Thursday, September 6, 2012

2012 AFC North Preview

This is hands down my favorite division in the NFL. The Ravens, Steelers, and  Bengals will all be very solid teams, and the defenses in this division are awesome. I even think the Browns will be much more competitive this season. I don't think the Browns record will reflect it in the end. The Browns will be in the cellar around 4-12, but look for the games to be close. We are just days away from the NFL opening weekend, and 3 of these teams are featured in primetime on Sunday & Monday night. The Broncos play the Steelers Sunday night, and Ravens vs Bengals on Monday night.

1. Baltimore Ravens- It will be business as usual for the Ravens in 2012. The team is getting a little older, but they still have tons of talent. The defense goes without saying every year in Baltimore. This year that defense will once again be the key, but they will enjoy an improving offense. The Ravens have built a decent offense through the drafting of Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, and Torrey Smith, and they are beginning to look like a solid unit. Expect another big season for you Raven fans.
2012 Projection- (12-4)

2. Cincinnati Bengals- This may come as a shock to Pittsburgh fans, but I believe the Bengals will take the number 2 spot in the AFC North this season. The Bengals have a nice combo brewing at QB and WR with Daulton and Green. The addition of the Law Firm to the backfield could pay off nicely as well. The defense was good last year, and I expect the same this season. Fantasy players should also look for Jermaine Gresham at TE.
2012 Projection- (10-6) 

3. Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers are getting old, and that's the reason I have them in this spot. You combine the age issue with the inconsistent RB situation, and you have to feel its rebuilding time. Pittsburgh will still be a decent club, but have been passed by Cincy. I look for the Steelers to go down Sunday night against Denver and finish .500.
2012 Projection (8-8)

4. Cleveland Browns- The Browns have had it rough lately and expect the same. The Browns have begun moving in the right direction, but they are very young on offense. I look for Colt McCoy to be the starting QB by week 5. Trent Richardson will be expected to carry quite a load in the backfield when he becomes healthy. The defense will struggle in Cleveland and the team must work on key components on this side of the ball as well. They have some players on defense, but not enough. They will play closer games, and probably pull a couple of upsets, but will finish in the cellar.
2012 Projection- (4-12)

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