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Thursday, August 26, 2010
Updating AFC North quarterbacks

By James Walker

We are halfway through the preseason. Therefore, it's a great time to take a look at the NFL's most important position: Quarterback.

Here is an update on how AFC North starting quarterbacks are performing so far:

Carson Palmer

Team: Cincinnati Bengals

Stats: Three starts, 292 yards, two interceptions, 67.4 completion percentage.

Palmer
Palmer
Analysis: With so many new receivers, Cincinnati's passing offense remains a work in progress. Palmer has been decent, but not great, in limited action during the Bengals’ three preseason games. I like the fact that he's making a strong effort to develop a rapport with receiver Terrell Owens, and they are getting more comfortable each week. Palmer's passer rating (67.2) took a hit last weekend after throwing two interceptions against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Joe Flacco

Team: Baltimore Ravens

Stats: Two starts, 192 yards, one touchdown, 60.7 completion percentage.

Flacco
Flacco
Analysis: There are high expectations for the Ravens' offense, which is why this unit has taken some heat recently in the Baltimore media. The Ravens' starters are not playing poorly on offense, but they aren't scoring many points, either. A fake punt led to the first team's only touchdown last week against the Washington Redskins. With a solid 93.2 passer rating, Flacco is playing efficiently and not turning over the football. Flacco also hinted that Baltimore isn't showing everything this preseason.

Jake Delhomme

Team: Cleveland Browns

Stats: Two starts, 193 yards, one touchdown, 78.3 completion percentage.

Delhomme
Delhomme
Analysis: Sporting a 116.1 passer rating, Delhomme is playing as well as the Browns could hope for in the preseason. He's been accurate and decisive in his reads, and Delhomme even played well through rainy field conditions last week against the St. Louis Rams. There are a lot of concerns about Delhomme this season. But based on his preseason performance, Delhomme has done everything in his power to quiet those concerns.

Ben Roethlisberger

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Stats: One start, 76 yards, one interception, 75.0 completion percentage.

Roethlisberger
Roethlisberger
Analysis: Despite a poor deep throw to Mike Wallace that was intercepted, Roethlisberger played well overall in his 2010 debut against the New York Giants. He completed 6 of 8 passes in limited playing time, and it appears Roethlisberger might start again Sunday against the Denver Broncos, despite his conditional six-game suspension. Meanwhile, Byron Leftwich and Dennis Dixon are battling it out to start in Week 1. Dixon has performed better so far against lesser competition. That is why the Steelers intend to get the third-year quarterback some playing time with the first team against Denver to see what he can do.