The boys of fall have started the preseason and we are right in the middle. In just a couple of more weeks the most wonderful time of the year is back. I know I am ready for some football and I am guessing you are too. The last time, we previewed the NFC West, this time we are going to take a look at the AFC North.
Cleveland Browns: Last year they finished 4-12, that is good news compared to how the team looks going into the new season. I really feel bad for this team. Colt McCoy is back as the leader at the quarterback position and that already hurts Cleveland chances. I like Colt. I thought he was a good player at Texas but not an NFL starter. Can Brandon Weeden come in and help this team with fellow first round pick Trent Richardson? I laughed a little bit too. The defense wasn’t any better. If they face any team that throws they will be destroyed. Cleveland’s schedule looks rough but they will pull out one win. 1-15
Baltimore Ravens: Last season the Ravens were 12-4 and just one game away from making the big dance. This season expect them to come out and win the division again. They have had a year and should come back as a more jelled team. I am also saying though that Joe Flacco is the weakest part of the offense. The running game is amazing with Ray Rice carrying the rock. Boldin and Smith make a scary one two punch but I just don’t think Baltimore can win the big one with a mediocre QB. As for the defense, you know they are going to be good and play smash mouth defense. Baltimore finishes 2012 with an 11-5 record.
Pittsburgh Steelers: This is going to be my first real controversial pick. The Steelers were 12-4 last year and hope to make this season just as memorable. However, I just don’t think that will be the case. I love Pitt but there is one thing that is going to finally catch up with them. Age. The defense was ranked first going into the playoffs but see what injuries can do? You lose to Tim Tebow. Pitt just won’t be able to stay healthy all season. Pitt finishes with a record of 7-9. Yes you read that right 7 and 9.
Cincinnati Bengals: Coming off one of the best years in franchise history, at 9-7 can Andy Dalton have an amazing 2012. You bet. They are going to come back hungry since they tasted the playoffs. This young team is going to be scary to beat in all categories. Do not underestimate anyone on this team. Aj Green during the off season has been working with one of the best receivers in the game. Larry Fitzgerald. He plans on making his sophomore season more memorable than the rookie season. Prepare for a shock by Cinci. They will finish the season with a 10-6 record.