Our AFC North Preview 2019 sees the Cleveland Browns as having potential. At the same time, this AFC North Preview 2019 notes that the Pittsburgh Steelers have lost a lot of the talent that’s made them so successful in the past. Last year, 9-6-1 Pittsburgh did not make the postseason for the first time since 2013. They will likely miss it again this year. We see the Baltimore Ravens as being sound on defense, but weaker than they were last season, as some of their top players on that side of the ball are gone. Where does this leave the Cincinnati Bengals and Andy Dalton? We’d say, somewhere in the mid-to-low end of the division. This is how we expect the AFC North to play out in 2019.
AFC North Preview 2019 – Teams
According to our AFC North Preview, so much of this team’s success on offense depends on the productivity of QB Lamar Lamar Jackson. Joe Flacco is gone and with Jackson at the helm, the Ravens have a very mobile quarterback who poses a dual-threat. Jackson helped this team get back to the postseason last year by winning six of seven, ending a three-year drought. This team is focused on offense, as they added two new receivers in the draft. Gus Edward, an undrafted rookie, performed well last season. More is expected of him this year. The defense loses mainstays Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosely, and Eric Weedle. There are certainly question marks on this side of the ball.
New coach Zac Taylor, a 35-year-old protégé of LA Rams head coach Sean McVay, joins the Bengals in an attempt to turn their regular-season and postseason fortunes around. The question is will veteran QB Andy Dalton flourish under Taylor’s new system? Dalton was a Pro Bowler in 2016, and it’s hoped he can perform at that level this season. He’s got a solid team of receivers to toss to, including Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green. The defense was dismal last season. Can they step up in 2019?
Our AFC North Preview 2019 sees QB Baker Mayfield and the Browns’ stable of premium receivers as being able to rack up points. Plus, top running back Nick Chubb afford the rush attack traction. The O-line looks decent, which means this team should do better than 22.4 PPG. The big question for Cleveland is will the defense allow less than 24.5 PPG. If the Browns can launch a pass rush this year, something they struggled with in 2019, they will be tough to beat. Rookie head coach Freddie Kitchen has a lot to work with. But 95% of the coaching staff is new, and many are inexperienced. Might this work against the Browns?
Head coach Mike Tomlin has to turn this team around. In his first four season at the helm, Tomlin led the Steelers to four Super Bowls. But since 2011, Tomlin has only realized two postseason victories. QB Ben Roethlisberger returns for his 16th season without talented and skilled wideout Antonio Brown and rusher Le’Veon Bell. RB James Conner could reach 1,000-plus yards this season. His solid and experienced frontline will help him do that. Last season, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster was explosive and could be the perfect remedy for the loss of Brown. The defense is down a few notches, and that will not help.
AFC North Preview 2019 – Prediction
Who is the top of the heap in this division? Our AFC North Preview 2019 likes the Mayfield-led Cleveland Browns. After that, it’s the Baltimore Ravens and Jackson. If the Ravens had a better defense, we’d pick them to win the division. The Bengals don’t seem to have all of the right ingredients to go the distance, while the Steelers are lacking on both sides of the ball.
- Cleveland Browns
- Baltimore Ravens
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Pittsburgh Steelers