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Two teams in the AFC North won their Week 1 matchups and two
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:20 am    Post subject:  Two teams in the AFC North won their Week 1 matchups and two
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.. did not. And while the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers did not lose when they met up on Sunday
, the 21-21 tie helps neither when trying to earn control of the division. With the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens both coming up victorious, and the two slated to play each other on Thursday night, one team will (likely be, given what happened in Cleveland last week) 2-0 and firmly in first place in the AFCN.It’s just Week 2 and the AFC North is at a critical point. Here’s what the Steelers, Bengals and Ravens are up to ahead of their respective matchups.Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens made the most of their home-field advantage and the Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Nathan Peterman and coasted to a 47-3 win in Week 1. Week 2 doesn’t look to be as easy, though, with Baltimore on the road against a Bengals team that was sharp in its defeat of the Indianapolis Colts. Baltimore Beatdown’s Jacob Loque agrees, calling the Bengals the Ravens’ “first real test” of the season, pointing particularly to Cincinnati’s multifaceted offense as the biggest source of trouble. Kyle P. Barber spoke with Patrick Judis of Cincy Jungle ahead of the two teams’ meeting.Logan Levy, meanwhile, has the injury updates for Baltimore. First, the Ravens placed running back Kenneth Dixon on injured reserve and promoted running back De’Lance Turner from the practice squad. As for Thursday night, Levy reports that Dixon, cornerback Maurice Canaday, defensive tackle Willie Henry and tight end Hayden Hurst have already been ruled out.Cincinnati Bengals: Cincy Jungle’s John Sheeran wonders if the Ravens defense might ultimately have the Bengals’ number this year because of a not-so-secret weapon: Quarterbacks coach James Urban. Urban spent the previous seven seasons as the Bengals’ receivers coach, working one-on-one with wideout A.J. Green for the entirety of his career, until now. Urban’s knowledge of the Bengals’ offense in general and Green’s tendencies in particular could add another level of chess-matchery to Thursday night’s game.There’s also another problem in Cincinnati—the right tackle. Bobby Hart was a glaring weakness against the Colts, and Matt Minich found six free agent tackles that he estimates “couldn’t be worse” than Hart. Hart, a former New York Giant, won the starting right tackle job over the summer, beating out Bengals draft picks Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher. Hart gave up five pressures on Sunday and ended with a Pro Football Focus grade of a dismal 37.4Pittsburgh Steelers: It wasn’t Pittsburgh’s defense that caused the Steelers to struggle with and ultimately tie with the Browns in Week 1. The unit had a combined seven sacks, 13 tackles for loss, 10 passes defensed and 11 quarterback hits. The performance led to Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt being named AFC Defensive Player of the Week, having ended the day with 10 total tackles (4.5 for a loss) and 3.5 sacks.It was originally four sacks. But, as Behind the Steel Curtain’s Jeff Hartman noted, the half-sack was taken away and given to defensive tackle Javon Hargrave. Still, it appears that Pittsburgh’s 2017 Round 1 draft pick is beginning to show why the Steelers targeted him as their latest, greatest pass-rusher.While Ben Roethlisberger’s numerous turnovers are a major reason why the Steelers and Browns tied (and why the Steelers should have been blown out), Hartman also points blame on head coach Mike Tomlin. It’s not for the typical reasons
, though, like lack of preparation or discipline, but rather his willingness to ignore and at times even amplify the level of off-field drama surrounding the team. Hartman writes, “when it comes to things you can control—like how the team is constantly engulfed in drama—there’s some room for criticism” of Tomlin.Recap: Episode 1 of Cleveland Browns on HBO’s Hard Knocks The first episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks, featuring the Cleveland Browns, debuted Tuesday night and did not disappoint. Let’s recap the major storylines that were on display.Star of the Hour: Jarvis LandryThe star of the hour was no doubt WR Jarvis Landry, who was acquired from the Miami Dolphins this offseason. After a montage showing Landry working his ass off in camp and making catch-after-catch, another montage showed the rest of the receivers or offensive players with dropped passes and missed blocks.Landry went in front of the receiver room to give a passionate speech about practicing and competing to get better each and every day, starting with: “I don’t know what the fuck’s going on here, and I don’t know why it’s been going on here, but if you’re not hurt -- if your hamstring isn’t falling off your fucking bone, your leg isn’t