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December 28, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Jamison Hensley

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:00 PM)

Welcome AFC North family to our weekly chat. Thanks for stopping by. We have two head-to-head division games, which should be a lot of fun Sunday. Let's kick off the chat.

Ben (Ashtabula,OH.)

With a full offseason can browns fans expect better football next season?If we fall flat on our face right out of the gate and lose 3-4 games is it time for shumur to go?There's always next yr........

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:03 PM)

Ben: A full offseason will definitely help. What will really help is getting playmakers on offense. The wins won't go any higher if the Browns don't have a wide receiver, quarterback or an improved offensive line.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What AFC North team was Absolutely Terrible against the NFC West This Season?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:05 PM)

Chris: That would be the Browns, who went 1-3 against the NFC West. They lost to Arizona, San Francisco and St. Louis. Their only win against the division came against the Seahawks and it was a 6-3 thriller.

TheTooSmooth aka TheSmoothTroll (Las Vegas, NV)

What's good Mr. Hensley? Hope you and your family had a great Christmas/Holiday. Of all the combinations of the Steelers offensive line we've seen this season, which do you believe gives them the best chance at making a deep playoff run? How many different combinations have we seen? I thought I heard on Saturday that they've had 11 different combinations. That is unreal.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:07 PM)

Hey TooSmooth: It would be LT Starks, LG Legursky, C Pouncey, RG Foster and RT Gilbert. I don't have the official number of different combinations, but it's definitely over 10. And yes, that is unreal (especially for a team that is going to the playoffs).

Vince (Baltimore)

How much of an impact did Cory Redding's absence make on the Balt pass rush and will he be back for Sunday?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:08 PM)

Vince: I believe Redding has a good shot at coming back. It's the same injury he played with a couple of weeks ago but he didn't play last Saturday because it didn't feel right in warmups. Losing Redding does make an impact with the pass rush up the middle. He has quietly had a very good season.

Mike (Cincy)

The Bengals secodaryhas been better as of late. Do you thik the Ravens will loose sight of Ray Rice again due to the play of Thomas Howard?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:09 PM)

Mike: The biggest mismatch for Cincinnati is trying to cover Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta. The Bengals have had trouble covering tight ends this season. I consider Dickson to be the x-factor for the Ravens offense.

Jack (Albany, NY)

Hey Jamison,What was the point of the NFL moving the AFC North games to 4:15 ET if they were not going to broadcast one of the games to a more national audience? Clearly under the circumstances it seems to me the Cincinnati/Baltimore game makes for an ideal matchup for a broader audience, but currently CBS seems to have restricted the viewing of this game to the Baltimore and Cincinnati surrounding areas, while most others get Denver/KC. I know CBS has discretion on the regional distribution of games, but I don't see the point of moving the game times if CBS is not going to showcase one of them.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:13 PM)

Jack: They moved the Cincy-Baltimore game to 4:15 to make it available to a wider audience. But the NFL couldn't move that game and not the Cleveland-Pittsburgh game. Let's say the NFL let the Cleveland-Pittsburgh game stay at 1 p.m. and the Steelers lose. That means, in theory, the Ravens could rest their starters because they would've already clinched the division title. That would give an unfair advantage to the Bengals, who would have a better chance at winning. Under that scenario, it would hurt the Jets' chances of going to the playoffs because the Bengals played against the Ravens backups. That's why both games had to be played at 4:15.

Omar (Dayton)

Got my hot dog, my hot chocolate and my tickets. So what are the best matchups to look for in the Bengals-Ravens slugfest Sunday?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:14 PM)

Omar: Suggs vs. Whitworth; A.J. Green vs. Webb; Rice vs. Maualuga. There are a lot of good matchups in this game.

Hal (Dayton, OH)

The Bengals win if they . . .

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:15 PM)

Run the ball effectively, intercept Flacco a couple of times and don't kill themselves with penalties.

