Week 15 AFC North Preview: Analyzing All the AFC North Action
Week 15 of the 2014 NFL season has arrived and the playoff races are going down the home stretch. In a season where the unexpected has been the norm, the AFC North has been one of the most unexplainable divisions in the NFL.
The AFC North, made up of the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers, has been a four team race all season thanks to the emergence of the Cleveland Browns this season. The Browns enter week 15 with a record of 7-6, but more importantly this will be the week Johnny Manziel gets his first career NFL start.
The 22nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M, will make his first career start. His debut may be the most anticipated start by a rookie quarterback in the history of the NFL.
Manziel was the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and was one of the most successful quarterbacks in the history of college football. He now will be expected to transfer that success to a franchise, in the Cleveland Browns, that has been a dead end for quarterbacks historically.
Manziel and the Browns will host the division leading Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals, who sit at 8-4-1, appear to be the frontrunners to win the AFC North and host a playoff game. A win against the Johnny Football Browns on Sunday and that stays in line, but a loss to the Browns and it’s a whole new divisional race.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens both sit at 8-5 entering week 15 and are almost in a must win situation to keep any real hopes alive of winning the AFC North.
The Ravens host the 2-11 Jacksonville Jaguars. The Ravens are heavy favorites in this matchup and deservingly so. The Ravens should have no problem Sunday at home against Jacksonville, but then again it is the NFL and of course anything is possible.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are on the road against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are still alive in a crazy NFC South division that sees its division leaders with a record of 5-8, those teams being the Falcons and Saints.
Falcons’ wide receiver Julio Jones is having one of the most amazing runs by a receiver in some time. Jones has combined for over 400 yards the past couple weeks and has single handily kept the Falcons alive for a playoff spot. If the Falcons can keep getting the ball to Jones and play solid defense at home, they have a real shot at beating an inconsistent Pittsburgh team.
So, let’s make predictions for all four teams in the AFC North in NFL’s week 15 action.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Baltimore Ravens- Baltimore Ravens win 38-14
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Atlanta Falcons- Pittsburgh Steelers win 27-23
Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns- Cincinnati Bengals win 28-24