The AFC North has been a huge let down the past few seasons. They have had stellar teams that have had massive expectations and great regular seasons. Each time, the top dog in the AFC North has failed to follow through. In fact it has been 9 years since this division last represented the AFC in the Super Bowl. This year, the Baltimore Ravens are once again the team with high expectations as they are predicted to finish the regular season at 16-1 according to the Elldee Sports Formula. In a strong second place, the Cleveland Browns look to finish 12-5. The Pittsburgh Steelers roll in at 8-9 in third. Bringing up the rear are the Cincinnati Bengals at 3-14.
The Baltimore Ravens were picked to win the Super Bowl the past two seasons by the formula but have failed to reach the big game either time. Once again, the Ravens, led by Lamar Jackson, are picked to carry the top seed into the playoffs but this year they are picked to lose in their first game! Baltimore relies on an old-school style of power running and a stout defense. It has not been enough to beat the elite teams in the NFL, though. Cleveland will make the playoffs, too! They will face the same fate as Baltimore as both teams are projected to lose to Indianapolis. On paper, the Browns look great as they are led by Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Jarvis Landry, and OBJ on offense and also have big names in Jadaveon Clowney and Myles Garret on defense. Expect this group to be a surprise team this year.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have gotten older and older each season and have just not replaced the lost talent at a level high enough to keep them competitive in this division. Their overall age is probably why they have struggled to keep players healthy and this has affected their finishes in recent years. Ben Roethlisberger has been playing since 2004 and isn’t getting any younger. What can be said about Cincinnati? The Bengals made a move from Marvin Lewis due to his inability to win playoff games. It also didn’t help that the team was on a downward trajectory at the time. In came Zac Taylor to right the ship but so far that move has not worked out. It makes you wonder if it is just a string of poor coaches or if the ownership should take more of the blame.