DF: Baltimore Ravens
This division is tough to predict. Depending on the NFL’s decision regarding Deshaun Watson, all four teams in the AFC North may have a realistic shot at winning the division. Cincinnati, the defending AFC Champions, should be an improved team and will enter the season with a ton of confidence. Pittsburgh isn’t the most talented team in the division, but the Steelers always find a way to finish above .500 and compete for a playoff spot. If Watson doesn’t miss a ton of time, the Browns have enough talent on their roster to win 10+ games. However, my pick to win the division is the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore disappointed a year ago — missing the playoffs with a 8-9 record. However, Lamar Jackson is healthy entering the year, and will remind folks why he was deemed the MVP in 2019. Baltimore will finish the regular season 12-5.
HA: Baltimore Ravens
Though the Bengals are the defending AFC Champions, it’s the Ravens who are the team to watch in this one. Baltimore was one of the most injured teams in football last season, and still managed to race out to an 8-3 start before dropping each of its last six games. Lamar Jackson missed the last five contests, and will be rejoined in the backfield by J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards (each of whom missed the entire ’21 campaign). With the former MVP back under center, the Ravens once again reign supreme in the AFC North.
JF: Baltimore Ravens
I’m not bullish on the Cleveland Browns considering the Deshaun Watson situation. Too much volatility. Too much unknown about the situation. Pittsburgh must break in a new quarterback in Mitch Trubisky. I love the defense, though I don’t love the QB situation. Cincinnati is interesting — as the Bengals upgraded its offensive line considerably in the offseason. However, I worry about the dreaded Super Bowl hangover. They also won’t be sneaking up on anyone this year. As such, we’re left with a motivated Ravens’ team. Stick with Baltimore and put your trust in Lamar Jackson.
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