The previous article we brokedown the AFC East and the potential of the Buffalo Bills
who are favored to win the Super Bowl right now. The next division we will look at is the
AFC North: Baltimore
The Ravens have had some great success behind QB Lamar Jackson. After his rookie
season getting the starting job halfway through, and the MVP the next season. Lamar
Jackson has tried leading the Ravens to a Super Bowl but has come up short in the
playoffs not even getting his team out of the first game. Now, enough about Jackson.
The Ravens have some other issues as well besides not being led well, like their
defense. The Ravens defense was ranked 19th last season with their offense just
coming outside of the top 10 and that poses problems. If the Ravens want to get back to
winning that division title and getting past the Bengals, a team who is heavily loaded
now, they are going to need a quick turn around and fast. It was a good start for them
drafting a safety in the first round which they badly needed, and also adding Ojabo from
Michigan in the second round to get an edge rusher. The Ravens offense will also see
Lamar back on the field this upcoming season after being injured since the 12th game
of the season last year. They will play in New York against the Jets to open up their
season. Then they will head back home to play Miami which should be a
promising matchup. The Ravens have potential to be at the top of the division this year with Pittsburgh rebuilding and the Browns who continue to get hit with tough breaks.
They will just need to get past a very good Cincinnati Bengals team.
The Bengals had a very surprising and successful season last year with Joe Burrow
having a breakout season even after a disappointing rookie season. With almost all of the offense and defense returning, Cincinnati looks to have another run through the regular season into the playoffs. Their offense is all returning and looking great with players like, Ja’Marr Chase who had an outstanding rookie season with almost 1500 receiving yards and selected to the Pro Bowl, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd who also help on the receiving side, and Joe Mixon leading the way in the backfield, the Bengals offense is looking pretty promising. Their defense is led by Eli Apple and Von Bell, who are looking to help better the defense in any way possible to make them better. So all in all, Cincy is looking like they will have another team to beat this year if they can stay above the Ravens. Coming into the regular season, they will host division rival Pittsburgh and then head down to Dallas, where they hope to at least start 2-0 on the season if not 1-1. This is one team in the AFC who has another shot to prove themselves they will be a team to beat in years to come.
The Browns have gotten the worst of it the past couple of months, picking up Deshaun
Watson, who now faces multiple charges of sexual misconduct with over two dozen
women, and trading away Baker Mayfield for a 5th rounder to Carolina. Cleveland, yet
again, faces another potential disaster of a season. Not having a Super Bowl and barely
making the playoffs, the Browns are considerably one of the worst teams in the NFL if
not the worst. 2002 is the last time the Browns saw the playoffs until Mayfield turned it
around in 2020 taking them to the divisional round and losing. Nick Chubb, Amari
Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones seem to be the only offensive threats the Browns
have, but what do Cooper and Peoples-Jones do without a QB? The Browns are
seriously hoping Watson gets his act together, otherwise Jacoby Brissett will be taking
over the reins. Until then, Cleveland is going to have to rely a lot on their defense with
Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, Denzel Ward and Grant Delpit. Cleveland takes the
beginning of their season down to Carolina against ex-quarterback Baker Mayfield and
the Panthers. If the Browns want a shot at the playoffs after many unsuccessful
seasons in the past, they are going to have to make some serious moves and figure out
their problems quickly.
The Pittsburgh Steelers just lost their great QB, Ben Roethlisberger, to retirement and
seem to be doing just fine in terms of having a young team. The Steelers just need to
decide who will be calling the offensive plays behind their strong O-line this season.
Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett are at the top right now and the young rookie talent is proving himself quite well. Coming from the University of Pittsburgh, Pickett is one of the top QB’s coming out of the 2022 draft class. He does keep having to work hard though as it looks like Trubisky will be the starting quarterback for the Steelers week 1. Having Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson to pass to, isn’t bad for Trubisky either. Najee Harris will back him up if they need to go to the ground game if he isn’t throwing well and Harris is more than capable of carrying the ball 30 times in a game if need be. The Steelers defense is also promising if they can stay healthy. Pittsburgh has a good chance to make a run for the wild card spot this year, as they start their season in Cincinnati against a Bengals team that just came off their best season in a long time.
The AFC North is a great division with a lot of potential, but the Bengals hold the top
spot for winning the division this upcoming season. Can Lamar Jackson and the Ravens
or Mitch Trubisky and the Steelers come after them? Or maybe the Browns have a few
tricks up their sleeves and can pull off the unthinkable.