It’s a parade in the AFC North yeah! (I think that’s what Ja Morant said but who cares). The Pittsburgh Steelers were on a bye this week, no need to include them in this. The Cincinnati Bengals continued their winning ways (despite it being unimpressive), the Baltimore Ravens got back on track across the pond and as for the Cleveland Browns, I’ll just leave this:
Week 6 has wrapped up in the AFC North, let’s discuss.
Baltimore Ravens 24, Tennessee Titans 16
Before I dive into the game recap, salute to London for hosting the 3 NFL games in their country. The NFL has a massive fan base worldwide and every time the NFL hosts a game overseas, the turnout is always sensational.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, home of the English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspurs, has an amazing stadium but they should look into using grass instead of turf for their game (that’s my opinion).
As far as the game goes, it wasn’t pretty but a win is a win. For the first time in a long time, the Ravens roster was somewhat healthier than what it has been for the past couple of weeks. Offensively, quarterback Lamar Jackson received help from his wide receivers after not getting it the previous week. Rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers continues to be a contributor for this offense with 6 catches for 50 yards as well as his first career touchdown.
Tight end Mark Andrews led the team in receiving yards, wide receivers Nelson Agholor, Rashod Bateman and Odell Beckham also contributed. The red zone offense for Baltimore wasn’t great, but expect the team to try to fix that as soon as they can.
Defensively, outside of a few plays another stout performance. Six sacks, seven tackles for losses and forced a turnover, that’s pretty good.
As far as officiating goes, it was bad (same can be said for the 49ers-Browns game). Some of the calls were either head-scratching or downright atrocious. Safety Kyle Hamilton was ejected for one of the hits he made, so yeah that check is gonna feel a little light this week. I don’t think Hamilton is a dirty player at all, but was he trying to make a play on the ball?
Kyle Hamilton has been ejected from today's game for this hit— PFF (@PFF) October 15, 2023
If Baltimore can figure out what their identity is on offense, this team has massive potential to go far in the postseason. As long as they stay healthy that is.
Seattle Seahawks 13, Cincinnati Bengals 17
The Cincinnati Bengals are currently 3-0 against the NFC West this season. This time they were able to take care of the Seattle Seahawks.
Offensively, quarterback Joe Burrow had a good day nothing major. 24-35 for 185 yards 2 TD’s and 1 INT. He threw a touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Andrei Iosivas (he’s known as Yoshi in Cincinnati, cool nickname!). Burrow was able to retrieve the ball and give it to him as a souvenir. It’s a cool moment.
Wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase didn’t have a career day like he did against the Arizona Cardinals but a solid, productive day.
Defensively, the unit showed a little bit of bend and didn’t break with defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo. If I had to name who are the two best defensive coordinators in the AFC North, it would be Lou Anarumo of Cincinnati and Jim Schwartz of Cleveland. Cincinnati was able to get consistent pressure on Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith, which is a positive. Cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt is a stud, he continues to impress every single week.
As far as the win goes, it wasn’t impressive in my eyes. Due to Seattle’s inability to capitalize in the red zone (something to monitor Browns fans as Cleveland will play against this team soon), Cincinnati was able to barely get by with a win. It was more of Seattle losing the game than Cincinnati winning it.
The first-half offense for Cincinnati was moving the ball down the field but the 2nd half was a different story. The drives for Cincinnati looked like this in the 2nd half.
- Turnover (Joe Burrow threw an interception)
- Field Goal
Burrow was effective in the first half, he didn’t do much in the 2nd and they weren’t necessarily great on 3rd down. It has to be a play-calling issue or something because Cincinnati has too much firepower on offense to stall out consistently.
Defensively, the unit did give up some big plays which is a bit of a concern but is good, it might not be as good as it was in years prior but it’s a top 15 unit.
At 3-3, they are unimpressive. Burrow is getting healthy, which is good but they have some issues offensively that need to be fixed. Defensively, I could see the unit making strides but we shall see. Cincinnati has a bye this week, will they hit their stride afterward? Talk to me when they beat San Francisco and Buffalo but I haven’t been impressed by Cincinnati.