Let’s get to the AFC North news...
Cincy Jungle - Cincinnati Bengals
Every AFC North team’s biggest hurdle for success in 2017
On offense, the Ravens have a sub-par running game. They haven’t had a 1,000 yard rusher since Justin Forsett ran for 1,266 yards in 2014, and they haven’t had a ‘franchise’ running back since Ray Rice unceremoniously left the league in 2013 on the heels of domestic violence issues. The Ravens signed Danny Woodhead this offseason to compete with Terrance West and Lorenzo Taliaferro. However, what Baltimore really needs is a top young talent at the position who they can develop into a long-term starter. Kenneth Dixon could be that guy, and is also in the mix to see significant playing time this year. Until the running game gets figured out, the Ravens will be forced to put an unhealthy amount of pressure on their passing game.
Behind the Steel Curtain - Pittsburgh Steelers
Are the Steelers tight ends good enough to exploit defenses, or just merely average?
However, despite James’ potential, and Grimble’s upside, this unit is merely average at best. The question isn’t can they be difference makers, but can they make the plays necessary when defenses are keyed on Bell, Bryant, Brown and others? In that scenario, I think they are good enough to get the job done, even by being average.
Dawgs By Nature - Cleveland Browns
MMQB’s Albert Breer on analytics in the NFL: What does it mean for the Browns?
Indeed, the Browns have become synonymous with the word “analytics” in the NFL. That’s even despite Breer’s noting that “Most teams don’t shy away from analytics,” incorporating the data from both a “player acquisition” standpoint as well as, “On the coaching side... to make staffs more efficient.” Though some teams incorporate the use of analytical data more than others—”More than three-quarters of NFL teams employ either a director of analytics or have a full-blown analytics department,” writes Breer—and data-providing services like Pro Football Focus and Stats LLC work with 27 and 26 of the league’s teams, respectively, the Browns have quickly become the poster children for such an approach.
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