NFL Predictions 2014-AFC North
by Mark Neal
posted Aug 13 2014 11:11AM
We will be doing our NFL division predictions, one division at a time...here is the AFC North! Your thoughts and comments are welcome!
Tomorrow: AFC South
1. Cincinnati Bengals...Winning this division will not be easy. The Bengals are loaded with talent on both sides of the football, and have drafted as well as any team in football over the past 5 seasons. The sky could be the limit for the Orange and Black in 2014! Like most teams, health will be a huge factor, plus the progression of Andy Dalton will make or break Cincinnati!
2. Pittsburgh Steelers...I had trouble deciding between them and the Ravens here, but I went with the 6 time Super Bowl Champions. A bit of a down year in 2013, I feel, will not happen again in 2014. The team still has some age on the defense, but the Steelers are the Steelers, and seem to succeed more often than they fail. Can the OL stay healthy in 2014? If so, watch out playoffs!
3. Baltimore Ravens...Attrition hurt the Ravens badly last year, plus the leadership loss of Ray Lewis can't be quantified. Flacco needs to look more like 2012, and will have some help. Dennis Pitta is back, and I want to see what Steve Smith brings to the table as well. Survive the Ray Rice suspension, and remain healthy on the defense, I see maybe 3 teams from the North playing Playoff football!
4. Cleveland Browns...they should be better in 2014, but the division is just so good. Manziel or Hoyer...Hoyer or Manziel? That is the 1st question they need to get an answer for going forward. No Josh Gordon, even if it is 8 games, kills an offense that has flat out stunk at times. The running game will be better, and the defense is young and can get to the QB. They have something going up there on the lake, but 2014 won't be the year they show it to the league!