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09.03.2019 02:14
State of the AFC North: Week 3 Antworten

After three weeks of NFL action , the AFC North appears to be far more competitive this season than many anticipated. No team has been able to separate themselves from the bunch and put together consecutive games of winning football. In what felt like their super bowl, the Cleveland Browns won their first game since Week 16 of the 2016 season. The Bengals fell to 2-1 after starting undefeated, falling to Carolina on the road. Pittsburgh earned their first victory of the season, outlasting the Buccaneers on Monday night football. Cincinnati and Baltimore are currently tied for first place in the division at 2-1, however the Bengals hold the tiebreaker. The Steelers and Browns round out the bottom of the AFC North at 1-1-1. Ravens defeat Broncos: 27-14 Offensive line bends, but doesn’t break The Ravens offensive line struggles have been a topic of discussion this season, especially after their disastrous performance in Week 2. Against the Broncos, however, they held up surprisingly well. Denver’s All-Pro linebacker, Von Miller, one of the best pass-rushers in the league, was held in check throughout the game. He recorded no sacks, no QB hits, and had only two tackles. Miller was also called for multiple pre-snap penalties. Baltimore’s line did allow two sacks on the day and was called for multiple false start penalties. However, overall, the offensive line bounced back nicely and settled in as the game went along. Hopefully they can build upon this performance. Get to know Kenny YoungWith Ray Lewis in attendance, rookie linebacker Kenny Young put on his best Ray Lewis impression. Young got the start in place of the injured C.J. Mosley and was the Ravens best defensive player throughout the game. Young was all over the field on Sunday. He led the Ravens with 10 total tackles, one of which was for a loss of yardage. Young has end-to-end athleticism and is skilled in coverage, an area where other linebackers on the roster often struggle. His performance against the Broncos was no fluke, as Young has been making plays on the field all season. It’s early in the season and in his career, but it certainly appears the Ravens may have landed a potential star and long-term starter at linebacker in the draft. Browns defeat Jets: 21-17Baker Mayfield’s debutFormer Heisman trophy winner Baker Mayfield made his debut Thursday night, taking over for the injured and struggling Tyrod Taylor. Mayfield provided an instant spark, helping the Browns erase a 14-point deficit. Before Mayfield took over late in the second quarter, the Browns produced only two first downs and zero points. Mayfield completed 17/23 passes for 203 yards. He was efficient and routinely made pinpoint accurate throws, two qualities that made him the first overall pick. Mayfield didn’t throw any touchdowns, but he caught a touchdown pass from Jarvis Landry off a trick play.Overall, the Baker Mayfield era got off to an electric start. Mayfield’s comeback effort helped the Browns secure their first victory is 635 days. He will look to build upon this performance against the Oakland Raiders in Week 4 James Hurst Jersey , before taking on the Ravens in Week 5. Carlos Hyde’s big nightMayfield made all the headlines, but Carlos Hyde had a special performance of his own. Not only was he celebrating his 28th birthday on Thursday night, but Hyde was also celebrating the birth of his first child.Hyde announced the birth of his son, Carlos Hyde Jr., on twitter after the game. His status prior to the contest was up in the air, but he ultimately suited up and rushed to the hospital following the end of the game.The Browns are grateful he suited up, as he was a key catalyst in their victory. Hyde rushed for 98 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns. Hyde has been Cleveland’s workhorse back this season and will look to keep it rolling.Bengals fall to Panthers: 31-21Injuries on offense A sight that no Bengals fan wants to see is an injury to Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green. Green exited Sundays’ matchup in the third quarter with a groin injury and did not return. Prior to leaving, he caught five passes for 54 yards.This comes just a week after the Bengals lost Joe Mixon, who underwent knee surgery following their Week 2 victory against Baltimore. Mixon is set to miss 2-3 weeks. Green’s status for Week 4 is up in the air, and his practice pattern in the coming days will be worth monitoring.If he can’t go, Cincinnati will be down their two biggest playmakers in a tough matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. Tyler Boyd, who had six catches for 131 yards a touchdown in Week 3, will have to step up in his absence, as will tight end Tyler Eifert. Turnovers prove costly Entering Sunday’s contest against the Panthers, Andy Dalton had gotten off to a strong start this season. He held a 6:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and threw four touchdowns and zero picks against the Ravens in Week 2.He was unable to replicate that performance in Week 3 and regressed. Dalton threw four interceptions against Carolina and they proved to ultimately change the course of the game. The Panthers followed up each of Dalton’s first three interceptions with scoring drives, totaling two touchdowns and one field goal. Unfortunately for Cincinnati, they were unable to force a turnover.Steelers defeat Buccaneers: 30-27 Tale of two halvesPittsburgh came out determined and firing on all cylinders. They jumped out to a 30-10 lead at halftime, courtesy of a 24-point second quarter. The Steelers forced three interceptions and recovered a forced fumble. However, they were held scoreless in the second half and nearly let the game slip away. After containing Tampa Bay’s offense for much of the game, Ryan Fitzpatrick heated up late and finished with 411 passing yards and three touchdowns. Pittsburgh was outscored 17-0 in the second half, punting the