he’s fallen short in some very winnable games.
Storyline: Andy Dalton is getting paid like a big-time quarterback, but he’s not one when it matters most.

Cleveland Browns – While most people didn’t realize it, the Browns had the pieces to be a pretty good team before drafting Johnny Manziel. Five members of the roster made the Pro Bowl last year, part of a very good nucleus, and quarterback Brian Hoyer was 3-0 before getting hurt. Giving that group a shot, without the distractions of the former Heisman Trophy winner being around, would have been the prudent thing to do. Instead, Cleveland brought the circus to town.
Storyline: Johnny Manziel proves to be a distraction for a team that already had the pieces in place to win.

Pittsburgh Steelers – As has been the case for years, the Steelers once again watched marquee players leave town this offseason via free agency. This time around, Emmanuel Sanders and LaMarr Woodley were the big defections. Sanders is an especially big loss, coming just a year after another wideout – Mike Wallace – left Pittsburgh. At some point, losing that much talent catches up to a team. The fact that the Steelers haven’t made the playoffs the past two seasons suggests it already has in Pittsburgh.
Storyline: The Steelers continue to let talented players walk, a habit that has now caught up with the talent-stripped franchise.


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Comments
  1. The Skipper Dude

    Nice work! But I disagree somewhat on the Broncos.

    The new guys they brought in, especially on defense (Ware, Ward and Talib) add talent, experience, work ethic and toughness. No worries there. Chemistry will be just fine.

    The problem for the Broncos is that they got phat on lousy and/or injured defenses during the regular season and AFC playoffs and were no match for Seattle in the Super Bowl. This year’s schedule is chock full of elite defenses. No guarantee that Peyton has anything resembling the year he had in 2013. O-Line is suspect and their receivers struggle getting off the LoS against physical DB’s.

  2. By following your logic concerning the Bflo Bills, the Colts must have been mistaken in taking Peyton Manning. Tee Martin led the Volunteers to a Nat’l Title the next season!!!

  3. Show this guy just looked up the stats and wrote out some bullcrap. never kept up with the Falcons or many of the other teams he is writing about. Roddy White Played in 13 of 16 game yes this is true but he was only 100% during the last 4 games of the season. High ankle spain look it up. Revamp oline and solid free agents on Defense and as far Wheatherspoon goes he has been injury prone every season he has played in and has never played a full season.. so no big deal!

    • I agree with the writer that Atlanta is still only halfway thru a minimum 2 year rebuilding . Fantasy Football Dimitroff (FFD) ignored the lines and made a mess of this team. I said it before last season and it has proven correct, the rebuilding of the lines will be a minimum 2 year project. Atlanta still needs a C and my hunch is they are going to need another T. The DL needs an DE that can rush the passer. The Falcon’s also need an OLB that can pressure the QB. The first 4 picks of the 2015 draft will need to be those positions.
      Atlanta is staring at an 7-9iish season if they don’t have significant injuries and if Baker can be functional at T. Those are big ifs based on FFD’s habit of drafting injury prone players.

  4. What a moronic post. There is nothing creative nor anything specific to football in this post. How in the hell does a player’s college affect the type of player he will be in the NFL? You should consider never writing anything about football ever again because after reading this, I wonder if you even watch the sport.

  5. Ask people in St. Louis in 2008 if they thought Kurt Warner had anything left in the tank, ask anyone in Oakland in 2006 if they thought Randy Moss was done in the NFL, ask the folks in Indy if they thought Peyton Manning’s career was over. Seriously, I hope you don’t get paid to write these articles.

  6. The Steelers have been replacing talent all decade. Woodley was a non-factor the last two seasons and Jason Worilds thoroughly outplayed him last year. His loss means nothing, as does Sanders’. Sanders is a #3 made to look good by Big Ben, there’s a host of young guys, namely Markus Wheaton, who can easily replace him. Not to mention Martavis Bryant, Lance Moore,and Justin Brown. Do some research. The 8-8 seasons were caused by a defense getting old, and rebuilding. That issue has been addressed.

  7. metalhead65

    a bears defense that needed to be improved drastically was not? seriously? did you see the moves they made in the off season? it is not the same defense at all and will be much improved to the defense that signed players on wed. and started them sun. last season.

  8. BILL PERRY

    This guy just wrote some vague garbage just to see how many comments he’s gonna get so he can show his boss “look how many people read me”….Bengals win AFC NORTH AGAIN….

  9. With the Jets you missed the point! Chris Johnson is part of the 3 headed monster in the backfield for the Jets, which will gain close to 2000 yards on thr ground with one going over 1000. Johnson doesn’t have to carry the load, was added to an already very good backfield! Mike Vick was brought in to push Geno not replace him and to be there if Geno goes down. Even the “great” Andrew Luck had 18 INTs and was 54.1% completion passer, with Reggie Wayne! So give Smith some slack, as long as he improves on a normal curve, with a better receiving corps Geno and the offense will be fine. The Defense is solid so it looks like a 10-6 year, at least. By the way the Bills and Dolphins should better better too and the Pats are the Pats.

  10. agree with all the other posts. it seems that everyone is unhappy with the ‘report’ given for their teams. being a Packer fan, I can say that the article is complete bs, obviously the writer of the article did no research on the teams and has very little overall football knowledge.

  11. Not surprising that the gutless writer didnt bother to put his name on this article. What a load of BS for each team.

  12. My Seahawks are far from having arrogance and cockiness…there’s a difference between CONFIDENCE and ARROGANCE…confidence we have. GO HAWKS!!