Hal (Dayton, OH)

Does a sellout crowd in Cincy really give the Bengals an edge?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:16 PM)

Hal: More people equals more noise. More noise means the Ravens will be forced to use a silent count and the Bengals' pass rushers get a better jump against the Ravens' linemen.

Larry (DC)

Can you explain why the MVP race has apparently come down to Brees and Rodgers while Tom Brady has nearly identical numbers to Brees?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:18 PM)

Larry: Not sure who is really talking about Brees for MVP. This is a one-man show. It's Rodgers and everyone else. Slam dunk.

Chris (MD)

Any updates on the Ravens injuries coming out of the Browns game?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:18 PM)

Chris: Cundiff is expected to kick today. No other updates other than that.

dan (lynchburg va)

what do you think is more likely, ravens win or steelers lose?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:19 PM)

Dan: Steelers aren't losing. Not going to happen.

Tom (Cleveland, Ohio)

I don;t understand why many say that the browns should moveon from MCCoy afterone year. St. Louis is just as bad with Bradford after a littlemorethan a year..should they dump him too? I think the Browns should keep Mccoy one more year and surround him with a RT, WR, OLB, DE and maybe CB. The make a decision. Your thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:20 PM)

Tom: McCoy would be a good quarterback if he has weapons around him. The problem is, he doesn't elevate the talent around him. It would be a quicker fix if the Browns could get a quarterback who is a playmaker. McCoy won't be anything more than a game manager.

Kathy (Atlanta)

Hi Jamison, we're going into the final weekend. Do you think the standings would be different if we hadn't had the lockout? It seems like we're pretty close to last year with the exception of the Bengals.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:24 PM)

Kathy: That's a good question. As far as the AFC North, I don't think it would be much different. The Steelers and Ravens clearly were the more talented teams. The Ravens might have benefited because they relied on more younger players (Torrey Smith, Jimmy Smith) than the Steelers. Cleveland might have been more competitive as well because the Browns have a new coach.

Scott (Pasadena, MD)

I had a good laugh this morning when I read your blog and saw that you wrote that all 10 players on the Steelers defense got snubbed for the Prow Bowl. You cannot really feel that way ?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:25 PM)

Scott: The point was that it's crazy that only one player from the top-ranked defense got selected. Either Ryan Clark, LaMarr Woodley, Brett Keisel or James Harrison should have gone.

Bert (St. Paul, MN)

How much better can Greg Little be? Also, are big things expected from Jordan Camerson next year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:26 PM)

Little's inconsistent hands suggest he would be a good No. 2 receiver. He has playmaker potential but he isn't in the same league as Green, Wallace or even Antonio Brown.

Scott (Pasadena, MD)

How much of this sell out crowd in Cincy do you think will be Ravens Fans?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:27 PM)

Scott: That's an interesting question. Ravens fans travel better than many think. Not in the Steelers class but Ravens fans showed up by the thousands in San Diego.

Nick (Dayton)

The Ravens are coming to the Jungle Sunday. Can't wait to see what they are going to do with Green on the field this time. Not to mention .. No Review to take away a TD Who Dey !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bobcatrunner (Cincy)

Hey JH, we all know you're a Ravens homer (jk) but will you be pulling for a Bengals win, and three AFCN teams in the playoffs to keep you busy with work, or a Ravens win to give them the best chance throughout the playoffs?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:29 PM)

Bobcatrunner: I pull for a good game. Those make the best stories. That's why I look forward to Steelers-Ravens so much every year because they are hard-hitting and close (for the most part).

Eric (New York)

Hey Jamison, hope you had a great christmas!Is there any hope for either pinkston or lauvao at RG for next year? Or is this a MUST address position in the offseason either via draft or FA? Have they progressed at all?Thanks,Eric

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:32 PM)

Eric: There is hope for Pinkston. The Browns have so many other holes to fill that guard might have to wait. Plus, Pinkston is a rookie fifth-round pick. You can't write off linemen that quickly.

