Friday, November 9, 2012
Poll results: Your pick to win AFC North
By Jamison Hensley
The Ravens have a one-game lead in the AFC North at the midway point of the season, but followers of the AFC North blog don't believe they will hold onto it.
In a SportsNation poll that asked for your pick to win the AFC North, 68 percent of the 9,387 votes went to the Steelers, who have won three straight games. The Ravens, who have the AFC's second-best record but have dealt with a run of injuries, received 23 percent.
There is more confidence in the Steelers now than at the beginning of the season. The Steelers took 48 percent of the vote in a preseason poll.
Here are some selected comments from the mailbag on who will win the division:
Ryan from Milan, Ind.: The Steelers are primed to take the division away from the Ravens. The Steelers are finally getting healthy, with Troy Polamalu looking to return for the Nov. 18 match up against the Ravens, and the run game has started to show up. The Ravens, on the other hand, are falling apart midseason as the injury bug has taken a big bite into their defense, and they struggled to beat the Browns last week after having two weeks to prepare for them. 1. Steelers 2. Ravens 3. Bengals 4. Browns.
Fernando from Sao Paulo, Brazil: I think the Ravens will win five or six out of eight, and most importantly, split with the Steelers. That will give them a slight edge.
Grant from Kinston, N.C.: I feel like the Steelers will win the AFC North because they appear to be the better team 9 weeks into the season. It is true that the Ravens have the better record but their lackluster defense really goes against their identity and will cost them in the second half of the season. They play well at home but their struggles on the road will also come back to bite them. The Steelers really weathered the storm that was brewing at the beginning of the season, overcame injuries, and have managed to go into the second half of the season with the number 1 defense and a thriving run game as they hoped.
Dave from Birmingham, Ala.: I'm a life-long Steeler fan, born in the Burgh, but I have to give the nod to the Ravens right now.They're the defending AFC North champs and they're one game up on the Steelers. The Black-and-Gold realistically need to sweep the season series, and we all know the Ravens' home record the past few years. You can also look at Flacco's numbers at home and away.
Matt from Greensboro, N.C.: I picked the Steelers to be on top of the AFC north when it's all said and done. The Ravens have two games against Pittsburgh, plus the Redskins and Bengals on the road (where Joe Flacco struggles), not to mention late-season games against Denver and New York Giants. With the defense playing poorly and inconsistency on offense, the Ravens just look to have a tougher road than the Steelers.
Michael from Darien, Conn.: The Steelers defense is on the rise while Ravens defense is moving in the opposite direction. The Steelers have found a running game and an offensive line that run blocks. The Steelers have an easy schedule, with the exception of the games with the Ravens. Steelers have five home games remaining and Ravens only four. Momentum, home-field advantage and depth will carry the Steelers to the top.
Al from Macedonia, Ohio: I'm a Browns fan, but the Steelers will win. How many teams can have that many injuries on the offensive ine in the start of the season and overcome it. Mike Adams looked like a practice squad guy in his first couple appearances, now he looks like a legit player. And their defense? How? With so many old people! How? Because the coaching staff is fantastic. that's how.
Jason from Columbus: I picked the Browns to win the division, well, because I can.