By Maximillian C. Burgos | Contributing Writer
Pittsburg Steelers (12-4):
The Pittsburg Steelers are always a force to be reckoned with. As long as Big Ben [Ben Roethlisberger] stays sharp, Le’Veon Bell stays healthy, and Antonio Brown stays in form, the Steelers will be a scary unit this season. As long as they play their style of football and stay healthy, they may make another deep playoff run without a doubt. As long as the defense plays a solid year, the Steelers are set.
The Steelers have Super Bowl aspirations this season. They lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Conference Championship game last season.
The key for the Steelers this season will be their young defense. They added Joe Haden after he was released by the Cleveland Browns. Their defense allowed 431 yards to the Patriots in their final game of the season.
Baltimore Ravens (9-7):
The Ravens will not have a return to form season, but they seek to improve from where they were last season. The Ravens are a little questionable at running back, but they have a decent wide receiver core and Joe Flacco should be better than he was last year.
The Ravens’ defense should be solid this year if they stay healthy. It will not be the same defenses that we are used to seeing from the Ravens, with air tight coverage and shut down rush defense, but it will be a solid defense nonetheless. With some players on the wrong side of 30 and some young player, the Ravens should be looking at a good but not specular year. Depending on the way things play out, they may or may not be a wildcard team.
With some players on the wrong side of 30 and some young players, the Ravens should be looking at a good, but not spectacular year. Depending on the way things play out, they may or may not be a Wild Card team.
The Ravens have been a disappointment the last two seasons. This season will definitely have an impact on John Harbaugh’s coaching job.
The Ravens did add Jeremy Maclin in the off-season to add to Flacco’s passing game. Marlon Humphrey, along with Tyus Bowser, both who came to the team in the off-season, could help their defense, as it gave up 28 passing touchdowns in 2016.
Cincinnati Bengals (7-9):
The Bengals have played well in the regular season and done horribly in the postseason for years now. But, this year could prove to be a mediocre year for them. In a toughly contested division, they may be slightly better than last year, but not too much better.
If the offense finds its stride this year, the team could be dangerous having talent in the back field and on the outer edges. But, Andy Dalton has been inconsistent in the past. He is approaching 30 and has had enough time to develop into a reliable QB but has not quite proven himself yet. If rookies from the Bengals large draft class can perform on defense, the team may improve from last year. But it has yet to be seen.
This will be Marvin Lewis’ 15th season with the team. While there’s been many times, including last season, where it looked like he would resign or be fired, somehow, a miracle happened, and he kept his job.
John Ross and Joe Mixon could show promise early on. A.J. Green is coming off of an injured season.
Cleveland Browns (6-10):
The Cleveland Browns with all of the offseason moves will be better than 1-15. How much better is still yet to be seen. They snagged a lot of the talent in the draft and may need another year to truly shine, but with all of the solid pick ups in free agency and a potentially surprising quarterback battle result, as a result, the Browns should improve from last year.
With the additions to the offensive line and talent added to the defense, the Browns will be more competitive. It is yet to be seen exactly how much more competitive they will be or how much better. They are a lot of young players that may need time to be groomed and a lot of chemistry that still needs to be established.
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