The AFC North is the toughest division in all of football. This upcoming season is going to look very similar to last year with how close the Browns, Ravens and Steelers finish the regular season. Also, don’t sleep on a healthy Bengals team.
1. Cleveland Browns- We all know “best on paper” doesn’t mean anything in sports, but the Browns hold this title in the AFC North. The front office and coaching stability is there for Cleveland. They’ve added to the defense through the draft and free agency. They also have one of the best if not the best group of wide receivers in the league along with the best running back duo in all of football. Last but not least, a much improved, fired up Baker Mayfield is the icing of the cake. They are the most complete team in this division.
Record Prediction: 12-5
2. Baltimore Ravens- The Ravens do have the best quarterback in the division, Lamar Jackson, but I’m worried about his surrounding pieces on offense. The Ravens now have depth at the receiver spot after drafting Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace and signing Sammy Watkins. The Raven’s defense was also stellar last season and we can expect them to be the same this year. They’ll be on the heels of the Browns for the number one spot.
Record Prediction: 11-6
3. Pittsburgh Steelers- It seems odd that the Steelers will be the third best team in the division this season. The Steelers looked like the best team in the AFC last year until they collapsed toward the end of the season and lost to the Browns in ugly fashion in the playoffs. Big Ben is a year older, the offensive line isn’t very good, the run game is still in question. The only thing I trust about this team is Mike Tomlin being great as usual and the defense being in the top five. But “defense wins championships” is a thing of the past in the NFL these days.
Record Prediction: 10-7
4. Cincinnati Bengals- I almost wanted to put these guys above the Steelers. When you look at the Bengals roster when they are fully healthy, they have a good mix of solid veterans and young guys. I think on paper they look better than the Steelers but they haven’t had that much time to mesh as a team. Give it a couple of years and I think we’ll see these guys make some playoff appearances and maybe compete for some division titles.
Record Prediction: 7-10