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  Posté le 20/02/2019 à 8:54:32

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As long as Mike Tomlin is standing on the Pittsburgh sideline Pittsburgh Steelers Hoodie , watching Ben Roethlisberger pass to Antonio Brown or give the ball to Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers will be favored to win the AFC North.It makes no difference that Randy Fichtner is the new offensive coordinator, or that Roethlisberger turned 36 in March.The Steelers are going to score points, and they’re going to play their best against division rivals in big games.Baltimore knows this all too well. Two years ago, Bell rushed for 122 yards and Roethlisberger connected with Brown for a last-minute touchdown in a 31-27 victory that clinched the AFC North title.Last December, Roethlisberger threw for 506 yards and two TDs, Bell scored twice and the Steelers beat the Ravens 39-38.Baltimore hopes to turn things around this year, but if the Ravens are to break a run of three straight years without a playoff appearance, it will likely be as a wild card.There are, by the way, two other teams in the division. Cincinnati and Cleveland deserve mention only because one will likely finish in third place and the other will occupy the cellar.In Cincinnati, coach Marvin Lewis got a two-year extension despite his NFL-record 0-7 mark in the playoffs. After two straight losing seasons, he’s getting a 16th chance to finally get it right.Cleveland is coming off an 0-16 embarrassment and can only hope to be respectable. Since the creation of the current AFC North in 2002, the Browns are the only team never to finish in first place.Some things to know about the AFC North:13View Gallery Gallery:FANTASY PLAYS: Changing fortunes for players on new teamsChuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports | Chuck CookFOR WHOM THE BELL TOILS: Pittsburgh and its “Killer Bs” 鈥?Roethlisberger , Brown and Bell 鈥?have reached the playoffs four straight years. Yet all those trips to January have turned into just three postseason wins and no trips to the Super Bowl.While the rejuvenated Roethlisberger believes he can play until he nears 40, this may be his last legitimate shot to win a third championship. Bell is likely in his final year in black-and-gold after being unable to come to terms with the club on a new long-term deal.Bell is one of the most versatile backs in the league and not easily replaceable. He won’t lack for motivation. He believes he’s a unique talent and wants the paycheck to prove it.Pittsburgh’s best chance to return to the Super Bowl will rely heavily on having Bell at the top of his game and will certainly take the tradeoff of seeing Bell elsewhere in 2019 if it means hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in February.FAREWELL TOUR: Ozzie Newsome is the only general manager the Ravens have ever had, running the show in Baltimore since the team arrived from Cleveland before the 1996 season.Newsome will be stepping aside after this season, to be replaced by current assistant GM Eric DeCosta, who in 2019 will finally get the job he wanted after spurning offers from several other clubs.The Ravens have won two Super Bowls under Newsome, who in his final season has assembled a team that appears better than last year’s model.Having provided quarterback Joe Flacco with a new receiving group, Newsome addressed Baltimore’s most glaring weakness in 2017.BENGALS ON THE LINE: Cincinnati’s offense finished last in the league in yards last season, the worst showing in franchise history. The focus of their offseason was overhauling the line, which failed to protect Andy Dalton or open holes in the running game.The Bengals fired line coach Paul Alexander, traded with Buffalo for left tackle Cordy Glenn, signed right tackle Bobby Hart and drafted center Billy Price in the first round from Ohio State. Despite all that, the right side of the line struggled against the Cowboys in the second preseason game, renewing concerns that problems remain.GOTTA BE BETTER, CAN’T GET WORSE: Cleveland coach Hue Jackson is 1-31 in two seasons with Cleveland Rocky Bleier Color Rush Jersey , but Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam still believe they hired the right coach in 2016. Time will tell, but the pressure is on Jackson from the get-go to win or there could be more changes in a team that has known mostly upheaval for 20 years.The Browns drafted quarterback Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick, but the Heisman Trophy winner will begin the year as a backup to Tyrod Taylor, who helped Buffalo snap a 17-year postseason drought last season.___Predicted order of finish: Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, Browns.11View Gallery Gallery:FANTASY PLAYS: Kelley, Darnold potential sleeper picksVincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports | Vincent Carchietta Earlier this week, following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Week 15 win over the New England Patriots, I posed an article asking fans what they think the team should do with kicker Chris Boswell after another missed field goal on Sunday.The article created some great discussion, so I decided to write another one, this time with a different topic.What should the Steelers do with Jaylen Samuels when James Conner is healthy and back in the lineup?No, this isn’t similar to Boswell’s situation because no one is suggesting the Steelers get rid of Samuels. I am asking more regarding the bigger picture of how should the team handle the distribution of carries whenever Conner returns.Before Week 15, this was a no-brainer. Samuels had proven capable Terry Bradshaw Jersey , on occasion, but hadn’t sown anything near the explosion seen by the Heinz Field crowd vs. New England. After accumulating nearly 200 yards of offense, Samuels has officially put his bid in to see more reps — even when Conner returns to the field.If Conner isn’t 100% healthy yet, this is an easy decision, but for the sake of argument let’s assume Conner is ready to tote the rock the way he was before getting injured vs. the Chargers. The Steelers’ options would be having a dual-back system where Samuels and Conner split drives to keep the other fresh. Or maybe they turn Samuels into a third down/receiver/special package type player. For those who think this would be the smartest course of action, you would be cutting into Samuels’ touches significantly.This is a good problem to have. When you have two capable backs on the roster, it isn’t something negative, but a difficult decision when talking about the division of labor. So, with that said, how would you deploy these two backs if/when James Conner returns to the lineup?Let us know by voting in the poll below, and of course by explaining your vote in the comment section below!

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