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3 Weeks in; Who's Better?
Steelers, Bengals, Ravens or Browns?

7-Wins 8-Losses

During the early weeks of any NFL season it's hard to determine how good or bad a team is simply because the league is a marathon and not a sprint. We have several case studies to underscore that point and we'll cite two. First, the Steelers looked horrible in their opener against San Francisco and fans grumbled their way out of Acrisure Stadium proclaiming 2023 over before it started. Two prime time wins later and the same naysayers are now more optimistic. Secondly, Dallas blew out their first two opponents with a smothering defense and the talk shows were singing their praises. Then, an upset loss in Arizona has led to a resumption of Cowboy negativity that dominates all the national talk shows even though there are other teams and fans bases hoping to hear a smidge of information about their team.
Here, we offer our brief thoughts on where the four horsemen in the AFC North are after three weeks and which one is most likely to win the division.
If there's any team in this division that could finish at the top or at the bottom it's Pittsburgh. The game against the Niners was an indication of how they will fare against teams with superior talent unless the breaks go their way. The couldn't deal with San Francisco's defense which forced a number of 3-and-outs and produced two interceptions. Cleveland was a problem too, except that DeShaun Watson and the Browns offense gifted the Steelers defense 14 points. That led to a 26-22 win. In their win over the L A Raiders ,Jimmy (Garoppolo) was no G and the defense got enough stops to allow Kenny Pickett and Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada to maybe temporarily silence their critics with a dazzling display of Black and Gold offense. How well they play in Houston against a Texans team in development will reveal a lot about this year's edition.
I don't think anyone truly knows why the Ravens appear to be the most often injured team in the NFL but they are. Yet, their next man up is better than most and usually they keep right on rolling. They should be 3-and-0 if not for their week 3 overtime loss to Indianapolis. We'll say what others have been reluctant to say and point out that the referees blew an obvious interference call on the Colts defense in overtime when Baltimore was driving. It was so blatant that conspiracy theorists who believe that the league is fixed have new evidence to back their claims. Despite the loss, the Ravens are gritty and have the division's best quarterback and he has new weapons. Three weeks into the new season they have our vote as the team to beat.
From a talent standpoint, Cleveland has one of the best rosters in the league. But the jury is still out on their quarterback and now that they've lost Nick Chubb for the season with a knee injury, DeShaun Watson will be expected to carry more of the offense. The most impressive aspect of their team so far has been their defense and defensive end Myles Garrett is playing like a man determined to win defensive player of the year honors. Losing to the Steelers may have been an anomaly because these two teams are more even than not and we don't think that these are the same ole Browns.
Cincinnati has started slow for the second straight season with two losses before picking up their first win. Can they right the ship to make it back to the AFC Championship Game? Not likely due to Joe Burrow's nagging calf injury. It's something that could nag him all season and with defense being a priority in this division its doubtful he'll be able to withstand the pursuit of chasers like Garrett, T.J. Watt and the flock of Raven defenders.
For more on the Steelers on this site go to our Steel Talkin' page with Ty Miller 2.0 and Joel Edwards.

Championship Chase airs during the fall and winter weekly  on: 
WPGH FOX 53 and WPNT 22 The Point
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