AFC North: AFC Stock Watch 2010 Week 3

How I See It: AFC North Stock Watch

September, 29, 2010
9/29/10
10:00
AM ET
NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

FALLING

1. Eric Wright, Cleveland Browns cornerback: Wright had the worst game of his career in last week's loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Given the responsibility of shutting down former Pro Bowl receiver Anquan Boldin, Wright was not up to the task. All three of Boldin's touchdowns were scored on Wright, who usually is Cleveland's best cover corner. Browns coach Eric Mangini said Wright would not lose his starting job -- and he shouldn't. Every player has a bad game, and Wright has been solid in coverage throughout his career in Cleveland.

2. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback: What is going on with Cincinnati's passing game? Is it the quarterback, the receivers or the offensive line? Although everyone shares a portion of the blame, the quarterback naturally gets most of the glory and criticism. Palmer has not been accurate and his numbers are trending downward with every game. Against the winless Carolina Panthers, Palmer completed 19 of 37 passes for 195 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. His passer rating in three games this season has gone from to 92.5 to 60.1 to 53.3.

3. Mohamed Massaquoi, Browns receiver: Cleveland's No. 1 receiver has only three catches in three games, including last week when he was shut out against Baltimore. Massaquoi, a former second-round pick, said this offseason that he wants to prove he can lead Cleveland's passing game. But he hasn't lived up to that billing so far. Quarterback changes certainly have something to do with Massaquoi's slow start, but other receivers, such as Josh Cribbs, have found ways to be productive.

RISING

[+] EnlargeAnquan Boldin
AP Photo/Gail BurtonAnquan Boldin has been outstanding for the Ravens this season.
1. Anquan Boldin, Ravens receiver: Last week's performance is the reason Baltimore gave up two draft picks for Boldin. He lit up the Browns with eight catches for 142 yards and three touchdowns. Boldin has been far and away Baltimore's best receiver this season, and he has a knack for making the big plays. Boldin also helped quarterback Joe Flacco get back on track after a slow start.

2. Peyton Hillis, Browns tailback: The Browns needed someone to jumpstart their offense, and Hillis added a nice boost. He rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown against a quality defense in Baltimore. With Jerome Harrison not producing early, Hillis has now earned the starting tailback role in Cleveland. He will try to run over another good defense this week against Cincinnati.

3. Charlie Batch, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback: Batch found the fountain of youth and threw for 186 yards and three touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The highlight of his day was two 40-plus yard bombs to receiver Mike Wallace for touchdowns. Batch could have padded his numbers even more, but the Steelers played conservatively in the second half in order to run out the clock. Pittsburgh threw only three times after intermission. Batch will get his second consecutive start Sunday against Baltimore.

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