clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

AFC North: Ravens sign Jason Babin; Josh McCown or Johnny Manziel for Browns?

Could we see Johnny Manziel start against the Titans and Marcus Mariota this week?

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

With Week 2 of the 2015 NFL season here, we take a look at the biggest stories around the AFC North.

Cleveland Browns

Browns mulling over Josh McCown or Johnny Manziel
Browns QB Josh McCown (concussion) is expected to practice Friday before the team determines if he's ready to play Sunday against the Titans. The belief is McCown will start on Sunday if he makes it through practice, though it's never easy getting back on the field after suffering a concussion the week prior.

It may be safe to say McCown is still the starting QB if he's healthy, though neither he or Manziel looked good in Cleveland's 31-10 loss to the Jets last week. This news takes some of the excitement out of the potential Johnny Manziel vs Marcus Mariota showdown of two former Heisman-winning QBs.

Browns, Phil Taylor agreed to injury settlement when he was waived
Back in August, the Browns made a surprising move when they opted to part with defensive tackle Phil Taylor. A former first-round pick out of Baylor, Taylor was productive when he was healthy, something he couldn't be enough for Cleveland to want him.

However, Taylor's exit from the Browns was a mutual parting after the two agreed to an injury settlement. To date, Taylor remains a free agent after undergoing offseason knee surgery. He may not be healthy enough to play yet, but if he can get there, he has the potential to be a solid rotational lineman wherever he signs next.

Baltimore Ravens

Ravens need more from deep passing game
After Baltimore's offense was a no-show in their 19-13 loss to the Broncos, Joe Flacco said the offense needs to take more shots downfield. At Denver, Flacco attempted just one pass for more than 20 yards and finished the game with a mere 117 yards passing, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

However, a big reason why Baltimore didn't attempt many deep shots was the offensive line could not hold in protection. As ESPN's Jamison Hensley wrote, Flacco was pressured 50 percent of the time (17-of-34), which was the highest percentage in the NFL in Week 1, and no other quarterback got pressured on more than 40 percent of his dropbacks.

With the Raiders on deck, Baltimore should absolutely get more production from their passing game this week. If they don't. there's clearly some serious issues with his offense.

Ravens sign Jason Babin
In order to help replace Terrell Suggs' production now that he's out for the year, the Ravens signed free agent Jason Babin. Now in his 12th NFL season after spending last year with the New York Jets, Babin isn't expected to provide Baltimore's defense with much more than being a situational pass-rusher at outside linebacker.

From 2010-2013, Babin racked up 45 of his 64.5 career sacks. However, he accounted for just two sacks and 25 total tackles in 16 games last year with the Jets.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger Felt Patriots Knew Some of Steelers' Plays
As is the popular belief around the NFL, Ben Roethlisberger believes the Patriots are very good in knowing how to figure out opposing teams' plays. "I always felt that they knew some of our offensive plays," Roethlisberger said on a Pittsburgh radio show. "For whatever reason, maybe it was better scouting or whatever, but I had always felt that."

New England did hold Big Ben and the high-powered Steelers' offense in check for most of the game, and this came after the headset malfunction both teams had during the contest.

Art Rooney: NFL discipline tweak part of CBA talks
Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II says that "informal discussions" have begun between the NFL and the players' union about changes to the league's disciplinary system. Rooney, who is on the owner's bargaining committee, said that formal negotiations have not yet been scheduled, but this is a step in the right direction for the league as they look to overhaul their flawed discipline system.