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Old 08-16-2005, 07:23 PM   #1
tobynosker
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Default 2005 AFC Predictions: AFC North

AFC North Predictions:

1.) Pittsburgh Steelers: 12-4
2.) Baltimore Ravens: 7-9
3.) Cleveland Browns: 6-10
4.) Cincinnati Bengals: 3-13

Pittsburgh Steelers: 12-4

Sept. 11th – Win at home against Tennessee
Sept. 18th – Win on the road against Houston
Sept. 25th – Lose at home against New England
Oct. 2nd – Bye Week
Oct. 10th – Lose on the road against San Diego
Oct. 16th – Win at home against Jacksonville
Oct. 23rd – Win on the road against Cincinnati
Oct. 31st – Win at home against Baltimore
Nov. 6th – Lose on the road against Green Bay
Nov. 13th – Win at home against Cleveland
Nov. 20th – Win on the road against Baltimore
Nov. 28th – Lose on the road against Indianapolis
Dec. 4th – Win at home against Cincinnati
Dec. 11th – Win at home against Chicago
Dec. 18th – Win on the road against Minnesota
Dec. 24th – Win on the road against Cleveland
Jan. 1st – Win at home against Detroit

I believe the AFC North remains Pittsburgh’s division. While I don’t foresee a repeat of last year’s 13-0 start for Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, especially considering no quarterback in the history of the NFL ever went 13-0 as a starter, I do think Pittsburgh is still good enough offensively to put points on the board to compete with high-powered offenses (Indianapolis) and against strong-built defenses (Baltimore). Jerome Bettis might not be as strong of a running back as he once was, but he, along with Duce Staley and Vernon Hayes should have no problem pounding the ball up the middle. With Hines Ward finally in camp and alongside of Antwaan Randle El and new-Steeler Wide Receiver Cedrick Wilson, Pittsburgh will provide one of the best trios of wide-outs in the AFC this season. Depth defensively could be an issue for Pittsburgh, but again their offense should be good enough to carry them to the top of this division and into the playoffs.

Baltimore Ravens: 7-9

Sept. 11th – Lose at home against Indianapolis
Sept. 18th – Win on the road against Tennessee
Sept. 25th – Bye Week
Oct. 2nd – Win at home against New York Jets
Oct. 9th – Lose on the road against Detroit
Oct. 16th – Win at home against Cleveland
Oct. 23rd – Win on the road against Chicago
Oct. 31st – Lose on the road against Pittsburgh
Nov. 6th – Win at home against Cincinnati
Nov. 13th – Lose on the road against Jacksonville
Nov. 20th – Lose at home against Pittsburgh
Nov. 27th – Win on the road against Cincinnati
Dec. 4th – Win at home against Houston
Dec. 11th – Lose on the road against Denver
Dec. 19th – Lose at home against Green Bay
Dec. 25th – Lose at home against Minnesota
Jan. 1st – Lose on the road against Cleveland

Baltimore is once again relying on Kyle Boller to have a breakout year, but if he only completes four passes over 40 yards like last season, it could be a long year for the Ravens. Their Wide Receiver pickups in free-agent Derrick Mason and draft pick Mark Clayton will give Boller some offensive threats, as well as open up the running game for Jamal Lewis. The defense will continue to be solid, but I think a tougher schedule than what Baltimore saw last season (they hosted Buffalo, Miami, Dallas and the New York Giants in 2004) will reverse their record this season.

Cleveland Browns: 6-10

Sept. 11th – Win at home against Cincinnati
Sept. 18th – Lose on the road against Green Bay
Sept. 25th – Lose on the road against Indianapolis
Oct. 2nd – Bye Week
Oct. 9th – Win at home against Chicago
Oct. 16th – Lose on the road against Baltimore
Oct. 23rd – Win at home against Detroit
Oct. 30th – Lose on the road against Houston
Nov. 6th – Win at home against Tennessee
Nov. 13th – Lose on the road against Pittsburgh
Nov. 20th – Win at home against Miami
Nov. 27th – Lose on the road against Minnesota
Dec. 4th – Lose at home against Jacksonville
Dec. 11th – Lose on the road against Cincinnati
Dec. 18th – Lose on the road against Oakland
Dec. 24th – Lose at home against Pittsburgh
Jan. 1st – Win at home against Baltimore

I believe Cleveland is a mediocre team straight across the board, but has enough talent on both sides of the ball to make a strong run at a .500 record. Trent Dilfer won’t be a standout at Quarterback, but I don’t think you will see the same kind of mistakes that Kelly Holcomb made when he was leading the charge for the Browns. Romeo Crennel will receive praise early on for the job he has done with Cleveland, getting them to a 5-5 record, but I believe they are going to struggle on the road against division teams, as well as Oakland, Minnesota, Green Bay and Indianapolis. I think a 6-10 record is a nice improvement from last season with a team that has a new Quarterback underneath a new Head Coach.

