We have talked about the AFC East and who should win the division this upcoming season. Let’s turn the attention to the AFC North. The Cincinnati Bengals emerged as that team in the AFC North last season. They made a surprising run to the Super Bowl, but fell to the Los Angeles Rams. Can the Bengals build on their impressive run from a year ago? The Baltimore Ravens dealt with a plethora of injuries last season. Lamar Jackson is hoping to return to MVP form and put the Ravens in position to make a serious run. Pittsburgh will go into the season without Big Ben, as he retired at the end of the season. The Cleveland Browns has so much to figure, but could they shock people and sit atop of the AFC North when the season is over? Who leaves the AFC North as the 2022 division champion?
Baltimore started last season looking like one of the possible Super Bowl favorites in the AFC. Lamar Jackson went down with an injury and everything went down. Baltimore didn’t make the playoffs and Lamar Jackson still haven’t received an extension. The Ravens are hoping several returns from injury will give this team a much needed boost. They signed one of the best safeties in the league in Marcus Williams during free agency. They drafted Kyle Hamilton, so the Ravens could have one of the better secondary’s in the league. Baltimore still have question marks on the offensive side of thing and they will most likely to continue to lean on Jackson. If healthy, Lamar Jackson will have this squad in the thick of things as far as the division. The lack of weapons on offense will hurt their chances to win the division.
As mentioned earlier, the Cincinnati Bengals went on a surprising run to the Super Bowl a season ago. They flew under the radar to reach that point. This season they will be getting haunted instead of being the hunter. The biggest issue that plagued the Bengals was protecting Joe Burrow. Cincinnati went out and bolstered up their offensive line with hopes of keeping Burrow off the ground. The Bengals have one of the more explosive offenses in the league. If they can protect Burrow, don’t be surprised if he’s in the MVP conversation next season. I’m picking the Bengals to finish atop of the AFC North.
The Cleveland Browns have a new quarterback in town by the name of Deshaun Watson. Watson has some legal issues going on and it’s rumored he could be suspended for up to 8 games. Watson missed the entire 2021 season after having a historic 2020 campaign. Despite his legal woes, the Browns gave him a fully guaranteed $230 million contract. Before bringing Watson on board Cleveland traded for Amari Cooper. Cleveland should have an impressive offense and the defense isn’t too bad either. They brought back Jadaveon Clowney to play alongside Myles Garrett. If Clowney stays healthy, those two will be a problem chasing down the opposing QB. For me, everything depends on the amount of time Deshaun Watson is suspended. Baker Mayfield has been shipped to Carolina and I’m still expecting some good things from the Browns.
The Pittsburgh Steelers enter this season with a brand new signal caller under center. Pittsburgh signed Mitch Trubisky to replace Big Ben. Many people have written off Trubisky because of the Chicago Bears debacle. Trubisky can still be a quality starter in this league and the Steelers will know how to use him. They also drafted Kenny Pickett, so if Trubisky struggles the fans will want Pickett to replace him. They drafted George Pickens out of Georgia and he could be a steal for this team. The defense will miss not having Joe Haden, but they did extend Minkah Fitzpatrick. The Steelers should still be in the hunt due to great coaching, but not a real contender.
My AFC North Rankings
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Baltimore Ravens
- Cleveland Browns
- Pittsburgh Steelers
What do you think about the AFC North this season? Do you see the Cincinnati Bengals finishing atop the division again? Can the Baltimore Ravens or Cleveland Browns make a serious run? Who do you think wins the division? Leave some feedback about anything related to the AFC North below.