Expectations for the AFC North
Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers will have high expectations this year because they should to go to the playoffs be a Super Bowl contender. The Steelers recently hired Todd Haley, former Chief head coach, as the offensive coordinator. Haley should have great success with the young wide receiving core and should have more success running the ball this year. The only concern I have with the Steelers is the age of the defense, which is the oldest defense in the NFL. While the defense is dominant when healthy, injury was a problem last year.
Cleveland Browns – As usual, the expectations for the Browns will be very low this season. If the Browns can get to 7 wins they should be extremely happy with their progress. The Browns will most likely start Brandon Weeden at quarterback who will be a 28 year old rookie. My concern for Weeden is, who will he throw the ball to. The Browns have a promising rookie wide receiver in Greg Little, but he shows inconsistency when catching the ball. Trent Richardson, their rookie running back should help take the load off Brandon Weeden. The Browns have a promising young nucleus of players, but their youth will show this year and prohibit them from being a great NFL team.
Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens will be the best tem in the AFC North this year and will be a Super Bowl contender. The Ravens have both an explosive offense and a stout defense. The only concern I have with the Ravens this year is how they replace Terrell Suggs. Suggs was lost for the season with a torn achilles. If Courtney Upshaw, the rookie OLB can replace Terrell Suggs, the Ravens could be the best team in the NFL.
Cinncinatti Bengals – The Bengals have a great young nucleus of players that are ready to compete now. They have a great young quarterback in Andy Dalton and a go to wide receiver in A.J. Green. The Bengals also have a great young defense that ranked 7th in the NFL in total yards given up. However, the Bengals are going to have a tough time competing in this division. The Bengals still will make the playoffs this year, but their Super Bowl window is just starting to open and they should be a dominant NFL team for the next decade.