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NFL Week 6 -- Packers at Ravens
The verdict's still out on two of the last three Super Bowl champions, who enter Sunday with a collective 5-4 record. The rebuilt Baltimore Ravens might be deemed a pleasant surprise, especially after a 26-23 road win against the game Miami Dolphins. Green Bay, meanwhile, is treading water, winning big at home and losing close on the road. Will the latter occur again in Maryland -- especially considering Clay Matthews' absence?
pollcenter:category=4436+nflweek6__packersatravensAP Photo/John Bazemore
What about the rest of the AFC?
Yeah, so the Denver Broncos are good. But a few other AFC teams laid down markers Sunday, showing that they might have something to offer Peyton Manning & Co. if the time does come. The New England Patriots held off the Atlanta Falcons on the road. The Kansas City Chiefs reached a surprising 4-0 with a rout of the New York Giants. The Indianapolis Colts put up their second straight blowout (it was the Jacksonville Jaguars, but a win's a win). And hey -- the Cleveland Browns were victorious again! Now, to see what happens to the Miami Dolphins on Monday night ...
It was likely that the Ravens were going to struggle a bit this season. Despite winning a Super Bowl, they lost a lot of veteran leadership in the offseason, including at least two future Hall of Famers. One of those players, current ESPN analyst Ray Lewis, said that the team lacked leadership after a report surfaced about receiver Jacoby Jones getting hit on the head by a champagne bottle-wielding stripper. Torrey Smith and Vonta Leach took issue with those comments, but any time the words "champagne bottle-wielding stripper" come up in relation to your team, you know there's room for improvement.
Here's a sampling of what readers had to say in our Facebook conversation on the story:
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What's wrong with the AFC North?
While some NFC teams were establishing their superiority, a quartet of clubs on the other side of the aisle spent Week 1 in pain. The Baltimore Ravens ... well, we know what happened to them Thursday night. The Pittsburgh Steelers? They were hurting -- literally, with the loss of Maurkice Pouncey and Larry Foote, and figuratively, with a 16-9 home loss to the not-so-formidable Tennessee Titans. Even the Cincinnati Bengals, many experts' pick to win the AFC North, fell short on the road against the Chicago Bears. And then there were the Browns. Those lowly Cleveland Browns ...
Broncos fans too sensitive?
Denver Broncos fans didn't exactly need much reason to be fired up for next Thursday's season-opening, playoff rematch against the Baltimore Ravens. But they've got it anyway, in the form of a massive banner featuring opposing QB -- and, you know, reigning Super Bowl champion -- Joe Flacco. To be fair, it's part of a dual-sided promo that also features Peyton Manning, but this hasn't stopped Rocky Mountain faithful from complaining about the images of their Week 1 rival. Did we say fans? Manning himself agrees the banner is a little strange. Yeah, it should be a good game.