It is apparently as hard to catch A.J. Green on the field as it is in the polls. The Bengals wide receiver was the runaway winner for top offensive player in the division.
In a SportsNation poll, Green received 48 percent of the 4,740 votes. The second-place finisher was Ravens running back Ray Rice, who got 25 percent. Steelers running back Ben Roethlisberger finished last with 12 percent, which was behind Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas (15 percent).
Here are some selected comments from the AFC North mailbag:
Henry from Boston: I vote for Big Joe Thomas. OK, I know he will never win, but who else in this league can manhandle Jason Pierre-Paul like he did? I thought I was watching the WWE for a second there in Week 5.
David from Cincinnati: Yes, I'm a biased Bengals fan, but I think that A.J. Green is one of the elite receivers in the game. While his numbers are very good, they would be even better if he were matched with a better quarterback (I don't agree with you that Andy Dalton has regressed this year, but I do think that he is mediocre). The fact is that A.J. Green is one of the best receivers in the league at getting open down field and might have the best ball skills of any receiver I have ever seen.
Sean from Richwood, W.Va.: Maybe I'm just a Bengals fan, but it's gotta be AJ Green, right? My first inclination was Ray Rice until the Ravens basically shut him down. Roethlisberger has been playing injured and just isn't himself, thank goodness. Thomas is amazing at what he does, but did he send the Browns to the playoffs two years in a row almost by himself, defying history along the way? I just can't justify in my orange-and-black heart to pick anyone other than A.J. Green.
Caleb from Cincinnati: As a huge Bengals fan, I obviously think A. J. Green is the division most dynamic playmaker and best offensive player. Despite my bias, I can't see a credible argument for any other player in the AFC North. Without A.J. this season, my Bengals probably would be picked in the Top 10 in the draft. While the Cincinnati defense is terrific, Green has carried the Bengals to the playoffs. Not bad for a second-year receiver.
Jesse from Erie, Pa.: Whether he cost the Steelers some games or not, Ben Roethlisberger carried the team up until his injury. He was the only one of these guys that at one point was a MVP candidate.
Michael from Phoenix: As a Browns fan, I really wanted to vote for Joe Thomas but I did not. I voted for A.J. Green because he is just flat-out skilled. He seems to be in line to follow in the footsteps of Larry Fitzgerald or Megatron in regards to dominating the position and being a well respected player inside and outside the league. The Bengals not only got a great player but a great person when they drafted A.J. I look forward to watching him, just not against my Browns.