Though preparations for the regular season and the remainder of the preseason will continue, all NFL training camps are coming to their official endings in the coming days. Also in the coming days: The second week of preseason contests for both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens already had their second exhibition match of the summer, a Thursday night win over the Miami Dolphins. With all that in mind, here is the latest, greatest news for the non-Browns teams of the AFC North.
Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore Beatdown’s Logan Levy gives a comprehensive breakdown of the Ravens’ 31-7 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Week 2 of the preseason. Highlights include the performance of the special teams’ unit and the first-team defense, but quarterback play is still shaky in the absence of starter Joe Flacco and an offensive line that is still a work-in-progress.
Also: How much did Ravens’ backup quarterback Ryan Mallett struggle? Kyle P. Barber found this gem from Pro Football Focus, which says that “Ravens fans should be worried if Mallett has to take snaps in the regular season.” And he might—Joe Flacco still isn’t practicing and won’t next week, either, writes Levy. Though, as Jacob Locque points out, the Ravens may have a fortunate ace up their sleeve in the form of Josh Woodrum, who may get some work with the first-team offense in the next preseason game.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Frazer at Behind the Steel Curtain gives a thorough breakdown of six Steelers’ players who either helped or hurt their roster-bubble statuses in the team’s first preseason game. One in the latter category that should come as no surprise is cornerback Senquez Golson, who has seen his third consecutive training camp pass him by on the bench as he continues recovery from a hamstring injury. A year ago, it was a foot that cost him the season and, as a rookie, his shoulder.
Also: Jeff Hartman says that it’s time for the Steelers to turn their financial attention to defensive end Stephon Tuitt now that they have come to long-term agreements with receiver Antonio Brown and left tackle Alejandro Villanueva—and must remain in a holding pattern with Le’Veon Bell until 2018. Hartman also provides an update on the status of rookie Pittsburgh wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster, who went down with a leg injury in camp earlier in the week.
Cincinnati Bengals: Cincy Jungle’s Patrick Henke goes player-by-player to break down the performance of the Bengals’ 2017 rookie class in the team’s first preseason game. First-year defenders Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis have thus far been two of the bigger standouts.
Also: This youth movement in Cincinnati means that veteran casualties are ahead. One, writes Jason Marcum, could be defensive end Michael Johnson, whom Marcum describes as a “shell of himself” on the cusp of Johnson’s ninth NFL season.