Wednesday, December 8, 2010
AFC North offensive coordinator rankings
By James Walker
It's been nearly three weeks since we last updated our AFC North offensive coordinator rankings.
Here is how we currently rank the four lightning rods in the division:
1. Cam Cameron, Baltimore Ravens
Previous ranking: No. 1
Analysis: Cameron is getting heat again in Baltimore. But by a significant margin, the Ravens have the highest-ranked offense in the division and are No. 14 overall in the NFL. The next closest team is the Steelers, who are No. 21. But there were increased expectations for Baltimore's offense that haven't been met so far. The Ravens have the talent to be a top-10 offense, but inconsistency has plagued this group. There are weeks Baltimore is capable of scoring 37 points and other weeks it only scores 10 points. There seems to be frustration in the locker room developing from the offense's lack of production, which is why Baltimore needs to continue to win games to keep everyone happy.
2. Bruce Arians, Pittsburgh Steelers
Previous ranking: No. 2
Analysis: Arians also gets a lot of heat in Pittsburgh, but he's doing enough to win games. The Steelers are 9-3 and in control of the AFC North, in part, due to some timely scores by Arians' offense, particularly in the fourth quarters and in overtime. Pittsburgh's No. 21 ranking is a bit deceiving because the offense didn't get many yards in the first month of the season without franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was suspended. Despite plenty of injuries on the offensive line, the Steelers are No. 10 in rushing at 120 yards per game.
3. Bob Bratkowski, Cincinnati Bengals
Previous ranking: No. 4
Analysis: Bratkowski is out of the basement of our offensive coordinator rankings, as his No. 22-ranked offense has been able to score in recent weeks. Although it hasn't translated to victories, the Bengals have scored 30 or more points in two of the past three games, which is a feat no other AFC North team has accomplished. Still, this offense has virtually ignored the running game all season and could use more creativity to create mismatches. Even receiver Terrell Owens ripped the play calling after the loss to the New Orleans Saints.
4. Brian Daboll, Cleveland Browns
Previous ranking: No. 3
Analysis: The Browns are No. 27 in total offense and would be nowhere this year without the running game led by tailback Peyton Hillis. But when teams gear up to stop Hillis, Daboll seems to have trouble making the proper adjustments. Cleveland's offense does have some imagination at times and is 4-2 in its last six games despite a revolving door at quarterback. But there are no excuses for the amount of times the Browns have been shut down in long stretches of games this season. Cleveland's defense also is forcing turnovers and doing all it can to give the offense a short field, and too often Daboll's group can't do anything with it. There's also some blame on the coaching staff for failing to develop receivers and second-round draft picks Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi this year. Both have been major disappointments in their second year.