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AFC North: Preseason Highlights Week Two

As we reach the halfway point in the preseason, all 32 teams will actively prepare for their third game which is typically seen as a dress rehearsal for the regular season. Here’s a quick look at how week two went for the AFC North teams.

 

Baltimore Ravens: (Won 37-30 vs. DAL)

The Ravens looked strong in their second preseason showing,  The run game dominated again as running backs Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliafero combined for 119 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Quarterback Joe Flacco was also pretty good, connecting with Jacoby Jones on three passes for 49 yards. Defensively, Courtney Upshaw returned a fumble a touchdown, and C.J. Mosely led all defenders for the second straight week with five total tackles.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers: (Won 19-16 vs. BUF)

The Steelers utilized a no-huddle offense to shred Buffalo’s defense for the early part of the game. Ben Roethlisberger completed 8 of 11 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, passing was the only strong offensive element for them during the game. Their leading rusher was quarterback Bruce Gradkowski with just 17 yards. Luckily, the defense played a great game rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier led the team with 11 tackles and one interception. Fellow rookie linebacker, Terrence Garvin collected seven tackles and a sack. While the Steelers gave up a great deal of yards to the Bills, they mitigated the number of points that resulted. Overall, the Steelers had a solid game.

 

Cincinnati Bengals: ( Loss 25-17 vs. NYJ)

Bengals fell to 0-2 after this game, but fans should feel good about their regular season prospects. Andy Dalton completed all eight of his passes for 144 yards and a touchdown, he also connected with receiver A.J. Green three times for 69 yards. Running back Cedric Peerman gained 34 yards on seven carries to lead the team in rushing for the game. Unfortunately the defense didn’t quite match their intensity, surrendering 169 rushing yards to the Jets. ¬†Terrence Newman was a gem on defense with three tackles and the only takeaway of the game. The Bengals didn’t prove to be as deep as many thought, but their starters looked solid. Bengals fans shouldn’t let an 0-2 preseason record bother them.

 

Cleveland Browns: ( TBD vs. Redskins)

The Browns will play the Washington Redskins on Monday night football and look to settle all doubts about their starting QB. The Browns are expecting both Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer to rotate every two drives with the first team offense. Justin Gilbert will play deep into this game, and I expect rookie running back Terrence West to get the majority of the carries tonight . I’d take the Redskins to win this game as they are the deeper team, but if they turn the ball over a few times, it’s anyone’s game.

 

There are 17 days left until the NFL season, lets hope they move by fairly quickly. I think we have all seen enough camp injuries to make us nervous about each remaining day. In the coming games, expect a lot of fireworks as starters want to make a statement and many third and fourth string players will be fighting for a roster spot.

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