We started with the AFC East in the AFC with our preview, but let’s move on to the AFC North. Pittsburgh was the kings of the division and they return their core group of guys. Baltimore will be looking to return to their past glory with a playoff run. The Cincinnati Bengals will stick with Marvin Lewis as a head coach, can he turn things around? Cleveland was winless a year ago, but they have created a buzz with several key acquisitions. Will Pittsburgh continue to run the division, or will another team make a run at them?
Joe Flacco has been coming under fire for the last few years. This offseason, Baltimore signed Robert Griffin III and drafted Lamar Jackson as their future QB. To revamp their offense, the Ravens brought in Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead. If they reach their potential, this could be one of the more underrated cores in the league. In the process, they loss several key members of last year’s team, which includes Benjamin Watson. Baltimore drafted Hayden Hurst, but he’s dealing with an injury that will keep him out 3-4 weeks. Jimmy Smith will be missing the first four games after being suspended for domestic violence. Baltimore should start the season as one of the better teams, but the second half of the schedule is tough. With that said, I’m thinking the Ravens will finish with a 10-6 record.
The Cincinnati Bengals finished last season with a 7-9 record. The biggest news for the Bengals was that they chose to keep Marvin Lewis as the head coach. Cincinnati still have one of the best WRs in the league in A.J. Green. Andy Dalton will have to play like a potential MVP like he did a few years ago before he got injured. Tyler Eifert re-signed with the team and hopefully he can remain healthy for a full season. Cincinnati got a lot of uncertainties on the defensive side of the ball. They signed Chris Baker, but he was released, and they will be without Adam “Pacman” Jones. This could be a long season for the Bengals and it could spell the end of Marvin Lewis. The Bengals will finish with a 4-12 record.
The Cleveland Browns finished last season with a 0-16 record and had the #1 draft pick. Baker Mayfield was selected as their QB of the future and they also Denzel Ward as a potential shutdown CB. They made a trade for Tyrod Taylor to help at the QB position. Jarvis Landry was brought in and signed to a megadeal to help change the culture of the Browns organization. Josh Gordon has returned to the team and they have been flirting with signing Dez Bryant. On offense, they brought in Carlos Hyde to sure up the backfield. On the defensive side, Cleveland doesn’t have a bad squad and they added Mykel Kendricks from the Eagles. Can the Browns have a successful season? Cleveland will have a successful season and finish with a 6-10 record.
The Pittsburgh Steelers finished last season with a 13-3 record. After such a great season, the Steelers unfortunately lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional round. Pittsburgh should be one of the favorites to reach the Super Bowl from the AFC. Two big questions hover over the Steelers future and it’s about Big Ben and LeVeon Bell. Pittsburgh drafted their future QB in Mason Rudolph and they also picked up him teammate James Washington in the draft. Drafting Terrell Edmunds, this could be one of the bigger steals in this draft class. Pittsburgh should run this division again this season, if healthy. Pittsburgh should finish the season with a 12-4 record.
My 2018-2019 AFC North Records
- Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4
- Baltimore Ravens 10-6
- Cleveland Browns 6-10
- Cincinnati Bengals 5-11
What do you think about my thoughts of the AFC North this upcoming season? How do you see things playing out? Can anyone overtake the Steelers for the division? Leave a comment below.