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Thread: Steelers, AFC North appears as good as advertised

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    AZ_Steeler's Avatar
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    Steelers, AFC North appears as good as advertised

    To me, it's entirely to early to say the Ravens are contenders in the AFCN. They didn't do much to impress me yesterday mainly because Chris Simms gave them that game. IMO, Simms has to big a shoes to fill (his dads) to have a big impact in the NFL, hopefully he'll prove me wrong though!

    The AFCN, like or not, still comes through Pittsburgh... The Bengals got luckly last year and the Steelers suffered some key injuries let alone a QB that was very O'Donell like in the Jacksonville game!

    www.timesonline.com/site/news

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bires, Times Sports
    There are rivalries in all eight divisions of the National Football League. But there's nothing like the AFC North.

    It's a nasty division that promises to be even nastier this year.

    Granted, the Cleveland Browns still have a ways to go before they're respectable again. But with Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Baltimore, the division boasts three talented teams with plenty of attitude.

    The Steelers and Ravens started hating each other the moment their series began in 1996 after Art Modell moved his Browns to Baltimore. Trash talking between the two has often reached ridiculous proportions.

    Now the division's most intense rivalry is Steelers vs. Bengals. It's fueled by the relationship by the two coaches - Bill Cowher and Marvin Lewis _ who played against each other in high school. Lewis got his first job in the pro ranks by serving as Cowher's linebackers coach. He then moved on to Baltimore as defensive coordinator.

    Last year in an AFC wild-card game, the Bengals' Super Bowl hopes were snuffed out when Steelers defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen delivered a season-ending blow to the knee of quarterback Carson Palmer. Already this year, Palmer was quoted as saying he hates the Steelers.

    So the Steelers-Bengals rivalry promises to heat up even more this year (they'll meet for the first time Sept. 24 at Heinz Field). Likewise, Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore figures to intensify as well.

    Based on the first week of the new season, it appears all three will fight it out for the division title and possibly a wild-card berth.

    On Sunday, both the Bengals and Ravens won impressively. In a 23-10 win in Kansas City, Palmer wasn't spectacular but got through the game unscathed. Baltimore also won on the road, 27-0 over Tampa Bay, in Steve McNair's debut as a Raven.

    "I can't say enough about our football team," Cowher said Thursday after the reigning Super Bowl champs opened with a home win over Miami. "Their resiliency, the way they responded, they never had a state of panic set in for our football team. We came out and made some plays. We still have a ways to go but it was a good start."

    Similar sentiments are no doubt being felt right now in Cincinnati and Baltimore.

    It's early, but after week one, the Steelers, Bengals and Ravens are tied for first place at 1-0.

    Based on their 11-5 regular-season records a year ago - the Bengals technically edged the Steelers for the division championship on a tiebreaker - the AFC North title could be decided on New Year's Eve when the two meet in Cincinnati to close out the regular season.

    Of course, the Ravens may have something to say about who wins the division as well.

    Stay tuned. The AFC North is better than ever.

  2. #2
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Loser Esiason touched on this last night at halftime, mentioned that the AFCN is a division to be wreckoned with. I agree with that since the Steelers and Bengals were both playoff teams last year and we won the SB. I agree there's no way you put the Ratbirds in that statement just yet. Everybody thinks Steve McNair is some sort of Godsend to the team and now they automatically are contenders ! Gimme a break. Their defense is above average at best, Jailbird Lewis at RB is inconsistent and McNair is as fragile as they come.

  3. #3
    Waterboy Pats's Avatar
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    I think, AFCN is the toughest division. Right now, I feel the steelers are the best in that division. But the question is how far behind are the other 2 teams. The Bengals seem to be catching up and the Ravens dont seem that bad at all. The ravens did play against a very good defense yesterday. I agree that Chris Simms offered the game to the Raves on a platter. The Ravens defense aint that bad. Steelers do have one thing missing a strong RB. I know steelers signed Najeh and some others, but till any of them actually becomes the strong RB, it is going to be difficult to face the Ravens, who haev 2 good RBs. Jamal, may have been inconsistent, but they also have Mike Anderson. Hate to be in the AFCN. If not for anything, just the thought that players can get hurt in that division makes me think twice. I say this, come Jan, you need all your best players to be healthy. It is going to be interesting.

  4. #4
    House of Steel
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    It is one of the toughest divisions this year, You got Cintucky being improved and carrying on a swagger thinking they are going to dethrone us off the mountain as Super Bowl Champions, they got another thing coming. Baltimore, they can't be put in the same phrase as us and Cincy. They still got question marks on their foreheads, once McNair gets hurt, that will derail them real fast. Cleveland, is on the rise, they are a few pieces away from competing, but this season is still a rebuilding phase for them. We will come on top cause of veteranship, humbleness, the pride and the experience. WE will overcome.

