Morning take: Flacco preps for big week

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Here are the most interesting story lines from this weekend in the AFC North:

  • Unless something changes dramatically with Troy Smith (viral infection) in the next couple days, it appears Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco will start Sunday's season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Morning take: Although we've predicted Flacco would be the starter in Week 1 since June, no one would've guessed it would come under these circumstances.

Morning take: It's difficult to predict anything the Bengals do these days. The team mentioned these moves were performance-based, but we're certain money also had a lot to do with it.

Morning take: Players in Cleveland have talked about this game for months. Most will probably tough it out to play against the Dallas Cowboys.