Here are the four most important numbers from this past weekend's AFC North action.
262. That is the number of yards the Pittsburgh Steelers are allowing on defense per game. This is nearly 9 yards better than the next best defense. In the AFC North, the Steelers are giving up 95 yards less per game than the Bengals, the next best team. Not only do they have the best overall defense, but they also have the NFL’s best pass defense, allowing only 174 yards per game.
16.4. The number of carries that Ray Rice is averaging per game. With the Ravens defense playing very mediocre defense, the offense is going to have to step up. Joe Flacco is not a game winning quarterback, he is a game manager. If the Ravens want to be serious contenders they need to pound the rock. Not only is Rice their best player on offense, but the higher his attempts go, the longer that defense has to rest. The Ravens need to be handing the ball off 20 times or more to Rice to become legitimate playoff contenders.
11. The number of interceptions that Andy Dalton has thrown already this year. After throwing only 13 picks in his rookie campaign Dalton has followed it up with a massive sophomore slump. Only 2 QBs in the NFL have thrown more picks than Dalton and the only one with a worse INT to attempt ratio is Matt Cassel who lost the starting job. The Bengals aren’t going to be a playoff team this year, but I think Andy Dalton should be thinking of job security. He isn’t going to be able to ride the honeymoon period much longer.
3.8. That is the number of yards that Brown’s running back Trent Richardson is averaging per carry. That is the worst total in the NFL by any player with at least 150 attempts. To be fair, only 7 players have 150 attempts or more and most of those have quarterbacks that take some pressure off the running game. Regardless, Richardson is going to have to be the main driving force of that offense and he just isn’t doing well enough to win games right now.