After the Bengals surprised the NFL by reaching the Super Bowl and putting up a fierce fight against the AFC North Rams last season, the Cincinnati squad showed that it has a lot of history to write.
It is true that bettors do not have as much faith in them, and see the Ravens with better eyes, it seems that the experience of coach John Harbaugh’s squad weighs heavily, although it is hard to believe that Lamar Jackson can take his team to the duel for the NFL title.
The Browns are an unknown quantity and will bring nothing but uncertainty for their fans, especially after learning about the suspension of their “new recruit”, quarterback Deshaun Watson, who will miss the first two games of the season.
Watson will miss the first 11 games of the season.
In his absence, it will be Jacoby Brissett who will take over Cleveland, a quarterback with years of eating bench in the league who had his last chance as a starter in a sad and unproductive season with the Indianapolis Colts just a couple of seasons ago.
The best that seems safest in the North Division is that Mike Tomlin will have his first losing season, and with all that the Steelers need to restructure and the quality of the opponents, it seems almost impossible for them to have a winning campaign.
Pittsburgh faces a new life without the quarterback with whom they wrote golden chapters in the past: Ben Roethlisberger and has the task of finding a worthy replacement to put the franchise back in the first places of the division during this and every possible year.
What is certain is that we will see many spectacular plays, the explosiveness of the Bengal’s offense and the style of Lamar Jackson are a guarantee in the AFC North, which cannot complain about lack of talent.
And it won’t stop being the “bruising” division, either, because of the heavy hitting seen in every divisional game.
The Raven’s defense always punishes hard, as does the Steeler’s defense led by TJ Watt, and Cleveland will not be far behind, as Myles Garrett is a natural hitter; all of them fearsome.
The Bills are the favorites to represent the American Conference in the Super Bowl, but never count out the teams in the North Division, because they usually produce big surprises.
Cincinnati Bengals: they have an arsenal to be reckoned with.
With the experience of playing in the Super Bowl last year, the Bengals have everything they need to win the North Division of the American Conference.
They have one of the best quarterbacks of today, Joe Burrow, who returns with the firm intention of giving Cincinnati its first championship ring.
Coach Zac Taylor’s squad has stars all over the offense, Ja’Marr Chase is an elite receiver, Joe Mixon is running sensationally and the run defense is quite respectable.
Their weak point is in defending the pass, last year they received 26 TDs in this way.
Pittsburgh Steelers: plenty of problems ahead
Despite all the problems, the Steelers will face this season, they will surely be third in their division.
Mike Tomlin, however, will experience his first losing season, as there is no human material for the team to look for something more. Everyone is focused on Ben Roethlisberger’s successor, Mitch Trubisky will surely start as a starter, but if it doesn’t work out, rookie Kenny Pickett will step in, but there are bigger deficiencies.
The Steelers have a pretty bad offensive line, in Preseason, playing against mid-major teams, they committed countless penalties and allowed several hits on their passers.
And the defense suffers against the run, a problem from two seasons ago to which they can’t find a solution.
Cleveland Browns: It’s not going to cut it
When the Browns put together a great team, with the talent to spare, capable of fighting for any challenge, they managed to hold themselves back.
Last season, when they were expected to have a Playoff season, they finished with a record of 8 wins and 9 losses. Management felt that what they lacked was a QB, so they thanked Baker Mayfield and signed one of the best talents in the NFL: Deshaun Watson.
Only that Watson is not only talented but also conflictive, and he starts the season with 11 games of punishment for sexual misconduct.
The Browns invested $230 million in Deshaun, but will not be able to count on him until Week 13.
Baltimore Ravens: let the good health last!
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens return healthy from the hospital they became at the end of last season and look to have a great season and take the AFC North title from Cincinnati, but it won’t be easy.
Baltimore has a defense that hardly allows points and usually puts a lot of pressure on the opposing offenses, but they have failed in important games, although in the last draft the main selections are defensive, so John Harbaugh will surely have a scary defensive team.
Lamar has been a major underachiever; suffice it to say that last season he threw just 16 TD passes and had 13 interceptions. Jackson and the Ravens’ offense have to be consistent.