Jack (Cleveland)

What's the deal with the Browns? Other teams seem to rebound from terrible seasons and have respectable numbers of wins a year or two later. Yes, there is an absence of talent, but that always seems to be the case. Is this pointing to a problem with ownership and/or upper management?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:33 PM)

Jack: The best teams are usually the ones who draft well in consecutive seasons.

Hal (Dayton, OH)

Who was your favorite team growing up?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:33 PM)

Baltimore Colts.

Tom (Pittsburgh)

Who benefits more from a first round bye and a home game in the playoffs, Steelers or Ravens?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:34 PM)

Tom: Both teams play much better at home. But, based on Roethlisberger's injury, the Steelers would benefit more from a bye.

Bobcatrunner (Cincy)

How much of an impact does having Green back in the second meeting have for the Bengals. He surely makes up the 7 points from last time right?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:35 PM)

Bobcatrunner: Hard to say. Watching him Saturday, it sure looks like Green is still bothered by a shoulder injury.

James (D.C)

Which team in the AFC North do you think has the best chance to take down Green Bay or New Orleans.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:35 PM)

Steelers and Ravens because of their defenses.

Travis (Johnstown, PA)

With the emergence of Wallace, Brown, Cotchery, and Sanders do you think Hines will be back for another season?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:36 PM)

Not at his scheduled $4 million salary.

TheTooSmooth aka TheSmoothTroll (Las Vegas, NV)

Don't forget Ike Taylor in the list of Pro Bowl snubs. He's had an amazing season. He even caught an interception! ;)

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:37 PM)

TooSmooth: If I had to choose a DB, I would say Clark had a better season than Taylor.

Rob (San Antonio)

How is a team undefeated at home and 3-4 on the road?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:38 PM)

Rob: Says a lot about focus.

Peter (Cincy)

Hey Jamison, if the Bengals do make the playoffs, how far do you see them going? They'll play houston again and shouldn't have another 4th q collapse. Then the pats and their DREADFUL D. I think the Bengals have a chance to meet one of their friends from the AFC north IF they make the playoffs

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:39 PM)

Peter: Not far. Cincy is 1-6 against teams that currently have winning records. Bengals will be better prepared in future seasons.

Joe Reedy Fan (Cincy)

With Mike Brown offering the BOGO Tickets to fill up PBS this Sunday, is it a sign that he might truly be human or maybe just a kindler/gentler vampire like Edward from Twilight?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:40 PM)

Hmmm ... Sure. I guess.

Harry (Babylon, NY)

Between the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers which team has the best linebacker(s) to match up against Gronk, Hernandez and the Pats?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:41 PM)

Harry: That's a tough question. You saw how Vernon Davis lit up the Steelers on that one drive. The Ravens have always had matchup problems with TEs, and the same goes for the Bengals this year. It's really a weakness of all three defenses.

Marvin Lewis (Cincy)

Am I eating my own words now since this is my biggest game of my coaching career, not the Houston game?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:42 PM)

It would seem that this is bigger. And that Houston game is the one that has truly hurt the Bengals this year. T.J. Yates!

TheTooSmooth aka TheSmoothTroll (Las Vegas, NV)

Joe Reedy Fan (Cincy) - Did you really just mention Twilight on a football blog? Give me your man card. Right now.

Michael (Cincinnati)

Bengals fans are manic! 2nd sellout of the year has them goofy.

Michael (Cincinnati)

Easy Peter...

Thomas (Cleveland, OH)

RGIII in Cleveland? He's the play-making QB you're referring to, right?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:45 PM)

Thomas: It's too early to say that. But RGIII has to be on their radar right now. Lots of offseason hurdles to cross until we get to draft day.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:45 PM)

Thank you all for the great chat today. Appreciate all the questions and feedback. Have a great week and enjoy the games on Sunday!