Audibles: AFC North Week 2 preview

September, 12, 2008
9/12/08
4:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Tennessee Titans (1-0) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1), 1 p.m. ET

The Cincinnati Bengals will host the Tennessee Titans in their 2008 home opener.

There are several advantages Cincinnati has coming into this game. First, the Titans will be without starting quarterback Vince Young, who suffered a knee injury last week. Backup Kerry Collins, 35, will get the start. Second, this current group of Bengals have had success against Tennessee, winning their past two meetings in 2005 and 2007. Cincinnati handed Tennessee its worst loss of last season with a 35-6 blowout.

Keep an eye on the Bengals' run defense, which gave up 229 yards on the ground against Baltimore. Tennessee is extremely physical, and with a backup quarterback the team will look to use its dual running threats of Chris Johnson and LenDale White.

The Bengals also need to get their high-powered offense back on track. Cincinnati only scored three points last week and looked out of synch both on the ground and through the air.

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) vs. Cleveland Browns (0-1), 8:15 p.m. ET

This is an intriguing, prime-time matchup and one of the biggest early-season games in the AFC. Pittsburgh is looking dominant after the first week and can cement its status as favorites to win the AFC North by taking an early two-game lead over Cleveland.

The Browns, after losing at home to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1, are already calling this a must-win game. Cleveland has playoff aspirations and cannot afford to fall to 0-2 after dropping two straight at home.

But Pittsburgh has the Browns' number. The Steelers have won nine straight and most of the players on Cleveland's roster have never beat Pittsburgh. Neither has head coach Romeo Crennel.

If the Browns want to have a chance, their defense must improve. Cleveland gave up a whopping 487 yards to the Cowboys.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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