- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
As part of Best of the NFL Week on ESPN.com, here are five bests for the AFC North:
Best QB arm: This may surprise you, but Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has the strongest arm in the division -- and one of the strongest in the NFL. Flacco is lean, but the ball flies out of his hand and he throws one of the prettiest deep balls you will ever see. The problem is Baltimore hasn't taken advantage of "Bazooka" Joe's cannon arm much since his rookie year. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger also has a strong arm and is a close second. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer hasn't been the same since his severe elbow injury in 2008, and Colt McCoy of the Cleveland Browns has the weakest arm in the division.
Best QB in the clutch: Roethlisberger takes this award in the AFC North running away. He is strong in the clutch, and other quarterbacks in the division remain unproven in that area. Roethlisberger is 10-3 in the playoffs, including a 2-1 mark in Super Bowls. Many in Steeler Nation were surprised when Roethlisberger couldn't come up with the game-winning drive in Super Bowl XLV against the Green Bay Packers, because he'd done it so many times before in crucial moments.
Best tweeter: Is there really any debate? Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is not only the best tweeter in the division, but he's the best tweeter in the NFL and possibly among all pro athletes. Ochocinco, who always enjoyed the spotlight and attention, was one of the first players to use social media as a tool to increase his profile. He has more than 2 million Twitter followers and doesn't hold back. His tweets range from sports to relationships to bashing his head coach. Most of his views are entertaining.
Best pregame orator: Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis isn't just famous for consistently playing at a Pro Bowl level during the game. Lewis also gained fame for his speeches to motivate his teammates before the game. Lewis is a natural leader and is as focused and intense as they come. There is no doubt the Ravens are Lewis' team, and his pregame entrances at M&T Bank Stadium have become a staple in Baltimore.
Best special-teams wrecking ball: Although last year wasn't a good indication, Cleveland Browns receiver and special-teams ace Josh Cribbs is a terror in the third phase of the game. He's one of the NFL's top kick returners and also very tough to block on coverage teams. Cribbs had a toe injury that neutralized many of his strengths last year, but in previous seasons he was Cleveland's best overall football player. There was speculation at one point that Cribbs could play some safety in spot duty, because he's one of the team's surest tacklers despite being a receiver.