Despite the negative feelings many Ravens fans had coming into the game against Houston, the Ravens shut down the Texans at M&T Bank Stadium. Sitting at 2-1, John Harbaugh’s bunch will prepare for consecutive road games against the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.
Let’s take our weekly look Behind Enemy Lines to see the happenings around the AFC North.
Turnovers: To start the season, the Bengal defense has forced seven turnovers in just three games. They managed to get the ball back four times on Sunday against Green Bay as they picked off Aaron Rodgers twice and forced two fumbles.
Next week they’ll see Cleveland at the Factory of Sadness, but Tom Brady comes to town the game after. Look for the pass rush to be fierce and with the dismal receiving corps that New England has, it could be another turnover-filled match-up.
Another Arrest For Jones: Yeah, it happened again… for the second time since June, when he was accused of hitting a woman at a Cincinnati bar, Adam “Pacman” Jones again finds himself in trouble.
The cornerback was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge on Monday.
It amazes me that Jones is even on the roster—or any NFL roster for that matter. We have lost count on how many times “Pacman” has been arrested since he’s been in the league, but it has reached a point of ridiculousness. If he doesn’t get it together, his time as a pro football player will be finished.
Who’s Running the Ball: After dealing away Trent Richardson in a deal with the Colts that no one will ever understand, Cleveland is suddenly looking for an identity on the ground. They picked up Willis McGahee, who ran the ball eight times for nine yards on Sunday. They hope he’ll get better as he learns the playbook.
The team also has former Raven Bobby Rainey, who got a few carries on Sunday. He averaged 4 yards per touch. Chris Ogbonnaya is also on the squad—he busted a 22-yarder against Minnesota.
Already Looking Ahead: With the stockpile of draft picks that Cleveland now has, it’s becoming clear that the Brandon Weeden era might just be coming to an end after 2013.
The Browns will have two #1 picks—maybe they will stay where they are—but could they use those to move up into the top three (assuming they aren’t there already)? Names like Teddy Bridgewater from Louisville and Tajh Boyd from Clemson are most certainly on the team’s radar. It is possible that we’ll see ANOTHER Browns quarterback in 2014? Unless Brian Hoyer is the long-term answer, it looks that way.
Owen three to Start: We knew it would be a tough 2013 campaign for the Steelers, but the way the team has been playing, it might be in their best interest to start looking forward to building instead of salvaging this season. There are still some tough games ahead and things don’t get much easier for them. Even though they have the Vikings this week – who just lost to Cleveland – they have to travel all the way to London for the game…more on that in a moment.
The running game is still lacking an identity, though rookie Le’Veon Bell could reportedly suit up for the first time this week. In the passing game, Jericho Cotchery and Emmanuel Sanders will have a hard time distracting defenses from playmaker Antonio Brown, who opponents will begin to key on. The offensive line hasn’t improved at all and that defensive backfield continues to struggle.
Is it time to call it quits in Steel Town?
Playing in London: Pittsburgh will take on the Minnesota Vikings in the league’s annual game at Wembley Stadium in London. At a neutral site and against an ailing Minnesota team, you would think that this would be a rebound game for Mike Tomlin’s crew.
Here are a few things to watch:
- Can the Steeler defense stop Adrian Peterson?
- Wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph are two young difference makers behind veteran Greg Jennings. Does the Pittsburgh D have enough to stop them? Without pressure on the quarterback, the answer is probably no.
- Can Roethlisberger stay clean against the Vikings pass-rush?