AFC North: Regular and Postseason Predictions

The season is here, so naturally it is time to look ahead to the playoffs. No? This eight-part series takes a look at each division and discusses the outlook for every team in the NFL — in both the regular season and playoffs.

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TEAM: Baltimore Ravens

RECORD: 13-3 | Win Division

REASON: The offensive and defensive lines are better, and they have two free agent receivers who should give quarterback Joe Flacco upgraded targets. The biggest question for Flacco’s weapons is probably at tight end because of age. On defense they still have Ray Lewis. Their biggest question-mark defensively is their cornerbacks.

TEAM: Pittsburgh Steelers

RECORD: 8-8 | No Playoffs

REASON: With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger out for at least four games it is more difficult to predict the Steelers fate. The offense will take a step back this season as they probably will not hit their stride till at least Week 7 or 8 — Roethlisberger’s four games, the bye week, and two games for him to get back in the swing of things. Their defense should be better this year with Troy Polamalu’s return.

TEAM: Cincinnati Bengals

RECORD: 8-8 | No Playoffs

REASON: This is based on their play at the end of the season last year. After the tragedy on the team and injuries, they struggled to find any semblance of the team that played the first 10 games last season. Their roster does not look like one that is going to be able to pull off more than eight wins. It is unlikely that the Terrell Owens experiment will work out in their favor.  It is more likely to hurt them, and Chad Ochocinco has been inconsistent the last couple of years.

TEAM: Cleveland Browns

RECORD: 4-12 | No Playoffs

REASON: The Browns did nothing this off-season that would drastically improve the team.  They end up with one of the top draft picks again.