broke, you should be fucking practicing.”Landry’s new home, along with his girlfriend and child, were also featured in a brief segment, as the veteran receiver preached that he plans on being here awhile. That sound you hear are jerseys flying off the shelves.Quarterbacks and the RVEven though it was previously mentioned that access to the quarterback’s RV would be off limits, that wasn’t the case, as both QB Baker Mayfield and QB Brogan Roback gave tours of the vehicle at different times — Mayfield as he was getting a lesson in waste disposal, and Roback as he showed off his responsibilities like keeping everything neat-and-tidy, getting the right type of healthy snacks, and where each quarterback’s bed was.Mayfield was featured heavily for much of the beginning of the episode as he signed his rookie contract (and laughed at how things like skydiving accidents would cancel out money in his contract). His on-field presence was also on display:Coaches Disagree on Veteran Off DaysProbably the most eye-opening storyline came during a coaches meeting. After the athletic trainer provided an update on injured players, they left the room and running backs coach Freddie Kitchens expressed concern over players being given a day off when there is a lot of work to be done. Head coach Hue Jackson started explaining that this is how they’re doing things, and then offensive coordinator Todd Haley weighed in:Jackson responded by saying he knows certain players like RB Duke Johnson have a history of certain injuries, and he doesn’t want to risk losing such a valuable player for an extended period of time. He said he understands his assistants positions on the matter, because he used to think the same thing when he was an assistant coach — but when he became a head coach and saw the gravity of certain players not being available, his mindset changed. (Side note: I understand what he is saying, but both of his coordinators have been head coaches before).The Hue Jackson StoryWhen we first learned that the Browns would be featured on Hard Knocks, one of the first things I said was “it’s so obvious that the lake jump has to be featured at the beginning of the episode.” Then in an interview, they hinted that it probably wouldn’t be. However
, last night’s episode featured it right at the beginning. It wasn’t necessarily new material, but I still feel the brief touch on the “cleansing” was necessary to help set the stage of this season’s narrative.What unfolds the rest of the episode is more of the untold story and emotions that head coach Hue Jackson was going through these past couple of weeks in Berea, losing both his brother and mother in a two-week span. Remember that head coaches often live at the facility practically, so the cameras were rolling to capture every phone call and emotional support provided by GM John Dorsey, assistants, and players.Carl Nassib’s Breakout PerformanceWho would have thought that DE Carl Nassib would be the biggest riser in terms of notoriety after the first episode? He was first featured in a segment in which he gave financial advice to his defensive linemen, talking about how compound interest can ridiculously benefit all of them, especially someone like DE Myles Garrett:A little later, head coach Hue Jackson called Nassib out in front of the room, asking him what was up when a picture of he and Taylor Swift was shown on the projector (Swift performed at FirstEnergy Stadium recently).Then to close out the episode, Nassib gave another lesson on how much time is spent on social media. He used Instagram as an example, but let’s broaden it to social media: imagine you spend two hours a day on it. When you do the math, that means you spend exactly one full month a year on social media. So 1/12th of your year is literally on social media.Prepping for How to Handle Josh GordonOne of the things I love seeing is the inner workings of things, like when assistants first learn that WR Josh Gordon won’t be available at the start of training camp. Later on, VP of Marketing Peter John-Baptiste met with GM John Dorsey and head coach Hue Jackson to discuss strategy of how to handle speaking about the Gordon situation to the press.Later in the episode, Jackson tells Dorsey that Gordon texted him his condolences about the losses in his family, and how he appreciates how much he has been there for him. The headline-stealer, though? “See you soon.”Gregg Williams being Gregg WilliamsThere isn’t a better way to end an episode, is there?Earlier in the episode, when speaking in a defensive meeting to players, Gregg Williams also said he hopes he doesn’t have to be as big of an asshole this year:Next WeekI was wondering if the trading of WR Corey Coleman would be shown this week, but instead, it appeared in the trailer for next week’s episode. The news about WR Antonio Callaway, as well as outcomes from the Browns vs. Giants first preseason game, will also no doubt be on display.—What did you think of the first episode, Browns fans?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:20 am    Post subject: Adv

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