Warm-up: Unanimous picks for AFC North

October, 16, 2011
10/16/11
8:00
AM ET
Here's your game-day warm-up:

BALTIMORE -- All four AFC North teams were unanimous selections in ESPN's experts picks this week, and only the Cleveland Browns were unhappy about it. The Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers were all chosen to win by ESPN's panel, but the Browns were selected by everyone to lose.

The Ravens, who lead the AFC North with a 3-1 record, go against a banged-up Texans team that is without wide receiver Andre Johnson and linebacker Mario Williams. The Bengals (3-2) are looking to match last season's win total against the winless Colts (0-5). The Steelers play their fourth AFC South team in six weeks when they host the Jaguars (1-4), losers of four-straight games.

The Browns (2-2) are coming off their bye to face the inspired Raiders (3-2), who are playing their first home game since the death of owner Al Davis.

Here are some questions heading into Sunday's games:
  • BENGALS: How will the loss of middle linebacker Rey Maualuga affect the Bengals run defense? Colts starting running back Joseph Addai is also out, which means rookie Delone Carter will get the start.
  • BROWNS: How many carries will Peyton Hillis receive? The Browns running back has received more than 17 carries once this season.
  • RAVENS: Will Joe Flacco rebound from one of his worst statistical outings? It doesn't help that wide receiver Lee Evans has been ruled out for a third-straight game.
  • STEELERS: Can the offensive line put together back-to-back strong performances? The key will be at right tackle, where struggling Jonathan Scott steps in for the injured Marcus Gilbert.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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