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EARTHQUAKE2689 08-13-2007 03:01 PM

Earthquake's AFC north Preview
 
AFC North:

1. [B]Steelers(11-5):[/B] They had an off year in 2006 with injuries to key players such as Ben Rothelisberger and Troy Polamalu and the retirement of Bill Cowher. But with no key losses outside of Cowher and Joey Porter (to the Dolphins) the steelers look in pretty good shape. The Steelers possibly got the top outside linebacker in this year's draft in Lawrence Timmons from Florida State. Willie Parker looks to build off of his 2006 pro bowl type season and with Dan Kreider and Alan Fancea blocking for him look for "fast Willie" to be in Hawaii come February. The Steelers defense took a blow with the departure of Joey Porter, but The Steelers defense defense always ranks at the top of the league in total defense every year and look for the same result with Troy Polamalu and Casey Hampton anchoring the unit.

[B]Final Overview:[/B] The Steelers are hungry to show that 2006 was a fluke year. All players return healthy to a team just 2 seasons removed from winning the Super Bowl, with a strong running game, a tenacious defense and a hungry first year coach look for the Steelers to return to their 2005 form in 2007.

2. [B]Ravens(10-6):[/B] The Ravens suprised many last season with the play of Steve McNair en route to a 13-3 record. But a collapse against Indy in the playoffs ended the 2006 Ravens season. The biggest off-season addition to the Baltimore squad was running back Willis McGahee was brought in to replace the departed Jamal Lewis. McGahee is coming off a rough tenure in Buffalo but there is no denying the skill that Willis brings to Baltimore. His hard running style along with his explosive ability is a big upgrade of Lewis. On the defensive side of the ball The Ravens will be without the most versailtile player in the league in Adalius Thomas who now sports a New England jersey. But like the Steelers defense the Ravens defense is very consistent year in and year out and they suit up one of the top 3 secondaries in the NFL with Chris McCalister, Samari Rolle, Dawan Landry(brother of LaRon Landry) and All Pro Ed Reed.

[B]Final Overview[/B]: The Ravens are coming off a stellar 2006 regular season but a disapointing playoff run. Question are still out there: How much does McNair have left? How long can this aging defense keep it up? Will Willis McGahee be the back that he was in Miami? Even with all those questions look for the Ravens to be a contender in 2007.

3. [B]Bengals (9-7):[/B] The Bengals returned to earth in 2006 finishing with a disapointing 8-8 record. But Carson Palmer returned from a knee injury to throw for over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. There is no denying that the Bengals sport a top offense in the NFL but it their defense that constantly losses them games and the secondary inparticular, which is why the Bengals drafted cornerback Leon Hall in the first round of the draft. Hall is a very smart corner with a nice blend of speed (4.39 at the combine) and size (5'11" 199lbs). Justin Smith returns to anchor the defensive line, but Odell Thurman was denied re-instatement in to the league.

[B]Final Overview: [/B]The 2007 startoff for the Bengals has not been promising with the suspension of Chris Henry for 8 games, Odell Thurman not being re-instated and rookie running back Kenny Irons tearing his ACL in the opening pre-season game. There is little room for error and if the defense cannot improve off 2006, look for the Bengals to suffer through another disapointing season.

4. [B]Browns(4-12): [/B]Since returing to the league in 1999 the Browns have only produced one winning season and it wasnt in 2006. The Browns were terrible on offense ranking 31st in the league only ahead of Oakland. Kellen Winslow was really the only bright spot on the offense. The tight end from Miami finished his first season all the way through and grabbed 89 passes for 875 yards even though he only got in the end zone 3 times. The brady Quinn saga finally ended when Cleveland traded back into the first round to pick up the signal caller from Notre Dame. After a holdout the Browns were finally able to get Quinn into camp. On defense Kamerion Wimbley lead the team with 11 sacks. Rookie corner Eric Wright from UNLV looks to get alot of playing time on a sub-par secondary.

[B]Final Overview: [/B]There is one major question for the Browns, unfourtnally it is at the quarteback position. When does the Brady Quinn era start? With Romeo Crenell's job on the line look for it to be sooner rather than later. Even with Brady Quinn at QB dont look for any cinderella season from Cleveland.

dmek25 08-13-2007 03:10 PM

Re: Earthquake's AFC north Preview
 
quake good read. and you probably have more words in this thread, then in the other 4191 posts, combined

12thMan 08-13-2007 03:15 PM

Re: Earthquake's AFC north Preview
 
I'm proud of you son. j/k

Pretty good predictions though. I think the Ravens and the Steelers are going to duke it out this year.

GTripp0012 08-13-2007 03:15 PM

Re: Earthquake's AFC north Preview
 
Whoa. This I would not have expected.

