Thursday, August 09, 2007

AFC North Preview

Projected Finish
Cincinnati Bengals 12-4
Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4
Baltimore Ravens 11-5
Cleveland Browns 6-10

Baltimore Ravens
Offensive Strength: Quarterback
– If you remove Steve McNair from the equation then the quarterbacks have proven to be a liability. However, McNair led the team to 13 wins last season using Derrick Mason, Todd Heap and Mark Clayton to bring the Raven back to life.

Offensive Weakness: Line – The Ravens’ offensive line has struggled with injuries in past seasons and are also advancing in age. They only have one backup with proven experience (Chris Chester) so an injury or two along the line could slow down the offense.

Defensive Strength: Linebackers – Terrell Suggs and Bart Scott are dangerous pass rushers who also have the athleticism to drop back in coverage and Ray Lewis continues to be one of the league’s premier linebackers with his sideline to sideline speed.

Defensive Weakness: Secondary – Samari Rolle gave up way too many big plays last season and some of that was due in part to free safety Ed Reed leaving him out to dry while taking gambles instead of providing over-the-top help. Both guys are extremely athletic but communication has to improve.

Check out the complete preview and cast your vote in the opinion poll.