Around the AFC North: Bengals and Ravens in the Lead Heading Into Week Two

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 11: Halfback Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals scores a touchdown as he is chased by defensive back T.J. Ward #43 of the Cleveland Browns during the season opener at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

After a week in which the entire AFC North opened the season with division matchups, the Bengals are tied with the Ravens at first place in the division while the Browns and Steelers are tied for last place. Each team now moves on to week two where they'll all face teams that are fairly beatable. 

But before we get to that, here's a recap of week one in the AFC North:

  • The Ravens surprised the league by defeating -- no, not defeating.... destroying -- the defending AFC North champion Steelers by a score of 35-7. This was Joe Flacco's first win over the Steelers. Will the Ravens be the team to beat in the division this year?
  • The Bengals engineered a 27-17 fourth quarter comeback over the Browns at home to share a first-place spot with the Ravens. The Browns are tied with the Ravens in last place. Even though the Bengals won the game, most analysts claimed that the Browns were responsible for losing it. We'll see.

And this week.....

  • The Steelers will look to rebound against the Seattle Seahawks (0-1) at home. The Seahawks aren't looking to great and the Steelers shouldn't have much of a problem getting their first win of the season. 
    • The Steelers will be starting a rookie right guard in place of the injured Willie Colon. He'll have to help the Steelers offensive line that allowed Ben Roethlisberger to get sacked four times last week.
    • The Steelers turned the ball over seven times against the Ravens. Roethlisberger threw three interceptions and fumbled twice. Both Rashard Mendenhall and Mewelde Moore each fumbled once.
    • The Steelers defense allowed 5.5 yards per carry against the Ravens. They'll face off against Marshawn Lynch this week, who isn't terrible, but he's no Ray Rice
  • The Ravens head to Tennessee to take on the Titans (0-1). The Titans lost last week to the Jaguars by a score of 16-14 last week.
    • Last week Chris Johnson, one of the leagues premier running backs, only carried the ball nine times coming out of a long offseason holdout. He'll likely be carrying the ball more on Sunday. He faces a stout Ravens defense but he's sure to break off a couple decent runs (He better. He's on my fantasy team).
    • Even though new receiver Lee Evans didn't make a single reception against the Steelers, his presence helped the passing game by opening things up for other receivers underneath.
    • The Ravens defense will look to take advantage of Matt Hasselbeck's adjustment period and a short offseason. They forced seven turnovers last week.
  • The Browns are set to travel to Indianapolis to face the Peyton Manning-less Colts (0-1). We all knew that the Colts would suffer without Manning, but... wow.
    • The Browns are looking to rebound from a loss to the Bengals, a team they, and the majority of the NFL, figured they could beat.
    • The Colts gave up just under 170 yards on the ground against the Texans last week, that could be a good sign for Peyton Hillis and Martario Hardesty.
    • If a week is all Kerry Collins needed to aclimate himself with the Colts offense, the Browns could be looking at an 0-2 record heading into week three, although the Browns are favored by three points.
  • The Bengals are looking to take on the Broncos (0-1) in Denver on Sunday afternoon. The Broncos suffered an embarrassing loss at the hands of the Oakland Raiders at home on Monday Night Football last week.   

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