Warm-up: Experts pick against Steelers

October, 2, 2011
10/02/11
8:30
AM ET
Here's your game-day warm-up:

When it comes to the AFC North, ESPN's NFL experts had two unanimous picks -- they all predict the Ravens will win and the Steelers will lose.

The biggest concern with the Steelers, who play at Houston, is their banged-up offensive line (right guard Doug Legursky and left tackle Jonathan Scott are sidelined with injuries). This will increase the number of different starting offensive linemen for Pittsburgh to eight, which ties the Seahawks for the most this season (this comes compliments of ESPN Stats & Information).

All of the experts are picking the Ravens to beat the Jets, which would continue Baltimore's dominance over them. The Ravens have won six straight against New York, including all three at home. The only time the Ravens lost to the Jets was November 1997, when Neil O'Donnell and Glenn Foley were the quarterbacks for New York.

Here are some pre-game notes for the AFC North teams:
  • BENGALS: The Bengals' 10-game losing streak is now the longest current regular-season one in the NFL, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The last time Cincinnati beat Buffalo was the 1988 AFC championship game.
  • BROWNS: The Browns expect Tony Pashos to start at right tackle, which doesn't happen often. He's only played in six games since signing with Cleveland in 2010.
  • RAVENS: Left guard Ben Grubbs is considered a game-time decision after missing the past two games with a toe injury. "He’s got a pretty good chance [to play]," coach John Harbaugh told reporters Friday, "but you just can’t control that stuff obviously.”
  • STEELERS: Cornerback Bryant McFadden isn't on the injury report, but he could be sidelined again because of an issue with his hamstring, according to The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. That would mean another start for William Gay.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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AFC NORTH SCOREBOARD