With Week 3 of Monday Night Football in the rearview mirror, Week 4 is just around the corner with Thursday Night Football. The Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens sit tied at the top of the AFC North with the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers sitting at 1-2 early in the season.
We know the Browns could be 3-0 but also had a chance to lose all three of their games as well. QB Jacoby Brissett, WR Amari Cooper and the team’s top-ranked rushing attack have overcome a surprisingly bad defense. DC Joe Woods has seen his team blow coverage over and over again despite a ton of talent on that side of the ball.
Special teams haven’t been much better with WR Demetric Felton already replaced as the returner, two missed extra points and a failed onside recovery (and almost another against Pittsburgh).
Now it's time to check in on the other AFC North squads after three weeks.
The Ravens open their season with four straight games against the AFC East. They mostly controlled the New York Jets and New England Patriots but were knocked off by the Miami Dolphins in a barnburner of a game in Week 2.
Lamar Jackson has been electric with a league-leading 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He is also tied for fifth in the NFL in rushing yards with the next closest quarterback, Jalen Hurts, 16 spots lower on the list.
A few stories from Baltimore Beatdown:
- Ravens underdogs versus Buffalo in Week 4
- 3 Game Balls from Week 3’s Win
- Rookie Class Runs Hot, Cold Against Patriots
The Bengals finally got their first win of the season in Week 3 against the Jets after narrow losses to the Steelers and Dallas Cowboys to start the season. The vaunted offense, with the expectation of an improved line, has struggled to find a good rhythm so far this season.
The defense could take advantage of starting the year facing Mitchell Trubisky and Cooper Rush but limited the Joe Flacco-led New York offense to just four field goals.
Perhaps the Super Bowl hangover has been shaken off in Southwest Ohio but they now face the only undefeated team in the AFC on Thursday Night Football.
A few stories from Cincy Jungle:
- Run game struggles early in the season
- D.J. Reader is likely out a few games, some replacement options
- Trey Hendrickson has a monster Week 3 performance
Browns fans saw the struggles of Trubisky in Week 3 while the defense clearly misses T.J. Watt. The Steelers are lucky the Bengals couldn’t get their kicking unit in order in Week 1 or they would be winless at this point.
Despite their limitations, Pittsburgh stuck with Cincinnati, New England Patriots and the Browns in the first three weeks. The team is well coached, has a solid core of veterans and some very talented playmakers on offense. Unfortunately, Trubisky and the offensive line often derail that unit and the defense was built around Watt’s ability to be a game changer.
Week 4 against the Jets will be an interesting game before four straight difficult matchups that follow.
A few stories from Behind the Steel Curtain: