The Bengals have ruled the North for the last couple of years, and they look better than ever coming into this year. If the Bengals stay healthy they should win the division. The Ravens are the Bengals’ chief contender and have the talent to unseat the Bengals in the North, but Lamar Jackson needs to stay healthy for that to happen. The Steelers and Browns have the rosters to make a run if their quarterback play improves from last season.
On paper, the Bengals don’t appear to have many weaknesses. Joe Burrow is one of the league’s premier young quarterbacks, and they boast an abundance of skill position talent; also, adding Orlando Brown Jr as left tackle has strengthened their offensive line significantly – they should be seen as favorites in AFC North should Joe Burrow’s calf injury not become a severe obstacle to their progress. The Bengals always seemed overlooked, but this could be the year in Cincinnati.
Success for the Baltimore Ravens in 2023 will rely heavily on Lamar Jackson’s health and coordinator Todd Monken’s new offense. If they can untie Jackson from his passing game and realize his potential on both sides running and passing, Baltimore could become a strong Super Bowl contender with all pieces present to compete successfully against any opponent. The Ravens are well-coached and always prepared.
Steelers fans won’t like hearing this, but Pittsburgh will likely be one of the least exciting teams in the league this year. While their defense will remain outstanding, their offense may struggle at times; nonetheless, they should provide tough competition week to week but not a legitimate playoff threat, though at least Mike Tomlin will keep his streak of non-losing seasons alive! Tomlin is the reason this team will be good. He is one of the top five coaches in the NFL. The Steelers become a contender if Kenny Pickett can become the man in Pittsburgh. In the end, there is a big difference between Pickett and the likes of Burrow and Jackson.
Every year at this time, there are predictions that this is going to be the year when Cleveland finally puts together an effective postseason run, and certainly they possess some talent at skill-position positions as well as one of the AFC’s premier offensive lines and two pass rushers in Myles Garrett and Za’Darius Smith – but Deshaun Watson did not play much last season in limited action for them; something will inevitably go wrong! The browns have it all to be a contender, but Watson will have to play like he did four years ago and I think that’s a long shot to happen.
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