Hot Takes NFL

NFL Division Previews: AFC North

Over the next few days I’m going to look at each division in the NFL and give my predictions for them. Since there are 256 NFL games every season, I will be predicting 256 wins and 256 losses for the entire season. Next up is the AFC North. 

1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 12-4 (AFC #1 seed)

This should be a shock to no one but the Steelers will easily win the AFC North. I also have them as my #1 seed in the AFC edging out the Patriots when they beat them in their week 15 showdown in Pittsburgh.

After parting ways with Todd Haley, the Steelers offense should be a bit more functional in the sense that QB Ben Roethlisberger (hopefully) won’t hate his offensive coordinator anymore. They still have Antonio Brown and (most likely) Le’veon Bell. Juju Smith-Schuster is a rising star. Their defense should be good enough. I really like this Steelers team.

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2. Baltimore Ravens: 9-7 (AFC #6 seed)

The Baltimore Ravens are one of the more interesting teams in the NFL this season. They took WR Lamar Jackson in the first round who is expected to replace Joe Flacco as quarterback after this season even though he has huge accuracy issues when throwing the ball. They finally have a number one receiver after acquiring Michael Crabtree this offseason.

On defense, they have a very solid secondary along with possibly the best safety duo in the league in Eric WEddle and Tony Jefferson. They had 22 interceptions last season which is absolutely insane. They could get at least half that number if Nathan Peterman ends up starting week 1 for the Bills.

In a weak AFC, I have this team squeaking into the playoffs like they probably should have last season.

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3. Cleveland Browns: 5-11

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this is the year! The Browns are going to win 5 games this season. After acquiring QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Jarvis Landry, and signing RB Carlos Hyde, this Browns team really doesn’t lack at the skill positions on offense. Their offensive line should also be very good despite losing future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas.

On defense, I liked their team a lot more before Mychal Kendricks got released for allegedly committing a felony by allegedly insider trading. I love their defensive line and I think that Jabrill Peppers will take some nice steps this season.

Lastly, you can’t write a Browns article without mentioning Baker Mayfield. He shouldn’t play this season and he should redshirt and let the team around him get better before playing. Tyrod Taylor is a very underrated quarterback and will do better than Baker will this season.

4. Cincinnati Bengals: 4-12

I’m not wasting another second writing about this garbage team. Marvin Lewis is still their head coach and Andy Dalton is still their quarterback. That’s all you need to know.

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