AFC North: Week 1

Week 1 poll: Steelers at Ravens

September, 5, 2011
9/05/11
12:00
PM ET
This is the game we've all been waiting for.

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on who will win Sunday's much-anticipated, AFC North showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. These teams don't like each other and met three times last season. Pittsburgh won two meetings, including a playoff victory at Heinz Field.

Will it be more of the same for the Steelers? They have had Baltimore's number when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is under center. The Steelers are the preseason favorites to win the division.

Or is this Baltimore's year? The Ravens have been so close but fail to make the big plays at the end. Will Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco finally get his first win against Roethlisberger on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium?

Cast your vote and share your thoughts in the comment section below. Provide a final score if you're feeling really brave.
The early lines are out for the Week 1 "Battle of Ohio" between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. And the odds makers project Browns rookie head coach Pat Shurmur will get off to a good start.

The Browns are three-point favorite at home against the Bengals. Both teams are rebuilding, have young quarterbacks and will debut new West Coast offenses.

But should the Browns be favored? Cleveland has a lot of holes to patch in free agency, a new offense, a new 4-3 defense and coaching staff. The Bengals return veteran coach Marvin Lewis, who will try to bounce back after a 4-12 campaign in 2010.

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on who you think will win the Week 1 showdown between Cleveland and Cincinnati. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Here are the most interesting stories Wednesday in the AFC North:
  • Is Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback and pending free agent Ike Taylor better than Nnamdi Asomugha?
Morning take: The article tries to make a case, but I'm not buying. Asomugha is one of the top two corners in the league and is so feared quarterbacks do not throw his way. I've seen plenty of quarterbacks throw in Taylor's direction.
Morning take: I retired from "Madden" years ago, because covering four NFL teams left little free time during the season. But after watching some preview clips, I may have to dust off the old controller and dish out some losses this year.
Morning take: That may be a bit much, but Shurmur has to prove himself. He was a surprise hire in Cleveland and needs to win games right away as a head coach to earn respect.
Morning take: Bengals players are having quality practices and hitting the books. Credit Cincinnati for being the most active division team during this lockout.

AFC North coach approval ratings

September, 13, 2010
9/13/10
12:30
PM ET
It's only Week 1. But it's never too early for NFL fans to have knee-jerk reactions over their favorite teams.

Therefore, we recommend our AFC North community display their elation or frustration by using ESPN.com's head coach approval ratings. Simply click here and vote on your head coach's performance.

The division is 1-2 so far, with the Pittsburgh Steelers being the only team to pick up a win over the weekend. The Baltimore Ravens will try to salvage a .500 record for the AFC North against the New York Jets on ESPN's "Monday Night Football."

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