After week 1 I was on a cruise ship in Jamaica. Great beaches but man those people hound you on every block. I was able to watch the game still but I didn't get to see the fallout. Week 1 is never a enough evidence to extrapolate a season out of but week 2 can give you a better idea though. As we all know teams that start 0-2 rarely make the playoffs. Now that all of the AFC North teams have finished their week 2 games I have some thoughts.
As for our Steelers, that is the Steelers we know and love. I heart Ryan Clark. He is a major upgrade over Mundy and when Troy and harrison gets back I expect this defense to be close to normal. The only thing that I worry about is our defensive line. I really don't know how good or bad these guys are. They were pushed around in the first quarter of the jets game and seemingly after the 1st quarter of the Broncos game. So what is the real defensive line? We need to know this because the ravens offensive line will try to impose its will on our defensive line. With Ray Rice, one of the best RBs in the league thats a recipe for disaster. These guys will need to bring a full 4 quarters if we expect to defend the ravens. The linebackers (except for Carter and Worlids) played well and our corners acquitted themselves well also. As for Carter and Worids, is it just me or has James Harrison spoiled us the last 5 years? I want these guys to take up the mantle but the production just is not there. They don't defend the run nor get to the QB anywhere close to what James Harrison can do. This worries me because we need two good OLBs to get the full effect of this defense. For Carter he can get a little more time but Worlids it has to be the end of the line. We may need to take an OLB in the first round next year. But we're pretty much stuck with our defensive line. Ziggy Hood and Cam Heyward were first round picks so they will most likely be staying here unless they are a complete bust. I still believe those two will turn out to be good DEs, it just may take a little extra time.
As for the offense I think that they played quite well. There were some missed opportunities to blow the game wide open earlier in the game than we did but one can't be too picky. The running game has to pick up, it could be that the Broncos and the Jets both just have good run defenses but CJ Spiller tore the Jets a new one last week, it could be they allowed that stuff because the Jets were so far ahead. I think the offensive line just needs more time to gel that is the only way the running game will get better. I hope people realize how difficult it is to run when there are no holes and remove the Rashard Mendenhall hate, people were complaining about his 3.5 yards per carry, surely our 2.4 yards per carry yesterday isn't aspiring. I love seeing Heath Miller used in the Redzone, that is what he is built for and the fact that he had zero TDs last year in the redzone is just a travesty, our WRs are per usual awesome.
On to the Browns and Bengals. I'll talk about them together because they belong together. These two teams will fight for last place in this division. For the bengals the book is out on Dalton and I feel he won't have that great of a season. Having a good day against the browns isn't a good barometer to sway me for that opinion. Likewise Browns fans shouldn't celebrate too much because Weeden had a good game. This is the same bengals pass defense that made Joe Flacco look like Joe Montana. The eagles defense made weeden look like a rookie and made flacco look like flacco. To me that is what you want to measure yourself against, not the defense that is getting lit up like the bengals.
As for the Ravens they just need to stick to Ray Rice and they will be fine. They would be 2-0 regardless of officials if they simply ran the ball on 3rd and shorts. They had 5 3rd and short possessions in the 2nd half of that game and with a lead they passed all 5 times, which ended in 1 interception (that should have been returned for a touchdown but the officials blew the play dead even though no one touched the linebacker) and 4 incompletions. If they run the ball on just two of those occasions. The coaches has to stop trying to prove that flacco is elite. Despite the play calling, whether receivers were open or not, whether the offensive line was good or not - flacco was wildly inaccurate on these third down throws. Many of these throws were just off the mark non-catch-able balls and bad decisions. Even if you consider the first half he only had 95 yards passes on 14 throws for a measely 6.7 yards yards per reception. If this is flacco at his best then thats not elite, its good but not elite. You're running back is, do what win games and let rice take this team as far as it can go. This is a really good team and if Suggs can come back in any capacity that will be a big boost. They need to work on their pass defense if they don't get turnovers a good QB can find open recievers. For as well as the Ravens played they would have lost the game decidedly if If you keep the ball away from Ed Reed teams can have success.
Well there are my thoughts, what are yours?