Who wins the AFC North in 2017?

Who wins the AFC North in 2017?

Poll ended at Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:20 pm

Baltimore Ravens
1
20%
Cincinnati Bengals
0
No votes
Cleveland Browns
0
No votes
Pittsburgh Steelers
4
80%
 
Total votes: 5
Gman84
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Who wins the AFC North in 2017?

Postby Gman84 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:20 pm

Is it another title for the Steelers? Can the Bengals get their first postseason win since 1990? Can the Ravens get back into contention? Are the browns finally going to turn things around?

Best prices out there:

Pittsburgh Steelers - 4/5 with Coral
Cincinnati Bengals - 10/3 with Coral
Baltimore Ravens - 7/2 with SkyBet
Cleveland Browns - 50/1 with Paddy Power

Some quick thoughts:

1, Steelers still look powerful on offense and with Ben Roethlisberger clearly thinking about after-football you have to wonder if another good season would see him hang it up? The Le'Veon Bell situation needs to be watched but the key for the Steelers and how far they can go is the defense. The secondary needs to see the young players really come on whilst the pass rush needs more than just the timeless James Harrison making plays although i think Bud Dupree could be a double digit sack player is staying healthy.

2, I do see the bengals as the main threat. How a revamped O-Line performs will be key to trying to give the offense balance with a better running game. The receiving corps of AJ Green, rookie speedster John Ross and TE Tyler Eifert can hurt any defense.

3, The Ravens have had to build themselves back up from a poor 2015 and they improved by 3 games last year but they still don't feel like they are quite back to contender material to me. Joe Flacco won't be seen until the regular season starts. If the D can hold it's own they will at least make life difficult for teams.

4, I do think the Browns will be better and I'm interested to see what happens at QB. I feel rookie DeShone Kizer is going to play sooner rather than later and in my rushing title blog I'm high on Isaiah Crowell. The defense is where I think you'll see major improvement but whilst I think they win more games (not hard based on one win in 2016), I don't see a complete and utter turnaround. 6-10 would be a fine result based on where they are.

Let's see what the OLBG membership think of this division. If you vote please post and tell us how you voted and why :win:

You can read the 5 and 10 year trends on this division here and read about five players to watch from each team here.

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Re: Who wins the AFC North in 2017?

Postby Jim Brown » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:28 pm

To me, a two-horse race between the Steelers and Ravens, with me going for the latter, just, after their big push to beef up the defense in the off-season. Tough though because their offense isn't top-flight. I bet they wish they had someone like LeVeon Bell! This may come down to inter-division results. The Bengals suffer from having Dalton, and the Browns suffer from having nobody! LOL. In truth, though, the Browns will actually do better than most think this season. Their defense ought to be better, but they are looking ahead further than 2017 for sure

I don't think any team from this division will trouble a Superbowl contender,
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Re: Who wins the AFC North in 2017?

Postby Gman84 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:34 pm

Well JB as you can see from my 5 & 10 Year trend blogs onn the division (link in opening post) the Ravens actually have an excellent record in the division having not posted a losing season vs the rest of the AFC North since 2007. Even in their 5-11 season in 2015 they still broke even so from that point of view you are on solid footing.

Where they struggle is on the road. If they want to be back in playoff contention they must fix the glaring obvious issue they have of been so less competitive outside their home turf.

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Re: Who wins the AFC North in 2017?

Postby Jim Brown » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:43 pm

I will admit (shamefully!) that I haven't read your blogs yet, mate. :( :( I'm only just now getting into full-NFL-mindset, and gearing up for my own previews and plans for the underdog blog again this season. Not to worry, I'll catch up with your blogs - always excellent reading! - and this promises to be a great season in the NFL. I think we may see a few strong-looking teams start to appear.
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Re: Who wins the AFC North in 2017?

Postby titans choice » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:15 pm

I think Pittsburgh is the team to beat in this division as Martavis Bryant is back for this season which will be a bonus Bell might be holding out but he is one of the most talented running backs in the league and i am sure he will have a very good season.And i think the Bengals will improve enough to finish above the Ravens i think they have good running backs in Hill and Mixon and in AJ Green they have a player who has to be rated in the top 10 players at his position.They also have Tyler Boyd who i think could be a decant player and they have added another weapon at receiver in speedster John Ross.The Browns will be better but i think having them at 6 wins is a bit high i think they will win 4 at most and hoping to see Peppers at least returning kicks.

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Re: Who wins the AFC North in 2017?

Postby TouchdownTips » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:59 am

I can't see past the Steelers unfortunately. They have a top 3 WR, a top 2 RB, a probably top 15 QB? a top 10 OL, and again, probably a top 10 defence? While trying to be unbiased and hide my dislike for them, I can admit that they're stacked and the best challenge for the Patriots, which is eventually disappointing because Tomlin is far outclassed in the coaching department when it comes to those matches. They also have significant blips, usually away from home where Ben isn't anywhere near as good. But Lev is great, AB is great, Martavis Bryant supposedly back for the season is brilliant for them, they score a TD more per game with him in the team. Juju seems like a good pick up too, and James Connor (top shirt sales in the country) is a very good backup if/when Lev is out.

I've got the Bengals second. They are also loaded on offence. AJ Green is a top 3 WR in the league and now might finally have some support with John Ross hopefully taking away double coverage on him. If Eifert can stay healthy as well they have the weapons to beat anyone in the league. BUT... the Offensive line is potentially one of the worst in the league (looked good creating big holes in the game last night vs the Buccs though... yes, preseason...) Mixon was one of, if not the best RB in the class this year and I have no worries at all about his future conduct, he made a mistake, he served his time and he's done nothing since. Gio seems to be back fit already which is amazing given his injury. Hill... who knows, maybe with a serious threat to his job and needing a contract he might show his worth in the team. The defence is still pretty good, Atkins and Burfict are quality. The pass rush seems to have improved, Lawson has been killing it in camp, and Willis looked good too. They have 200 cornerbacks to choose from. It will be the OL that does it if they don't challenge for the title.

The Ravens... Flacco is on his way down, he's already got a back injury but they expect him back for week 1 vs the Bengals. They just don't have much on offence. Dixon is out for the year, West is OK, Woodhead is a great signing for them though as a pass catching back and Flacco will use him a lot. All their Tight ends are dead or returning from injury, I think Ben Watson will get that job. Maclin is probably a good enough signing for them, they didn't have much else in that area tbf, Perriman is unproven, Wallace is ok. Their defence is where they're loaded, it's good, very good. Jefferson was a great signing at safety and gives them probably the best duo in the league, their good up front. And Justin Tucker is going to score 15-21 points per game for them. He is their offence.

The Browns have improved huge amounts, and will go even further next year as they have practically all the picks in next years draft. Njoku is a physical freak at TE, Peppers is versatile, Garrett is an absolute animal, his high school photo is one of the best photos of the year. Kizer seems to have shown a lot in camp and looked the best QB in the pre-season game this week. The OL is now arguably one of the best in the league adding Zeitler and Tretter to Joe Thomas and co. Which should see an hefty workload for Crowell whom Hue Jackson has publicly said he wishes he ran more last year where he did well behind a shit line. At WR is Corey Coleman can stay fit (big if) then they have a good WR although they really could have done with keeping Pryor. Oh, and Kenny Britt got 1,000 yards in a worse team last year, so who knows.

I have Pit 10
Cin 9
Bal 8
Cle 3

Again, I would probably adjust that now, I think the Browns could do better than 3, not much better, but maybe 4 or 5.

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