I'd call the AFC North a flaming pile of horse manure, but I think that would be an insult to horse manure.
The Browns proved last night that they're paper tigers. The defense gave up an 83 yard touchdown run on their first play from scrimmage. Nice. Baker Mayfield threw a couple of picks and was sacked four times. That's 16 sacks of Mayfield in just five games. The dude's out there seeing ghosts.
Freddie Kitchens, the head coach, is in way over his head. His team is the most penalized in football. He called a 4th-and-9 draw play against the Rams. Last night, he had OBJ returning punts when the team was down 25 points. Smart.
Don't look now, but the Seahawks and Patriots are next up on the schedule for the Brownies. Can you say 2-5??
The Ravens gave up 500 yards in each of the two games preceding their win over the Steelers. The defense is BAD. The offense is great, but as we saw on Sunday, LaMar Jackson will turn the football over.
The Ravens have got the Bengals next, then followed up by Seattle the Patriots, the Bengals again, then the Texans, Rams, 49ers, and Bills. That's tough sledding.
Here's the issue: None of that matters for the Steelers.
The AFC North is crap. The Steelers are still alive. But the hole is too big to crawl out of. The Steelers have zero margin for error and on Sunday are likely going to have to play their third string QB who they cut before the season started.
People keep telling me, "Crowley, if the Steelers can sweep their remaining division games and then beat the Dolphins, Cardinals, and Jets then they'll make the playoffs." Okay, sure. IF that all happened they WOULD make the playoffs.
The thing is...It WON'T HAPPEN. Steelers fans who are already counting their chickens must not be familiar with the recent history of this football team.
The Steelers WITH Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown lost to the Raiders and the Broncos last year. Against the Chargers, they blew a 17 point lead at home for the first time in franchise history.
Two years ago, the Steelers had all of the "Killer B's" and still lost to a bad Chicago Bears team. The Steelers lost to the Ravens once with Ryan Mallet starting at QB for Baltimore.
If the Steelers couldn't take care of business with Ben at QB and with hall of fame talent at the RB and WR positions, then why should I expect them to do it now with Duck Dynasty or Mason Rudolph at the helm?
The AFC North is the worst division in football. It's a shame that the Steelers dug themselves too big a hole to climb out of.