Tuesday Reads: AFC North Sucks
TE Ben Utecht will apparently miss several weeks with a sternum injury, and CB Johnathan Joseph is “iffy” for the Giants game with an ankle sprain. Also limping on a sprained ankle: Carson Palmer, who at 37.0 has the lowest QB rating in the NFL. Palmer is expected to play Sunday.
Over at BND, Bering Sea Bengal thinks the team is set to turn the corner. Wildly optimistic? Perhaps so, but it isn’t like the team has anywhere to go but up right now. And while the undefeated defending Super Bowl champions may seem like an insurmountable obstacle, this is exactly the kind of game the Bengals historically get “up” for (only to sink back down with a bad loss the following week). So who knows?
Bering is right about one thing: just a single W will get this team back in the hunt in a division that after two weeks is a collective 3-4. The Steelers are on top of the AFCN at 2-0, but have had their struggles. Ben Roethlisberger is playing with a bum shoulder, and the win over Cleveland last weekend cost them the services of DE Brett Keisel for the next two months.
Cleveland, the preseason media darling, has looked about as bad on offense as the Bengals, and possibly worse on defense. Like Cincinnati, the Browns are still looking for win No. 1, and are going to have to get it without Robaire Smith, who is gone for the year with an Achilles tear.
Finally, Baltimore is facing 15 straight games thanks to Hurricane Ike. That’s not good news for a team whose aging core of key players has struggled with injury both this year and last. So the bottom line is that division is indeed still within reach. But the Bengals need to right the ship soon — as in: this weekend — if they want to take advantage of their division mates’ woes.