AFC North Week 6 Preview

Week 6 may be the easiest week yet for the division

By: Samuel Meyer (Ravensfan1)

This week has already been one for the record books, as the then 1-4 San Diego Chargers defeated the Super Bowl champions, then 4-1, the Denver Broncos. But, as the weekdays slowly fade into the weekend and we all look forward to the most sacred of days, Sunday, we crave all the excitement the NFL can give us. Unfortunately, I fear the AFC North games will not produce much excitement this week.

In fact, week 6 may very well be the easiest week yet for the division. Now, if you believe in favorites, then it certainly doesn’t seem that way. According to ESPN.com this week, the Browns, Ravens, and Bengals are all favored to lose their respective matchups this Sunday. But, certain statistics seem to sway more towards our side in most of those games this week, giving our teams a fighting chance against their opponents.

Sam’s record so far: 13-5

Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) @ New England Patriots (4-1) 1 o’clock

Of all the games in our division this week, this one may either be the most predictable, and very much against our favor, or a great and honestly much needed upset. Cincinnati’s passing game is hard to stop. Andy Dalton has only thrown two interceptions this season. What he has thrown a lot of, however, is complete passes. One hundred and twenty-six completed passes to be exact, rounding to an average of three hundred yards per game. Sure their run game hasn’t been great, but it doesn't need to be. Andy Dalton is an experienced quarterback with immense weapons. He just has to utilize those weapons going against a defense that typically allows two hundred and seventy passing yards a game.

On the other hand, just look at how perfect the Patriots have been this season. Jimmy Garoppolo threw four touchdowns and four hundred and ninety-six yards while Tom Brady was suspended, winning three of his four games. Jimmy freaking Garoppolo. Now, the only quarterback to ever make women interested in football, Mr. Tom “handsome man” Brady, is taking the field for his second game of the season. And, having already come one TD pass short of tying Mr. Garoppolo, it looks like it’s gonna be a great season for him. However, Martellus Bennett, who caught all three Brady TDs last week, along with Legarrette Blount and many others, are currently questionable to compete. While Tom Brady can make anyone seem like a star on offense, the Pats need their defense to come out strong in order to win this game.

So, who do I think will win this week? Id say it has to be the world’s sexiest man to put on a helmet and play with balls, Tom Brady. He still has amazing weapons like Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, and I see the Bengals trying way to hard to run the ball against a defense that only allows an average of eighty-six rushing yards a game. The Patriots have looked unbelievably strong this year, unless you are counting that game against the bills but *cough cough* that never happened *cough cough*.

Cleveland Browns (0-5) @ Tennessee Titans (2-3) 1 o’clock

Do I really have to keep analyzing these games? They never end any differently. Well, here goes nothing: The appropriately named Browns are 0-5 this season, and this surprises no one. Each game, whether it was a close call or a total blowout, the Browns just haven’t looked decent. If anything, they make the other team look bad for making their games so close. However, they have managed to score around the same amount of points per game as the Titans. Also, their average passing yards match the Titans passing yards allowed almost completely (The passing yards is two hundred and forty, allowed is two hundred and thirty-eight). In other words, Cody Kessler must take advantage of a weak defense and pass the ball as much as possible to have a shot.

The Titans are 2-3 this season. Why do they have a losing record? It isn’t their offense. Marcus Mariota has thrown for one thousand, eighty-eight yards this season, as well as seven touchdowns. Demarco Murray, the Titans running back, has three more touchdowns. The problem is with their defense.They have given up three hundred and thirty-six combined rushing and receiving yards this season. This hurts the team, who on average gives up only two more points than what they score. To win, the Titan defense has to step up their game. Its very simple.

So simple,, I think they will do it. I know what you are thinking: I thought this was supposed to be a good week for the AFC North. Why are they all losing? I did say that. And I meant it. If the Browns want a win, this is where they get it. This is the easiest game on their schedule for many weeks to come, and I’m tempted to take the upset. But I want my winning record to stay high. And if that’s the case, then you don’t bet on the Browns. You’re streak will go straight down the toilet, just like the Browns season.

Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) @ Miami Dolphins (1-4) 1 o’clock

Alright, I'm glad that's over. Now it’s time to analyze a good team. Okay, who's next and…oh...the Dolphins. Yaaaay. Look, the Dolphins are not good. They are the Browns if the Browns had one good receiver and a quarterback people have actually heard of. Ryan Tannehill has thrown seven interceptions this season, exceeding his six touchdown passes. Not only that, but he has only thrown one successful TD to Jarvis Landry, who is famous for being the non-famous Odell Beckham Jr. Rushing the ball, the Dolphins are already out one injury prone Arian Foster, and have only rushed for seventy-two yards this season. Their defense has allowed a rounded four-hundred and fifteen yards, and an average of twenty-four points.

On the other side of the field, we have the Pittsburgh Steelers. Oh, poor Dolphin fans. In five weeks, Ben Roethlisberger has thrown fifteen touchdown passes. Perhaps more amazing is that, while playing for a team featuring two of the best players in the NFL (Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell), Roethlisberger can still find guys like Sammie Coates and Markus Wheaton. But, with both of these men questionable, I expect a big game out of Brown in an easy win against the Dolphins.

Baltimore Ravens (3-2) @ NY Giants (2-3) 1 o’clock

Wow, I am going to be busy at 1 o’clock. But man, this should be a good game. New York is ESPN’s favorite this week. And at first glance, why wouldn’t they be? Eli Manning has thrown for one hundred and three more yards than Joe Flacco this season, averaging 21 more yards per game. Plus, they have Odell Beckham. That wasn’t a very valid argument when he was hitting himself in the head with the field goal net. But now, Beckham is starting to become a threat again. And when he’s not, Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz are.

However, the Ravens are 2-0 on the road. Not only that, but they give up less points on average then the Giants defense are used to. Terrance West is a slightly more dominant running back then Shane Vereen, and is trusted a lot more with the ball. This will need to be evident this week, as the Giants have given up ninety-seven rushing yards thus far.

For this game, I am taking the upset. Not only because I am a Ravens fan, but because I believe we have a shot. There is a chance that Odell Beckham turns it on and just demolishes our pass defense. But the Giants would need to seriously step up their run defense and stop making big turnover mistakes in order to keep this game close.