Wednesday, November 3, 2010
AFC North offensive coordinator rankings
By James Walker
It's that time again.
Last month we ranked offensive coordinators in the division for the first time this season. Now it's time for our monthly update in the AFC North blog.
Offensive coordinators are often lightning rods. They get very little credit for the team's success, yet much of the blame when the team fails.
Here are our November rankings:
1. Cam Cameron, Baltimore Ravens
Previous ranking: No. 2
Analysis: The Ravens are starting to click offensively and play as many expected this season. In the past three contests, Cameron's unit is averaging 29.3 points per game. The scoring binge has Baltimore ranked No. 14 overall in total offense. This unit has the talent to finish in the top 10, and the Ravens are heading in that direction if they maintain this level of consistency.
2a (tie). Bruce Arians, Pittsburgh Steelers
Previous ranking: No. 1
Analysis: Arians dropped one spot from last month's ranking because the Steelers have yet to hit their stride now they're at full strength. Pittsburgh is ranked No. 27 in total offense. But the stat is deceiving, because it played more than half its games without franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers should be middle-of-the-pack by season's end. Last Sunday Arians struggled with his play calling and lack of adjustments against the blitz-heavy New Orleans Saints.
2b (tie). Bob Bratkowski, Cincinnati Bengals
Previous ranking: No. 3
Analysis: Like Arians, Bratkowski is having trouble getting the most out of his personnel. The Bengals are a respectable No. 11 in total offense but have been awful in the red zone. The no-huddle offense, at times, has been a nice wrinkle. But Bratkowski's group has to execute better in short-yardage situations. The Bengals have lost their toughness and identity on offense during their four-game losing streak. There were several third-and-short situations in their most recent loss to the Miami Dolphins, where last year's Bengals would have ran for the first down. Instead, this year's team tried to air it out.
4. Brian Daboll, Cleveland Browns
Previous ranking: No. 4
Analysis: Daboll stayed at the bottom of our offensive coordinator rankings, despite the Browns recently playing better football. Cleveland is ranked No. 28 in total offense and simply doesn't have the talent to be much better. This is a defense-first team, because the ceiling isn't that high for Cleveland's offense. The Browns (2-5) often have to trick opponents with gadget plays, the Wildcat, etc. to win games. A quarterback controversy certainly isn't helping with continuity. Cleveland needs to pick its quarterback for the rest of the season and stick with him.