AFC North Week 6 Wrapup

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Congratulations to all the teams in the AFC North!  You’re officially all average or worse, as the AFC North is the only division in the AFC without a winning record in it.

Rather than tick through the assorted mediocrities and grasping statistics, I’ll just distill it into one sentence:

Do better, y’all.


Patriots 38, Browns 15

Patriots rookie QB and now household name Bailey Zappe did not appear rattled by the moment, or the Browns’ pass rush.  Zappe played controlled, mistake-free football, as the Patriots scored 28 points in the second half to steamroll the inconsistent Browns.  The Patriots defense hassled Browns QB Jacoby Brissett into three turnovers, two of which resulted in short fields and ultimately touchdowns for New England.  The Browns continued their baffling unwillingness to run NFL rushing leader – and by far the Browns best offensive weapon – Nick Chubb  late in games.  Overall, Cleveland had little to celebrate, but it’s noteworthy that DE Myles Garrett  is now the team’s career sack leader with 67.5 after a first quarter dumping of Zappe.  It’s also noteworthy that Garrett was pulled shortly afterwards, perfectly encapsulating his effect on the team – great when actually available.


Bengals 30, Saints 26

Now, that’s more like it.

The Bengals more closely resembled their 2021 selves, as QB Joe Burrow, despite enduring three sacks, passed for 300 yards and used his entire slate of wideouts, finally freeing his favorite target, WR Ja’Marr Chase, for an excellent day.  The Bengals’ rushing attack remains a work in progress, although it showed some signs of life with RB Joe Mixon posting a 5.6 YPC average, albeit on only eight carries.  Former Bengals and current Saints QB Andy Dalton, despite no turnovers, was mostly contained by the Bengals secondary, who held Dalton to a 5.1 average per reception and a 53% completion percentage – two statistics that simply scream “mediocre”.  Saints multi=purpose RB Alvin Kamara did his share of damage against the Bengals with 99 rushing yards and 42 receiving yards, but support was certainly limited elsewhere by the Bengals’ improving defense.


Ravens 20, Giants 24

It’s an even-numbered week of the NFL season, so it was time for another bumbling display of fourth quarter ineptitude by the Ravens and their apparently overhyped team, whose woeful second half performances are starting, by themselves, to become routine.  Few Ravens fans can say they were surprised when QB Lamar Jackson, mentioned heavily in MVP discussions as recently as two weeks ago, tossed an ill-timed, ill-advised, and ultimately ill-fated interception under pressure while deep in Ravens territory, a maneuver more often witnessed in rookie QBs…bad rookie QBs.  The Ravens defense did what it does late in the fourth quarter, which was essentially little to nothing to stop the winning points from being scored.  The lone Ravens highlight appears to be the performance of backup RB Kenyon Drake, whose 119 rushing yards on ten carries lead all rushers for the day.


Buccaneers 18, Steelers 20

The Steelers’ evaluation of rookie QB Kenny Pickett will have to wait at least another week, as he exited this game in the third quarter after his head connected violently with the turf following an incompletion.  Pickett is currently wading through the NFL’s concussion protocols and is questionable for this week as of this writing.  Recently-benched QB Mitch Trubisky was able to step in and play solid football in relief, providing the winning TD pass to WR Chase Claypool early in the fourth quarter.  Of note was the lackluster play of venerable Tampa QB Tom Brady, whose verbal tirade towards his offensive line in the second half didn’t go unnoticed by cameras.  One wonders when – or if – Brady will be able to look in the mirror to acknowledge where the Buccaneers problems truly lie, as the Steelers’ defense remains battered and was down five starters for this game.


Soldier on, soldier.



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