In all seriousness, I'd probably take your analysis over any "expert". And ultimately although my "schedule-translated" records looked very different than yours, I would have explained my picks very similarly to the way you did. Good calls.

mredskins 08-13-2007 03:25 PM

Re: Earthquake's AFC north Preview
 
Excellant job copying and pasting this from another web site.

EARTHQUAKE2689 08-13-2007 03:26 PM

Re: Earthquake's AFC north Preview
 
[quote=mredskins;339777]Excellant job copying and pasting this from another web site.[/quote]


ouch that hurt a little. I am really writing this.

jsarno 08-13-2007 03:32 PM

Re: Earthquake's AFC north Preview
 
It's a very good overview Quake, but I feel you are incorrect on a lot of areas.
1- [b]Steelers[/b] have a rookie head coach. They finished 8-8 under a hall of fame head coach last year, and as you pointed out, not real changes. Due to this fact, there is no way they will hit even 10 wins. I see a 7-9 season or a 8-8 season. BTW- Troy just signed a nice contract too, which generally means those people will under perform. They are overrated. I'll say 7-9.
2- [b]Ravens[/b], I tend to agree with you on this one, but I do feel they played over their heads last year. Look at McNair, he threw for only 3050 yards, and had 16 tds and 12 ints. How in the world can a team produce that little from the QB position and still end up with 13 wins? They were 13th in passing yards in the NFL, and 25th in rushing yards in the NFL. The reason they were able to pull it off is cause they only let up 201 points (good for 1st in the NFL). But I feel the defense will come back down to earth a little too. They are older and while they did rank 1st last year (in terms of points against) their previous years were 05- 10th, 04- 6th, 03- 6th, 02- 19th. Do I think they will drop to 19th...no. I do think they will drop to around 6th or so. Add to that, imagine this team without McNair. Well, it will happen for at least 1/4th of the season because he is too old and fragile not miss time this year. Willis was cast out of Buffalo because he underperformed and seemed to have "lost a step". I do think Willis is a step up, but he is learning a new offense, and the blockers will have to learn him. The Ravens still have no wr's. This is a 8-8 to 9-7 team. Due to the fact that I firmly believe that defense wins overall, I'll say 9-7.
3- [b]Cincy[/b] was 11-5 in 05 with 22nd ranked D. They were 8-8 last year with the 17th ranked D. They did lose 4 ranking points in offense from 05 to 06, but does that translate into 3 fewer wins...I don't think so. I think last year was a fluke for Cincy. For some reason last year they were streaky. They started the season winning 3 in a row, then losing 2 in a row, then won 1, then lost 3 in a row. Then they won 4 in row, then lost 3 to end the season. 5 of their 8 losses were by 6 points or less. 3 of the losses were by 2 points or less. (2 were by 1 point) This team will rebound. The defense will rank around 13th-15th, to expect otherwise from one of the greatest defensive minds is not sane. This defense will produce better this year, and will be a top 4 offense. This team should see a rebound back to the 05 season and see 11 wins. 11-5.
4- [b]Browns[/b]. I don't know where you got your stats, but football reference shows the Browns having the 30th ranked offense out of 32 teams. (not that it's much better, just saying). Oddly enough, that was a 2 rank improvement from 05 where they were dead last. The difference was, in 05 they were ranked 11th in D and had 6 wins with the worst offense in football. Last year they fell to 22nd in D last year. This team is more talented that it was last year, but it won't translate to much until Quinn takes over. I expect a 5-6 win season out them. If Quinn plays more than 8 games it will be 6, if he doesn't, it will be 5.

In summation:
1- Cincy 11-5
2- Baltimore 9-7
3- Pittsburgh 7-9
4- Cleveland 6-10

JoeRedskin 08-13-2007 04:35 PM

Re: Earthquake's AFC north Preview
 
Wow - stunned. In depth, thoughtful analysis. My world has been turned inside out. Up is down. Red is Green. Hess and Schneed are dating.

Nice job EQ.

I am not sure Baltimore's D is as ancient as you are assuming. Yes, Lewis is old but (even though I hate him) an old Lewis is still a damn good LB. The rest of the LB's are not really hitting their prime (Suggs in particular), they have some young studs in the line and Reed and Landry are both well under 30, their corners aren't young but McCallister is still in his prime. On top of that, the D-Coord is the best in the business on that side of the ball outside of Belicheck. This defense is going to be nasty again this year.

RMSkins 08-14-2007 12:30 AM

Re: Earthquake's AFC north Preview
 
[quote=EARTHQUAKE2689;339778]ouch that hurt a little. I am really writing this.[/quote]
Wow! You have impressive grammar skills my man. You must have no problem in English class.

SmootSmack 08-14-2007 12:38 AM

Re: Earthquake's AFC north Preview
 
Nice analysis EQ.

And really, this is why you tend to frustrate so many people on this board. We've seen that you're more than capable of contributing strongly on a consistent basis to this site. So it's a wonder why you don't have posts like these more often.


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