Cincinnati Bengals: Brandon Weeden

AFC North quarterback snap counts

August, 27, 2013
Coming into the preseason, everyone would agree that the Cleveland Browns' Brandon Weeden needed to receive the most work of any AFC North quarterback. Not only did he have to prove he's the starter, but he's also in his second season and would benefit from the experience.

Three weeks into the preseason, Weeden ranks fifth among projected starters with 88 snaps this preseason. It will likely surprise you that he doesn't lead the division in that category. The Baltimore Ravens' Joe Flacco is third with 95. Only Ryan Tannehill and Jake Locker have played more than Flacco this preseason.

Flacco's snap counts are skewed. He logged a league-high 59 plays in Week 3 because the Carolina Panthers scored off three returns (punt, interception and fumble), which gave the ball right back to Flacco and the Ravens' offense. Flacco ranked 19th in snaps through two preseason games and played the least amount of snaps of any AFC North starting quarterback in Week 2.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sits in the middle of the pack. He has played 76 snaps, which is the 14th-most among projected starters.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has the least amount of snaps among AFC North quarterbacks, ranking 23rd in the league with 63. He played the fewest among division quarterbacks in Week 1 (11 snaps) and Week 3 (28 snaps). If you take out the projected starters who missed a preseason game, there are only six who have played fewer snaps than Dalton this preseason.

Thanks to ESPN's Mike Sando for keeping the updated quarterback snap counts.
The AFC North blog is going to keep the Steelers morning links in the wake-up call for one more day. Who says camaraderie is gone in this division? Here's what is happening around the AFC North ...

RAVENS: Ed Dickson had another strong day of practice with the Ravens on Monday, and all indications point toward the starting tight end being ready to go for the season opener at Denver, according to Comcast SportsNet. He missed time this preseason with a hamstring injury. "He’s running well. He’s catching the ball well," offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell said. "He looks just as explosive as he did a few weeks ago before he was injured, so that’s coming along well."

BENGALS: Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer came to the defense of struggling cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, who allowed a touchdown to Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, committed two pass interference penalties, missed three tackles and gave up nine receptions. “Everybody is all nervous about Kirkpatrick,” Zimmer said, via The Cincinnati Enquirer. “He got beat up pretty good by Dez Bryant and a couple of the other guys. If it is a real game, we are doing things differently. He’ll be fine. I want him to go out there and compete against guys. This is how you learn. You don’t learn nothing by going out and shutting a guy down every time.”

STEELERS: Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley hopes increasing his sack total will decrease the talk about his weight. “People have got to find excuses for you, or say things about you, when your numbers drop,” Woodley told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “But it's all about how you handle it at the end of the day, and coming back this year and bouncing back and trying to get back to the Super Bowl.” Woodley had nine sacks in the first eight games of the 2011 season before recording just four in the past 13 games that he's played.

BROWNS: Quarterback Brandon Weeden said there is "no reason to push the panic button like everybody wants to" on the Browns' offense. Weeden believes the rough outing against the Colts, which included 12-of-25 passing -- will serve as a lesson for an offense that had little trouble scoring in the first two preseason games. "Sometimes you need that," Weeden said, via The Plain Dealer. "You need a little slap in the face to say 'listen, you've got to keep continuing to grind.' It's human nature to get a little ahead of yourself, but what better timing? It doesn't count in the win-loss record for the regular season. We knew it wasn't going to be perfect all the time. It's just impossible to play 20 perfect games. It's just not going to happen. We'd been pretty good the first two games. Now it's just, 'how do we deal with that adversity? How do we move on?' And it'll be a big step for us." ... Also, the Browns have placed backup running back Dion Lewis on season-ending injured reserve with a surgically repaired fractured fibula.