  5. #5
    Top 30 Troyisabeast_43's Avatar
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    I agree its way too early to be making assumptions about the Ravens and Bengals and how good they are after one game. I got a little sick of hearing how impressive both teams victories were yesterday time and time again on cbs and nfl channel and everywhere else. And how both were gonna win the division and how the Steelers dont even exist. Ill give both Cincy and Baltimore credit they went into two tough places and won. Keep in mind though Cincy got 3 of those turnovers against Damon Huard who hasnt played in 6 years and was very rusty, Herm Edwards had a horrible gameplan and you can already tell he has his handprints all over that Chiefs team because they played wayyy too conservative not using Larry Johnson enough in my opinion. Arrowhead might be louder then Heinz Field but the Steelers are a much better team then the Chiefs and will be a much bigger challenge here in 13 days then KC was yesterday. And Baltimore played in my opinion a very mediocre and overrated Tampa Bay team and qb in Chris Simms who lets face it is not very good and no Ben Roethlisberger by any means. The bottom line is I wanna see both Cincy and Baltimore play better teams and do that and play the Steelers and win like that down here or in there home.

    The Bengals and Ravens appear to have very soft weeks next week with Cincy hosting Cleveland and Baltimore hosting Oakland. Both will probably win next week and end up being 2-0. Im not still not going to panic even if the Steelers lose to the Jags and end up being 1-1 going into the Cincy game and both Balt and Cincy being 2-0. Its a long long season and the schedule will even itself out where there will be weeks where the Steelers have an easier game and Cincy and Balt have tough games. Cincy and Baltimore's schedule is very very tough at the end of the season and the Steelers appears to be not as tough as both of there's are. I still think as long as the Steelers keep winning and keep pace with both of them then they are the better team and will end up winning the division at years end when all is said and done. The Steelers in the end whether Baltimore or Cincy will admit it or likes or not is still the team to beat and the team both or one will have to go through in the end to win the division and get to the playoffs.

  6. #6
    House of Steel
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troyisabeast_43
    I agree its way too early to be making assumptions about the Ravens and Bengals and how good they are after one game. I got a little sick of hearing how impressive both teams victories were yesterday time and time again on cbs and nfl channel and everywhere else. And how both were gonna win the division and how the Steelers dont even exist. Ill give both Cincy and Baltimore credit they went into two tough places and won. Keep in mind though Cincy got 3 of those turnovers against Damon Huard who hasnt played in 6 years and was very rusty, Herm Edwards had a horrible gameplan and you can already tell he has his handprints all over that Chiefs team because they played wayyy too conservative not using Larry Johnson enough in my opinion. Arrowhead might be louder then Heinz Field but the Steelers are a much better team then the Chiefs and will be a much bigger challenge here in 13 days then KC was yesterday. And Baltimore played in my opinion a very mediocre and overrated Tampa Bay team and qb in Chris Simms who lets face it is not very good and no Ben Roethlisberger by any means. The bottom line is I wanna see both Cincy and Baltimore play better teams and do that and play the Steelers and win like that down here or in there home.

    The Bengals and Ravens appear to have very soft weeks next week with Cincy hosting Cleveland and Baltimore hosting Oakland. Both will probably win next week and end up being 2-0. Im not still not going to panic even if the Steelers lose to the Jags and end up being 1-1 going into the Cincy game and both Balt and Cincy being 2-0. Its a long long season and the schedule will even itself out where there will be weeks where the Steelers have an easier game and Cincy and Balt have tough games. Cincy and Baltimore's schedule is very very tough at the end of the season and the Steelers appears to be not as tough as both of there's are. I still think as long as the Steelers keep winning and keep pace with both of them then they are the better team and will end up winning the division at years end when all is said and done. The Steelers in the end whether Baltimore or Cincy will admit it or likes or not is still the team to beat and the team both or one will have to go through in the end to win the division and get to the playoffs.

    That was great writing, Troy. Super!!!

  7. #7
    SA First Blitzburgh Blitzburgh55's Avatar
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    I think the ratbirds have a chance aginst the bungals

  8. #8
    Top 30 suitanim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatsOwnU
    The ravens did play against a very good defense yesterday. I agree that Chris Simms offered the game to the Raves on a platter. The Ravens defense aint that bad. Steelers do have one thing missing a strong RB. I know steelers signed Najeh and some others, but till any of them actually becomes the strong RB, it is going to be difficult to face the Ravens, who haev 2 good RBs.
    Whomanahominawhat?

    First off, the Bucs defense is aging, and it happens fast. The rats offense looked okay, but 271 total offense is certainly no great shakes. Their defense is aging, too, and stopping a Chrissy Simms led offense isn't exactly Super bowl caliber.

    As for Willie Parker, I don't believe I saw him fall backwards once in his 115 yard performance Thursday. Barring injury, he's going to be a candidate for the rushing title.

  9. #9
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    I think Willie answered the questions as to if he's a strong running back last year and in the SB..and if he didn't answer them then, Im pretty he answered them last week.

    We will need people like Haynes, Davenport, and Staley to make sure they step up in their roles and accounted for when the time comes because we don't want to wear out Parker before the season is over.

  10. #10
    AZ_Steeler's Avatar
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    Willie was impressive Thursday night! That was the first time that I actually noticed he could take a hit and keep on going. I always felt last year, he woud get hit and fall down and that would be it! Willie silenced any doubters taht's for sure.

    I would personally like to see him break the Steelers season rushing mark first, but the only concern of mine is letting him carry the ball 30 times a game, over a 16 game season that's a lot of hits he will have taken and will have a huge impact on how far the Steelers can go late in the season. Hopefully Najeh can relieve Willie late in some of these games coming up so Parker can get some rest and avoid taken a beating!

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