The Baltimore Ravens have been the benefactors of an easy first-half schedule thus far, and thus can be attributed to their 7-2 mark as they lead the AFC North by one game over the Steelers. Five of their seven wins are against Cleveland (twice), Kansas City, Oakland and Philadelphia, who are a combined 11-32. With two games coming in the next three weeks against the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger likely out due to his rib injury, it may be safe to say the AFC North is the Ravens to lose at this point. If luck were an official NFL stat, it’s safe to say the Ravens would be the league leader in that category.
With the Steelers set to start Byron Leftwich at QB for Sunday night’s showdown with the Ravens, ESPN recalled a story from the 2003 NFL Draft, when the Ravens reportedly wanted to draft Leftwich over All-Pro OLB Terrell Suggs.
The Cleveland Browns will have an opportunity to play the role of spoiler in the AFC North race going forward, as they play the Steelers in Week 12 and again in Week 17, and with Big Ben’s uncertain status for the remainder of the year, the Browns will have every opportunity to knock out their longtime AFC North rivals out of the playoffs, or at least out of the AFC North title race.
It won’t be easy however, given the teams’ 2-7 record due largerly to the ineffectiveness of rookie QB Brandon Weeden. Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur had some simple advice for his struggling QB: “Don’t throw interceptions. Done. End of story”.