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Notebook: Sizing up the AFC North

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Notebook: Sizing up the AFC North

With the exception of the winless Cleveland Browns, the rest of the AFC North is 1-1.

The Ravens aren't certain that safety Bernard Pollard (ribs) will play Sunday vs. the New England Patriots, with coach John Harbaugh saying that decision will be determined by he player's pain threshold.

Pollard, who guaranteed he would play vs. the Patriots, took a helmet to the rib cage from a teammate early in Sunday's 24-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and didn't return.

Steelers: They knocked off the New York Jets 27-10 in their home opener, but they have serious question marks going forward.

Their rushing efficiency is dismal. They're averaging just 2.6 yards per carry through two games and have only one touchdown.

"It's tough finding holes, we're kind of struggling right now," running back Isaac Redman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "But each game we hope to get better and better."

The Steelers averaged 4.4 yards per carry last season but are without Rashard Mendenhall, who is close to returning from knee surgery.

They didn't have James Harrison (knee) nor Troy Polamalu (calf) last week in practice or for the Jets game. Practice is Wednesday and both will be evaluated by doctors and are day-to-day, coach Mike Tomlin told the Post-Gazette.

Also according to Tomlin, Heath Miller (ribs), Marcus Gilbert (groin) and Jonathan Dwyer (toe) will be limited in practices.

Bengals: So much for making the next step after a 9-7 record and playoff appearance last season. Cincinnati's pass defense is in disarray, with changes on the horizon.

Its not good. Theres lots of things were not doing good right now Every aspect of it surprises me, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

They gave up 439 yards in Sundays 34-27 win vs. the Cleveland Browns.

Consider that Browns rookie QB Brandon Weeden went 12-for-35 passing for 118 yards, no touchdowns and four interceptions in his first game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles.

Against the Bengals, Weeden threw 26-for-37 for 322 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Bengals, who were trounced 44-13 by the Ravens in Week 1, have allowed both opponents more than 400 yards of total offense. That's the first time that has happened since 1991, according to the Enquirer.

Giving up big plays have been the norm in Cincinnati. The defense has given up 37 plays of 10 yards or more, including 12 for 20-plus yards.

Its everything. Technique, discipline, effort, responsibilities, everything. Its a big problem, Zimmer told the paper. We dont pass rush, pass cover, stop the run, stop the pass. We dont tackle and play with enough effort.

Defensive end Carlos Dunlap (knee) is close to returning as the Bengals are at the Washington Redskins on Sunday.

They put Jamaal Anderson, also a defensive end, on injured reserve after he tore his quad against the Browns. Wallace Gilberry was signed in his place.

Browns: Rookie RB Trent Richardson had his first 100-yard game and Weeden overcame a dreadful pro debut to put up solid stats vs. Cincinnati, but the Browns have no wins to show for that improvement.

Surprisingly, their strength is the defensive line. Cleveland has eight sacks, which ranks among the best in the NFL. They play at home vs. the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

According to the Plain-Dealer, the Browns are rotating eight linemen to keep the unit fresh. Linebacker D'Owell Jackson had three sacks in the loss Sunday. They also brought in ends Frostee Rucker and Juqua Parker as free agents.

"It starts with the talent of the guys doing the rushing," coach Pat Shurmur told the Plain-Dealer. "I think at least in my time here, we've upgraded that position with guys where you can roll a few guys in there and I think that's important."

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Marquise Brown to miss OTAs

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Marquise Brown to miss OTAs

Kick off your Saturday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including an injury update on the Ravens' first-round pick. 

Player/Team Notes: 

1. 2019 first-round pick and WR Marquise Brown will miss OTAs as he continues to recover from Lisfranc surgery. Per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, the team expects Brown to be ready by the start of training camp. 

2. The Ravens confirmed the signings of OLB Pernell McPhee, OLB Shane Ray, and WR Michael Floyd Friday. Baltimore also announced it had waived QB Jalan McClendon and DT Kalil Morris.

3. Free agent LB Jon Bostic worked out for the Ravens Friday, per Zrebiec. Bostic was cut by the Steelers in April. 

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: The return of Pernell McPhee

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: The return of Pernell McPhee

Kick off your Friday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including the return of Pernell McPhee.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. Pernell McPhee is a Baltimore Raven again! The Ravens signed McPhee to a one-year deal according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. McPhee was drafted by the Ravens in 2011 during the fifth round and spent four seasons with the team before landing in Chicago and then last season in Washington. The Ravens hope to capitalize on McPhee's 31 career sacks as they hone-in on producing a "diversified pass rush."

2. The Ravens have also signed offensive lineman R.J. Prince, who was last with Pittsburgh. Prince was waived by the Steelers after not seeing a down during the 2018 season. The Steelers picked up Prince as an undrafted free agent out of North Carolina.

3. Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson has been suspended for the first six games of the 2019 regular season. Peterson reportedly violated the NFL's performance-enhancement drug policy. The Ravens face the Cardinals during Week 2, so this is good news for the guys in purple.

4. The Ravens have reportedly signed former Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Ray had an unproductive season with the Broncos last year with one sack and one forced fumble in 11 games played.

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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