We had another interesting "Thought of the Day" in the AFC North, which focused on the two Ohio teams in the division. We asked which team will have the better 2010 season: The Cincinnati Bengals (2-4) or Cleveland Browns (2-5)?
At the beginning of the season, this wasn't much of a debate. The Bengals were coming off a division title and returned most of their starters, while the Browns were coming off a 5-11 season. Now it appears both teams are heading in opposite directions.
Here were some responses from our AFC North inbox:
Brownies on the upswing!
Jack from Cleveland writes: Gotta be Browns over Bengals as the team that will win more games. The Bengals are a talented team of malcontents and divas. The whole is much less than the sum of the parts. The Browns have underrated talent and a disciplined, team-oriented approach. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts in Cleveland and greater than the Bungles.
Joe Zevchek from Parma, Ohio, writes: I think the Browns will end up winning more games this year. The Bengals are proving all of their critics right. They came into the year overconfident and don't have the discipline to be a winning team. They are, if effect, the AFC version of the Dallas Cowboys. All the talent they need but it's gone to waste. Meanwhile, the Browns, while continually overmatched, are a physical, hard-playing team who at least try to exploit their own strengths.
Dave from Cincinnati writes: Browns. There's no disputing from anyone that the Bengals are more talented at every position except offensive line and special teams. But even as a Bengals fan, I know that means nothing, and all that matters is the Browns beat the Bengals and have a better record.
Kovacs from Santa Monica, Calif., writes: Quite simply, the Browns are playing better TEAM football than the Bengals RIGHT NOW. The Browns also have the easier schedule coming down the stretch. Given those two factors, give me the Browns.
Bengals will turn it around!
JK from Nicholasville, Ky., writes: I want to say that the Browns will win more games, but I can't. The Bengals defense is what's killing them right now, and all it's going to take is a slight tweak on that defense, and they'll start winning again. They've just got too much talent. They've also scored more than 20 points in every game but one. That one was a 15-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Teams that score like that don't lose as often as the Bengals are.
Brandon Crawford from Sykesville, Md., writes: The Bengals will win more games this year, although the Browns are improving. The Browns have a core of young talent developing with some key veterans. The Bengals on the other hand are going south. Carson Palmer is too inconsistent, and they continue to have chemistry problems. To win you have to play as a team, not individuals. Next year the Bengals will be in the cellar of the AFC North.
Jmo from Bed Stuy writes: Despite my love for the Brownies, I still think the Bengals get the edge here. They've got a better recent track record and an overabundance of talent.
Adam K from Beavercreek, Ohio, writes: I still have to go Bengals, possibly 7-9, while the Browns go 6-9-1! Haha. But I only say that because the Bengals are hurting with injuries right now, and they still have a much more talented team overall than the Browns, who are winning and keeping it close with Peyton Hillis. When teams start to put eight men in the box and force Cleveland to throw to beat them, they'll be done for. It will be very interesting to see who comes out on top in their next matchup, though. But for now I have to say WHO DEY!
AFC North final say
James Walker: In the preseason, I wouldn't think twice about this question and say Cincinnati. I'm still sticking with the Bengals, but I did think twice, which is indicative of how poorly Cincinnati is playing. The Browns are getting the most out of what they have, but they're still 2-5. The Bengals are playing ugly football but have the same amount of wins and more talent, which, in the end, will lead the Bengals to a better record.