ball away twice and missing a field goal. Ultimately, they made enough plays to secure a victory ahead of a Sunday night tilt against Baltimore. Balanced passing attack In prior years, Antonio Brown has been the key focal point of Steelers passing offense. He has dominated the target share and consistently led the team in both receptions and yards. While he will likely end up as their leading receiver for the season, Pittsburgh appears to have a more balanced attack this season. Several different players became involved on Monday night. JuJu Smith-Schuster again led the team in receiving with nine catches and 116 yards. Tight end Vance McDonald also had a big night with 112 receiving yards, highlighted by a 75-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. Running back James Connor caught five passes, just one less than Antonio Brown. The goals were to let the backups play and learn, and to be inspired.Missions accomplished.The Ravens and Bears honored their great linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher with some defense to make them proud in the Hall of Fame game that opened the NFL's preseason Thursday night. Baltimore held on 17-16."Ray is the greatest linebacker of our time Authentic Marlon Humphrey Jersey ," said 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, who quarterbacked the second half for the Ravens. "That was a big thrill and exciting stuff."Oh, there was a little spark of offense, some provided by Baltimore's first-round draft pick. Jackson's 7-yard touchdown pass to fellow first-rounder Hayden Hurst came after the Ravens' defense recovered a fumble.Chicago put together its best drive in the final minutes and journeyman Tyler Bray connected with Tanner Gentry for a 10-yard score to cap a 92-yard march. But the 2-point conversion pass fell incomplete.Otherwise, D was the letter of the day: there were six turnovers in all, and 12 sacks, eight by the Bears."To represent Ray in this game to our guys meant even more," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said."It was a special moment for our organization," noted new Bears coach Matt Nagy.The teams exchanged tipped interceptions on the first two possessions of the preseason.Chicago moved swiftly downfield only to have Chase Daniel's pass to Josh Bellamy deflected to safety Chuck Clark at the Baltimore 6. He returned it 15 yards, then the Ravens replicated the turnover.Robert Griffin III, attempting a comeback after sitting out 2017, had his pinpoint throw go off the hands of receiver Breshad Perriman, then off rookie cornerback Michael Joseph. DeAndre Houston-Carson dived to make the pick at the Ravens 34.The Bears soon converted when Michael Burton caught a 4-yard scoring pass from Daniel.Baltimore tied it, sparked by two big gainers by undrafted rookie running back Gus Edwards. Griffin found Maxx Williams for a 4-yard score."It felt great," Griffin said. "I can't tell you how grateful I am to play the game again."Then Lewis' old unit gave him a thrill. On the next play from scrimmage, linebacker Kamalei Correa sped 19 yards with an interception to the Chicago 9. But Urlacher's former defense made him smile, sacking Griffin on third down to hold Baltimore to a 31-yard field goal by Kaare Vedvik.Generally, it was a sloppy affair among backups marred by a slew of dropped passes, poor protection for the quarterbacks, and misthrows by those QBs.But something Lewis and Urlacher would approve, the defenses hit hard and tackled well.NEW COACH, OFFENSENagy, of late the offensive coordinator in Kansas City, made his head coaching debut with the Bears. He has said his new offense is in the early steps of development, and it looked that way all night.Of course, with backups playing it's nearly impossible to gauge progress. But he was optimistic."The arrow is pointing up for us," he said. "We definitely took steps in the right direction."INTROSEach of the seven inductees to the hall who were on hand — Terrell Owens is a well-publicized no-show — received a rousing ovation when they were introduced before the game. Lewis replicated his patented warmup dance for a few seconds Youth Lamar Jackson Jersey , and Urlacher slapped hand with every Bears player lined up on the 45-yard line."Ray was on the field getting all fired up, doing his thing," Harbaugh said. "With both teams at the 45, I thought that was awesome, and then to see Ray come out, that was spectacular."Urlacher gave a pregame pep talk to the Bears in the locker room."It's so funny to see," veteran defensive lineman Akiem Hicks said. "Growing up, you've watched these guys, and you're one of the guys now who people come up and ask for pictures and autographs. Then you see Urlacher come into the locker room and you get to see all these NFL football players turn into kids ..."It's a phenomenal feeling."Also walking along midfield between the lines of Ravens and Bears were Randy Moss, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Robert Brazile and Bobby Beathard.Owens did make it onto the cover of the Hall of Fame enshrinement magazine, however.At halftime, Hall of Famers Ozzie Newsome, the general manager of the Ravens, and Dan Fouts received their "Rings of Excellence" from David Baker, the hall's president.HELMET RULEThe first application of the NFL's enhanced enforcement of penalties for players lowering their helmet to make a tackle occurred early. Ravens linebacker Patrick Onwuasor was flagged for his hit on Benny Cunningham, earning a 15-yard penalty that helped set up Chicago's first touchdown.Correa got nailed for the same violation in the third quarter, but he also had a sack that forced a fumble in that period, and three sacks overall."It was great to see him break out," Harbaugh said of Correa's overall performance. "His work ethic and attention to detail, to see it pay off like that, a coach loves to see it."NEXT UPBears: At Cincinnati next Thursday night.Ravens: Host Los Angeles Rams next Thursday night.__

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