Gridiron Gab 2009 AFC North Preview

Pittsburgh Steelers

This team is still loaded from last years championship, They rolled through the offseason with no roster departures to speak of. The team seems to be satisfied with the unit in place as they made no additions to speak of either. So for the first time in years the defending superbowl champions return intact, and are looking to repeat. Pittsburgh is blessed to be in the North and has no competition to speak of. They have one of the best defenses in the league each and evry year, so don’t look for that to change. If there is one negative I can label the Steelers with it is a lack of explosive ability on offense. They consistently rely on there defense to make the game changing play.

With all that being said look for the Steelers to steam roll into there bye week at at least 7-1, The only question is the week 7 matchup with Minnesota. If Pittsburgh can pull out a win against Minnesota then watch out. The second half of there season is loaded with sub-par teams, and the victories will mount. There competition in the second half includes each division opponent, as well as Denver, Kansas City, Oakland, Green Bay, Miami. Those are all games that Pittsburgh should win. This team has a chance to roll through the regular season undefeated.

Absolute win total = 15

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are a team I have been waiting on for years. They have as much talent as any other team in the league. I question there heart. The offensive line should be helped with the addition of Andre Smith, so look for an improved running game. I still expect the Bengals to be able to move the ball through the air. The lose of T.J will affect the team on 3rd and medium situations, where moving the chains are a priority. But they have other receivers who are able to contribute. Look for the Bengals to be much improved on defense this season. They are loaded with youth and athletic ability. This is a team that will be very competitive, But do they have what it takes to reach out and take the game away from the opponent.

The Bengals have 5 games on the schedule I would consider a toss up. Week 2 at Green Bay, week 6 match up with Houston, week 7 game with Chicago, Week 9 game with Baltimore, and week 11 at Oakland. If the Bengals can win 3 of those 5 games they will be a wild card contender. The Bengals will start the season with a victory against Denver. They get 2 wins against Cleveland, and also have wins against Detroit and Kansas City. I look for the Bengals to be in contention for the wild card and they will prove they have heart with a week 17 victory over the New York Jets.

Absolute win total = 6

Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens are a team that every year no matter what the record looks like they contend every week. They have a chance to win every game they play, due to there abilities on defense. The defense is getting older and the offense is not helping with there struggle every week to put points on the board. I consider the Ravens a one dimensional offense. They have never had the ability to throw ,and there offense consistently suffers for it.

The Ravens week 1 game with Kansas City is a dead even pick em, game is a toss up. They should alternate wins and losses until the bye week, Losing to San Diego, New England, Minnesota. The Ravens have a chance to be 3-3 at the bye. They should struggle in the second half of the season losing to Denver, Indy, Pittsburgh twice, and Green Bay. They only sure wins I see in the second half are games with Cleveland, Detroit , and the season finale with Oakland.

Absolute win total = 5

Cleveland Browns

Cleveland made a few roster moves this offseason to strenghten the core of the team. They are looking to develop depth at nearly every position. Cleveland landed one of the best players in the draft this year with the selection of Brian Robiskie out of Ohio State. Now I live and die with the Buckeyes and I have been told by many in the Ohio State family Robiskie should be a carbine copy of Cris Carter in 3-4 years. Unfortunately that doesn’t help in the now. Cleveland has one of, if not the worst roster in the NFL for the 2009 season. There schedule doesn’t help much either. Look for Cleveland to contend for the number 1 overall pick in 2010.

I don’t expect Cleveland to go 0-16, but looking at there schedule I cant find a single game I expect them to win. This team will struggle against every opponent on there schedule. Cleveland will be lucky to win 2- 3 games this season. I feel sorry for those that are Cleveland fans, you are going to have to endure a long season.

Absolute win total = 0

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One Response to “Gridiron Gab 2009 AFC North Preview”

  1. I can see where the Steelers get the nod as the odds on favorite to repeat the division.

    But the Bengals just lost their best receiver in TJ and while they improved in the draft they don’t have enough to jump into second.

    How on earth do the Ravens fall to a 5 win total? Since 2000 Baltimore has won 70% of its games at home (3rd best in the NFL)so they aren’t losing to KC and they certainly aren’t scared of Kyle Orton with Denver.

    A better estimate would be Baltimore to win 9-10 games with a shot at the playoffs.

    The Browns need consistency from the QB and WR, if they get that they can finish with 7 wins or if they don’t 3.