AFC North reporter, Hensley, posted today about the Steelers and Ravens having ‘matchup-busters’ at the wide receiver postion. Mike Wallace (should he sign his tender) and Antonio Brown represent the Steelers. Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith represent the Ravens. Hensley points out that the AFC North is usually a run first kind of division. Truth. Which got me thinking – who is going to run the ball the most, and who will run most effectively between these two?
The Steelers are looking to ‘find their way’ again through new OC Todd Haley. No one really quite knows how this change will work out. We know that Haley wants to run the ball more than Arians did in past seasons. But, with Mendenhall still recovering from his knee injury, Redman unproven (yet I think he’s the real deal), and a young offensive line that is practically changing from diapers to pull ups this season, there is much uncertainty about the Steelers running game.
The Ravens and their running game are also under scrutiny for 2012. Ray Rice is holding out for a big contract and is sitting out OTAs as he waits. Averaging well over 1,000 for the last three season and a beast against his divisional foes throughout the North, Rice feels he is worth more than the $7.7 million he got last year. The Ravens also lost OG Ben Grubbs to the Saints during free agency this spring. Grubbs was the cornerstone to the Ravens running game and will be missed. They tried to bolster their offensive line by drafting OT Kelechi Osemele and OG Gino Gradkowski. Will they be able to help whomever carries the rock come the start of the 2012 season?
So my question to you readers is two fold. 1) Who will run the ball more in 2012? and 2) Who will run the ball more effectively (not necessarily more yards)?