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Tuesday, October 14, 2008
AFC North stock watch


Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Six weeks into the 2008 regular season, let's take a look at who's hot and who's not in the AFC North division:

Anderson

Who's hot?

1. Derek Anderson, QB, Cleveland Browns

The Pro Bowl Derek Anderson showed up to "Monday Night Football" in Cleveland's most important game to date. Anderson was aggressive and quick in his decision making on his way to 310 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-14 victory over the New York Giants. Anderson brought the deep ball back to Cleveland's offense, which has been missing all season. In addition, he's quieted the speculation of the Browns making a quarterback change.

Edwards

2. Braylon Edwards, WR, Cleveland Browns

We are quickly learning that the success of Anderson and Braylon Edwards are tied close together. When Edwards struggles to get open or catch passes, Anderson doesn't look himself. When Anderson struggles, Edwards usually gets frustrated. But these two are very exciting to watch when things are clicking. Edwards had a career-best 154 yards through the air and a touchdown. He had receptions of 49 and 70 yards Monday against New York.

Ndukwe

3. Chinedum Ndukwe, S, Cincinnati Bengals

One of the few bright spots for the Bengals every week is watching how active safety Chinedum Ndukwe is in the secondary. Ndukwe recorded six tackles and a fumble recovery for a touchdown in a 26-14 loss to the New York Jets. The defense in Cincinnati is gradually improving as time goes on and Ndukwe is one of the reasons why. He stays around the football and also has an interception and a sack this season.

Who's not?

1. The Baltimore Ravens

It's hard to pinpoint one player or unit when a team loses three games in a row, especially when the most recent loss was a 31-3 thrashing to the Indianapolis Colts. The Ravens looked drained Sunday from their two previous physical battles with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans. But no one expected a team as physical as Baltimore to come out this flat, falling behind 17-0 in the first quarter and eventually losing by four touchdowns.

Lewis

2. Marvin Lewis, head coach, Cincinnati Bengals

Lewis is in the midst of his longest losing streak as a head coach. The Bengals are 0-6. And although upsets are happening all over the place in the NFL, it's hard to pinpoint when Cincinnati's next victory will occur. The Bengals are playing better, but they are simply outmanned nearly every week. Their talent can't stack up to the talent of teams like the New York Giants, New York Jets andDallas Cowboys, so there's only so much Lewis can do.

Perry

3. Chris Perry, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Our guess is that Chris Perry leads the division is falling into the "Who's not?" category. He has been a mainstay every week and deserves it after another subpar performance. Perry had 11 carries for 14 yards (1.3 yard average) in what was a fairly close game until the fourth quarter. The fact that Cincinnati brought in Cedric Benson and abandoned the run on Sunday so early are not good signs from the coaching staff toward Perry.