8 Divisions 8 Days: AFC North Preview

Can the emergence of Antonio Brown propel the Steelers to another Super Bowl Photo Courtesy: Brook Ward
Can the emergence of Antonio Brown propel the Steelers to another Super Bowl?
Photo Courtesy: Brook Ward

By Matthew Behrndt

The AFC North last year by itself produced three playoff teams. Making it the premiere division last year in the AFC. This year not much has changed, three teams will be competing for the title of the division. A division that has been know for their defense has seemingly turned into a powerful offensive division.

Fully expect that at least two of the teams will make the playoffs from the division. This division is loaded with talent on the offensive side. The winner of this division will  have to have their defense step up and win some in division games for them.

Cleveland Browns: Record (3-13)

Lets face it, the Browns are just not that good. It doesn’t help that they are in a tough division as well, making it very hard to string together winning efforts. They have an unstable quarterback situation with a very bad receiving core. Isiah Crowell isn’t terrible but not good enough to make up no passing attack. With the addition of Tramon Williams the secondary is the strongest part of the defense. However the defensive line and line-backers are not very good and will struggle against good offenses in the division.

Baltimore Ravens: Record (9-7)

The Ravens are a good football team. The reason they don’t have a better record is because they have a very tough schedule. With this tough schedule and not a very good offense, the Ravens are going to struggle scoring the ball. The reason the offense will struggle is an underwhelming receiving core. Perriman is up and coming but Steve Smith is in his final years making it an awkward combination.  That menacing defense that the Ravens have been know for has been downgraded a little bit. They still have a very good line-backing core but the secondary is very suspect. With a good passing attack from other teams in the division it could prove costly.

Cincinnati Bengals: Record (10-6)

The Bengals have been a very good team for the past four years and they keep adding younger talent ensuring them with a solid team for years to come. The biggest challenge however, has been getting past the first round. With the talent  on the offensive side of the ball the Bengals should be able to keep their spot as 2nd in the division. The defense will be very important to this team as they will live and die by how their secondary performs within this division. With Adkins back on the front line pass rush and run stopping shouldn’t be the issue.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Record (11-5)

With both of the weaknesses of the Ravens and the Bengals being the secondary, the Steelers should have a easy time scoring. The reason is because the Steelers have one of the more impressive offensives in the league. With the combination of Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown the Steelers are going to score a lot of points this season. The downfall of the Steelers will be the defense, if the defense struggles to get opponents off the field and the offense can’t do their thing it could be a disappointing season for them. If the defense even plays average, the Steelers will be a team to beat in the AFC and looking to compete for a Super Bowl.