MR N’s #NFL AFC North Preview ‏ 2014


AFC North

 

NFL Preview 2014
Division: AFC North

Team: Baltimore Ravens
Coach: John Harbaugh
QB: Joe Flacco

Offensive outlook: The Ravens have issues at RB that stem more from Rice and Pierce’s inability to generate offense than simply Rice about to be suspended (for hopefully a good, long time). Flacco can be terrific when his line protects him and suck when it doesn’t. They also hope an aged Steve Smith will open up Torrie Smith for long passes. Pitta is a star TE and they have tried to solidify the O line but I don’t see this team generating much offense.

Defensive outlook: The D line is centered on a rapidly aging Ngata, the Linebackers are in better shape, their defensive backs need to take a step up. Not the D that won a SuperBowl just 2 years ago.

Schedule projection: I think they project to a 7-9, it’s a pretty tough middle 8 games for this team. Whatever gains they get from their bye they lose by going to New Orleans. If they win 9 it will be a great year for them and if they stumble on the road in their division they might only win 6.

 

Division: AFC North

Team: Cincinnati Bengals
Coach: Marvin Lewis
QB: Andy Dalton

Offensive outlook: Dalton and Green and company can put up enough points to win the majority of their games. They have consistency issues and really need Bernard and Hill to be mega productive on the ground. They tend to do nothing in the playoffs and that they need to work on.

Defensive outlook: Superbly solid front 7 that helps mask an aging secondary. They need their older guys to have one more decent year and they need their youth to jump in and make a difference right away or this solid D will be beatable if an O line holds off the Bengal pass rush.

Schedule projection: Another challenging schedule but if they get it going then 10-6 looks likely, outside shot at 11 and if they stumble they may only win 9.

Division: AFC North
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Coach: Mike Tomlin
QB: Ben Roethlisberger

Offensive outlook: This is still Big Ben’s team but he isn’t getting any younger. Their running game needs to have Bell step up and their wide outs need to be a touch more consistent and their TE game needs to be more productive. Some experts point to the 26+ points averaged late last year but I say look at who they played. Not an offense that scares anyone.

Defensive outlook: The Steelers are building a stronger front 7 but they are still relying on their MUCH aged DBs for coverage and I think that will be the death of this team’s ability to have success on D.

Schedule projection: Their second half schedule is brutal. They ‘could’ jump out to a 5-2 record but I think 4-3 is more likely and that is followed by possibly losing all 5 after the bye. If they start fast they may win 8, if they start slow and stumble to their bye then 6-10 is possible.

 

Division: AFC North

Team: Cleveland Browns
Coach: Mike Pettine
QB: Brian Hoyer

Offensive outlook: Hoyer will likely win the job but will find it hard going with no legit WR to toss the rock to and a run game based on hoping an oft injured back up rb can start and can carry the rock 300 times. I don’t see many points here and would not be surprised to see Manziel by week 7.

Defensive outlook: They added a strong CB to work with Haden and their linebackers are great, the front 3 need to be more of a force. They will play a lot better than last year but will be on the field a lot thanks to no real offense and that will wear them down.

Schedule projection: I think this team is going to have another very high draft pick no matter who is under center. It would not surprise me to see them 2-14 but they could excel and win 5.

 

AFC North projected:
Cincinnati Bengals 10-6
Baltimore Ravens 7-9
Pittsburgh Steelers 7-9
Cleveland Browns 2-14

 

That is just my opinion! AFC South to follow in next couple of days!

What are you thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

MR N the BEARS Fan

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