Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC North [Print without images]

Saturday, January 3, 2009
Voice of the People

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Here is what's on the mind of AFC North readers this week:

On the Baltimore Ravens...

Austin from Charleston, SC writes: A response to Joe from San Antonio. EVERY team the Ravens lost to this year is in the playoffs, and you make it sound like beating teams in the NFC East is easy, while many experts say that is the best division in football. Also, the first time the Ravens lost to the Steelers was in overtime and the second time was very controversial. The Steelers won't get lucky a third time in a row.

Reader from Baltimore writes: James, you blog is great, I read it everyday. Great unbiased commentary on the AFC North. I just wanted to comment on how tough the Steeelers schedule was this year and how the Steelers fans insist on saying how much tougher is was than Baltimore's schedule. The Ravens played all of the same teams as the Steelers except San Diego and New England (the Ravens instead played Miami and Oakland respectively. Baltimore and Pittsburgh both won those games. Both teams lost to the Colts, Titans, and Giants. So to say the Ravens had an easier schedule is not even close to the truth. The truth is that both teams had and almost identically tough schedule. Remember also that the Ravens had to take their Bye week during week 2 and had three straight road games in weeks 9-11. The Steelers had their Bye week 6 and never had more than two straight road games all season. Thanks for the great reading, Mike.

Kei from Salisbury Md. writes: Hey James,I just have to say I love how Steelers fans have to look at the Ravens record and try to discredit them because they know there isnt much difference between the two teams.Joe from San Antonio is the epitome of a hypocrit. Atleast the team the Ravens beat in the AFC actually made the playoffs. And the Ravens also beat Washington and Dallas. Meanwhile, just like the Ravens lost to the Giants, Colts, and Titans, so did the Steelers. There is a 7 point difference between the Ravens and Steelers, thats it. I personally have my doubts about that but thats for another day. As for Flacco on the road, the guy has something like a 91.2 QB rating on the road. And he went into Dallas in a playoff like atmosphere and looked more composed then Tony Romo. I like his chances.


On the Pittsburgh Steelers...

Mike from Ewa Beach, HI writes: Please compare Big Ben, vince young, and matt ryan! Big Ben is properly capitalized because he's the most deserving QB/ROY! The genius bill parcells himself said that Big Ben was the best rookie QB since Dan Marino after Mr. Roethlisberger beat his cowboys! 5 years, 50 wins, 4 playoff berths, 2 Superbowls... that's right, the sixth Lombardi is waiting for it's new home!

Jay from Bernardsville, NJ writes: You are wrong about Mike Tomlin. You had him in the Who's Not list for starting Ben and the other starters. Tomlin made the right decision because they get a week off and if he inactivated them, imagine the rust that can occur when they play on January 11th. Forget it. I want the starters there playing and giving their all. I want them ready for whoever comes our way. So for making that pick, I am putting you on my Who's Not list!

Todd writes: One thing about the Steelers run game versus the Browns which wasn't mentioned in your blog was that Pittsburgh went back to the use of a fullback and the "I" formation. For the majority of the season they opted not use a fullback. epitome of a hypocrit. Atleast the team the Ravens beat in the AFC actually made the playoffs.


On the Cleveland Browns...

Terry from Hartford, Ct writes: James, Great job this season. Now my point; I am 33, have been a Browns fan since I was 4. I think that the fact that Randy Lerner is even considering interviewing Eric Mangini spells out all that is wrong with this franchise. I love rooting for this team, but if Mangini were to be hired, that would be the last straw. I would burn, destroy, or sell every bit of Browns merchandise that I own.

Charlie from Cleveland writes: I don't think the GM job will come down to a candidate's "comparing resumes" of the organizations. This will likely come down to bucks, bucks, and more bucks. And, while Randy Lerner's knowledge of NFL football may not compare with Denver's owner's, I think his wallet compares very favorably.