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Twin Takes: AFC North State of the Union Address

The AFC North is always a bloodbath. It was that way when the Browns were 0-16 and Andy Dalton was propelling the Bengals to perpetual middle of the pack finishes. This year is no different. There are three, possibly four (if the Steelers learn how to play offense), division championship contenders this year. 

The Browns, Bengals, and Ravens were all victors this week and the Steelers lost. I will now go into the state of each franchise heading into week four, with expert takes that no one will disagree with. Remember guys, I have played Madden since ‘09.

We’ll start with the division leaders, the Cleveland Browns. I’ve got to say, the Browns look good. Even without the infamous Deshaun Watson. 

Jacoby Brisset has stepped in and done what Baker Mayfield simply couldn’t do, which was simply to not make mistakes that lead directly to the team losing. 

Brisset has made the simple passes and he looked quite good as the step-leader to this team. He found Amari Cooper and David Njoku for touchdowns against the Steelers with zero interceptions. Along with this, Nick Chubb carried the offense when they needed it, looking like one of the NFL’s best running backs with 113 rushing yards and a touchdown. If the Browns continue this offensive trend, they will win a lot of games. 

Onto second place, the Baltimore Ravens. The clear leader of this team is Lamar Jackson. He’s on a contract year and has started the season on a complete tear. Fantasy football managers everywhere have enjoyed having this man on their team as he had put up the numbers of an elite running back and quarterback. 

He led a touchdown drive where he accounted for every single offensive yard. That is rare talent and the Ravens better be ready to pay him for it. 

While the defense has been shaky at times, giving up 28 points in the fourth quarter in week two against the Dolphins, their offense remains steady. Mark Andrews is a certified dude and the receivers have done their parts filling in for the departed Hollywood Brown. The Ravens will go as far as Lamar can take them, and I believe he’s capable of leading this team to the playoffs.

First is the worst, second is the best, third is the team with the elite defense and a completely worthless offense. That’s how the saying goes right? 

Anyways, the Steelers have some issues (to put it lightly). Having an elite defense means nothing if they are on the field for the entire game. I thought they had made a turn in the first half against the browns, getting a good offensive line push and moving the ball downfield for a couple impressive drives. 

How did they come out in the third quarter you might ask? With an incredibly elite three and out. On top of this, they decided to do it two more times in a row. That’s very impressive. 

All jokes aside, the offense has to be out there longer for this defense to get some rest. If not, injuries will continue to pile up for the defense and this team will turn into a dumpster fire. If they want to go anywhere, they have to figure out a way to get this offense rolling. Also a quick note, the Steelers have not won a game without TJ Watt since he was drafted. He could miss up to eight weeks. Not great.

Now onto the Bengals. Quick note to their fans, you’ve got to learn to deal with success. After going to the Super Bowl, you were spiraling after going 0-2. It will be okay I promise. They have all the talent in the world and Joe Him Burrow is still your quarterback. They will right the ship and end up having a good season. Quote me on that, it’s a long season.

Weston Nern is a junior studying finance and business analytics at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Weston know by emailing him wn196719@ohio.edu.

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