Tuesday, September 22, 2009
How I See It: AFC North Stock Watch
Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker
1. Eric Mangini, Browns coach
It doesn’t appear there will be any first-year magic for Mangini. He has no answers so far as the Browns are off to a 0-2 start and they haven’t made much, if any, progress from Week 1 to Week 2.
It takes near-perfect football for the Browns to win games, and as soon as mistakes are made, they don’t have enough playmakers to avoid giving the game away in the second half. The Browns are being outscored 41-7 after intermission this year, and a lot should be put on the coaching staff for failing to make halftime adjustments.
2. Jeff Reed, Steelers kicker
In more than a year, this is the first time Reed is on the short end of a Stock Watch blog post. But every kicker can have a nightmarish day, and Reed’s came in the form of two missed field goals in the fourth quarter that could have changed the outcome of Pittsburgh’s 17-14 loss to the Chicago Bears.
Reed said he was "embarrassed" by the missed kicks, and they were certainly makeable distances of 38 and 43 yards. That’s the difference right now between the Steelers being 2-0 and 1-1.
3. Brady Quinn, Browns quarterback
Quinn spent all offseason working hard to win the quarterback job in Cleveland, and so far things are off to a rocky start. He has a 66.9 passer rating in two starts and has thrown for 366 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
The Browns are struggling in a ton of areas this season, so Quinn is not solely to blame for Cleveland's 0-2 start. But he needs to play better for Cleveland to win, and as the quarterback, Quinn is always in position to get much of the credit or the blame.
1. Cam Cameron, Ravens offensive coordinator
If it wasn’t for the New Orleans Saints, Cameron and the Baltimore Ravens would get a lot more credit for lighting up the scoreboard the first two weeks of the season. Baltimore has the NFL’s second-highest scoring offense behind the Saints at 34.5 points per game.
The Ravens scored 31 points and needed every one of them Sunday in a key road win over the San Diego Chargers. Can the Ravens maintain this pace? That remains to be seen. But currently Cameron is pushing all the right buttons.
2. Antwan Odom, Bengals defensive end
Odom put forth one of the most dominant defensive performances I’ve seen in person during Sunday’s 31-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Odom registered five sacks of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Odom wasn't going to be denied and dominated anyone Green Bay put in front of him. Both Chad Clifton and Daryn Colledge struggled to block Odom on passing downs for a majority of the game.
3. Ray Lewis, Ravens linebacker
Lewis led the Ravens with 12 tackles and three stops for losses against San Diego. But his best play was the final play when he stuffed Chargers tailback Darren Sproles in the backfield on fourth down to seal a 31-26 win for the Ravens.
Lewis, 34, is still playing at a high level. Baltimore’s defense overall isn’t playing its best football early in the season. But the Ravens have a great opportunity to get their defense succinct this week against the Browns’ struggling offense.