With the Baltimore Ravens on their Bye week Sunday, Ravens fans will still have at least a couple of teams to root for. The New Orleans Saints host the Pittsburgh Steelers in a battle of two very good teams with eyes on the Super Bowl. In addition, the Miami Dolphins travel to play the Cincinnati Bengals in a game both teams desperately will need to win in order to stay in the race for a possible playoff spot.
Most people seem to think that the Dolphins will be on the outside looking in at the AFC East, as it comes down to either or both of the New York Jets and New England Patriots making the post season. The Dolphins will have a lot to prove as it played (and lost to) the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, play the Bengals this week and then head to Baltimore to play the Ravens next week. That three game stretch against the AFC North's toughest will make or break their season.
(See more on the Steelers at Saints after the 'Jump')
The Cincinnati Bengals may be one of the two biggest disappointments in the AFC (along with the San Diego Chargers) in terms of where they currently stand. Their losses to the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers has almost doomed them to third place in the division looking at their schedule for the rest of the season. However, the season is still young, although another loss this weekend should seal their fate.
The AFC North leading Pittsburgh Steelers travel to New Orleans to face what should be a very angry Saints team. Losing at home and being swamped no less by the lowly Cleveland Browns should be an ice-cold slap in the face to the defensing Super Bowl champs. Drew Brees should have his boys all pumped up to pass all over the Steelers secondary and while that will still be a tough task, running the ball against them is pretty much a done deal in terms of knowing it just ain't happening. However, Brees does have the targets to get the job done and their defense has always been able to take advantage of their opponent's turnovers, something Big Ben is known for doing.
Therefore, if the Saints can defend their home turf and beat the Steelers, that would drop them into a tie with the Ravens and by virtue of our head-to-head victory, put Baltimore back into first place in the AFC North.