Cincinnati Bengals: 3-13

Sept. 11th – Lose on the road against Cleveland
Sept. 18th- Lose at home against Minnesota
Sept. 25th – Lose on the road against Chicago
Oct. 2nd – Win at home against Houston
Oct. 9th – Lose on the road against Jacksonville
Oct. 16th – Lose on the road against Tennessee
Oct. 23rd – Lose at home against Pittsburgh
Oct. 30th – Win at home against Green Bay
Nov. 6th – Lose on the road against Baltimore
Nov. 13th – Bye Week
Nov. 20th – Lose at home against Indianapolis
Nov. 27th – Lose at home against Baltimore
Dec. 4th – Lose on the road against Pittsburgh
Dec. 11th – Win at home against Cleveland
Dec. 18th – Lose on the road against Detroit
Dec. 24th – Lose at home against Buffalo
Jan. 1st – Lose on the road against Kansas City

The playoff drought for the Cincinnati Bengals will move into year number fifteen at the end of this season. Carson Palmer showed signs of being a good, young Quarterback with loads of potential, and resigning TJ Houshmandzadeh was key in giving Palmer a strong, number two option behind Chad Johnson at Wide Receiver. Rudi Johnson should continue to be strong in the backfield, but this team cannot rely on offense alone. Four of their first six games come on the road, and an unfavorable schedule pits the Bengals against strong offensive teams in Minnesota, Green Bay, Detroit, Kansas City, Indianapolis and division rival Pittsburgh. They don’t have a strong enough defense to stop other teams from putting points on the scoreboard. It’s hard for me to believe that Cincinnati will only win three-games, because Chicago, Buffalo and Tennessee are certainly games they can win.
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Old 08-18-2005, 12:59 PM   #2
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The way I see it, it's:

1. Ravens
2. Steelers
3. Bengals
4. Browns

I think the Steelers are going to fall and win 10-11 based on the fact that I think Big Ben is going to slump somewhat. It's practically impossible to repeat that season, and they did lose Plaxico and Ward has been unhappy. The Ravens can be quite good if Jamal Lewis stays healthy and Boller plays competent. And what I really object to is the Bengals getting that much WORSE. Marvin Lewis is a great coach and they were a .500 team last year, so this team is going up, not down. As for the Browns, three wins is generous as this point.
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Old 08-21-2005, 10:21 PM   #3
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Toby, you and I are far apart on this one. I second Marc's notion that the Bengals won't get that much worse... in fact, i think they'll improve. This should be a fun one to dredge up in December.

Bengals (11-5)
Steelers (10-6)
Ravens (8-8)
Browns (3-13)
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Old 09-05-2005, 03:13 PM   #4
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Fun quote about the Ravens' QB situation, from beatwriter Mike Preston in this week's Sporting News:

"Keep an eye on Anthony Wright. The last time he was the starting quarterback, the team made the playoffs. He has outplayed Boller in the preseason- teammates like him because he can create big plays- but Billick downplays him, saying Wright looks rusty from missing last season because of an injury. But if Wright looks rusty, then what does that make Boller? If Boller falters and Billick is smart, he won't heitate to switch quarterbacks. Wright went to the playoffs without Mason and Clayton. He might do a lot better with them."

Gotta love it when a guy who got beat out by Quincy Carter (not in my view, but in Jerry Jones') is your team's best QB. I have seen nothing yet from Boller that gives me confidence in him.
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Old 09-05-2005, 04:41 PM   #5
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as anyone who reads my posts knows i'm all about the ravens and the eagles this season. i agree the boller has shown us nothing that should say he's a good or even average qb.

right now he has every single piece in front of him that a qb could ever ask for: pro bowl guys at o-line, rb, te, and now wr.

mason perhaps the most underrated reciever in the nfl. he puts up great yardage and reception numbers and was the missing piece to what was already a playoff team.

if boller can not win w/ odgen, lewis, heap and, mason around him then he will never win anywhere. this is a super bowl team that any decent in the QB in the NFL could take there. no excuses this time.

all that plus a D that has the best secondary ever assembled and will keep him close throughout the game.

all that being said i say he won't run the ship into the ice berg and sink the ravens. they'll be in the afc conference title game- at home hosting Indy. we get to see a preview of that week one in primetime.
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Old 09-05-2005, 07:45 PM   #6
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Ha! The Bengels will definately be better than 3-13. Hell, they could go 13-3 and that wouldn't suprise me.
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Old 09-05-2005, 09:13 PM   #7
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Good news for Steelers fans; Hines Ward signed a four year extension so now they don't have to worry about his happiness.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/column...len&id=2152351
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Old 09-06-2005, 01:58 PM   #8
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good move for the steelers. they were doing hines ward wrong by not giving him the deal they had already promised him.
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