The Bengals won this division last season, but the Steelers went farther in the playoffs. It’ll most likely be those two teams fighting for the division title again this season. Who will come out on top?
2015 record: 10-6
It’s the Steelers that will regain the AFC North crown. Yes, they’ll be without Martavis Bryant the whole season and star running back Le’Veon Bell and new addition Ladarius Green for parts of the season but they still have a great collection of offensive talent. If they can get Roethlisberger to play all 16 games, this team can lead the NFL in points easily.
Projected record: 11-5
2015 record: 12-4
There’s no reason to think the Bengals won’t be good again. That defense is more than solid. But they lost their #2 and 3 receivers in the offseason which means AJ Green is going to see triple teams. We don’t see Andy Dalton repeating his fantastic 2015 season. So a slight decline in their record is to be expected. But this is still a playoff team.
Projected record: 10-6
2015 record: 5-11
The Ravens had a ton of injuries last season so that 5-11 record looks worse than it was. But this team was on the decline anyways. Yes, Flacco is back but he’s still Flacco and he still doesn’t really have anyone to throw to (we’re not counting on a 37 year old Steve Smith coming back from injury). The defense was not what it was but maybe not horrible either. Still not enough to put the Ravens in competition with Pittsburgh or Cincinnati.
Projected record: 7-9
2015 record: 3-13
The Browns signed RG3 to play quarterback and that’s actually a positive. That’s how miserable the Browns are. They added very little while at the same time shedding some of the little talent they had on the team last year. This is the worst team in the league and I think that’s intentional. This franchise is starting over, for real.