5 things we learned about the AFC North in Week 2

  • Grant Delpit is looking good
  • Steelers defense is scary
  • Backup RB time
  • Should have drafted this OT!
  • Star QB struggles

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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2. Reserve running backs could leave division door ajar

Nobody likes to see injuries to NFL stars, even when those players ply their trade for your closest rivals. The AFC North suffered its second season-ending injury at the running back position on Monday night.

After JK Dobbins tore his Achilles in Week 1 for the Ravens, Nick Chubb joined him on injured reserve as a severe knee injury will cost him the rest of the year. Both teams losing such key pieces to their offensive strategy could mean the Bengals at 0-2, remain in the division race.

The Ravens look better set to deal with the absence of Dobbins. Stand-in Gus Edwards didn't miss a beat, and the dynamic athleticism of Lamar Jackson and Zay Flowers will also help. They didn't appear to be missing Dobbins, as they ran roughshod over the Bengals.

The Browns re-signed Kareem Hunt, who spelled Chubb last season. He will help take the load off rookie Jerome Ford, but it won't come near to replacing Chubb. With Deshaun Watson continuing to struggle, see below, Chubb's absence threatens to derail the Browns' playoff hopes.


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1. Watson underwhelms, again

Deshaun Watson's struggles last year were put down to the fact that he was coming off one of the biggest suspensions given out by the NFL. Having not played football since 2020, it was understandable that there would be some rust.

However, nobody expected it to remain after a full preseason to get himself adjusted to the system. So far, Watson has failed to live up to his $46 million per year, fully guaranteed contract. After two games, he has a completion rate of 55.1% with only two touchdowns and the same amount of interceptions.

The pressure is clearly getting to Watson who was called for two personal fouls. Both times Watson was found to be grabbing a defenders facemask, more in frustration than anything else. The Browns have high expectations for this offense and so far Watson is not playing his part.