The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

2016 AFC North Preview


Photo Courtesy of Keith Allison via

As it has been for nearly half a decade, the AFC North will be the toughest division in football. Along with talented playoff teams such as the Steelers and the Bengals, the Ravens will have something to say about the division title. This year, there can be as many as three 10-win teams within the division. However, even though the talent is there, I don’t see that happening.

  1. Baltimore Ravens– The Ravens look to get back to their winning ways, trying to bounce back from an injury-filled season. With leaders such as QB Joe Flacco and LB Terrell Suggs coming back from their own injuries, the Ravens appear to be trending in the right direction. It may seem like a stretch that a five-win team last year can win the division, but remember that the injury-riddled Ravens beat Pittsburgh twice last year, and were a possession away from defeating Cincinnati. With solid offseason moves, leaders back on the field, and Steve Smith Sr. playing his final season, the Ravens have a great shot at turning heads.

Key Acquisitions: Eric Weddle, Benjamin Watson, Ronnie Stanley (Draft)

Key Departures: Kelechi Osemele, Will Hill III, Daryl Smith

Prediction: 10-6


  1. Pittsburgh Steelers– One of the main reasons I don’t see the Steelers winning the division is their off-field issues. Star running back Le’Veon Bell has been suspended three games for violating the league’s drug policy. For the same reason, wide receiver Martavis Bryant was suspended again, this time for the entire season. Additionally, the health of the Steelers is always a concern, especially with Big Ben Roethlisberger. Whenever Roethlisberger is on the field and healthy, he is nearly unstoppable. When Roethlisberger is paired with Antonio Brown, the team is a force to be reckoned with. Yet, Pittsburgh’s defense is not the legendary defense of old and this can cripple them in their pursuit of the division.

Key Acquisitions: Ladarius Green, Ryan Harris, Artie Burns (Draft)

Key Departures: Heath Miller, Brandon Boykin

Prediction: 9-7


  1. Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals have been a model of consistency during the regular season for years, however playoffs have been a different animal for them. Losing talented players such as Mohammed Sanu and Marvin Jones, easily hurts quarterback Andy Dalton. He does have a top-five receiver in AJ Green, but expect double coverage on him all year, as not many other players need attention. This talented team is led by inconsistent leaders, such as Dalton and head coach Marvin Lewis, whose playoff woes say something about his inability to coach his team through adversity. With the loss of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, Dalton may struggle and cost his team wins. This talented bunch looks to be on a downward spiral, as mental mistakes and key losses will hurt them in the long run.

Key Acquisitions: William Jackson III, Karlos Dansby, William Jackson III (Draft)

Key Departures: Mohammed Sanu, Marvin Jones

Prediction: 7-9


  1. Cleveland Browns: The Browns will continue to be the Browns. However, fans have reason to go the games this year. Newly acquired quarterback Robert Griffin III looks to rejuvenate his career with a fresh start. Griffin looks the best he has been since 2012, when he won rookie of the year season in 2012. In week five, Josh Gordon will return from his notorious suspensions, which he has served the past few years. When Gordon is on the field, the Browns look to be more competitive. With the other leaders being Joe Haden and new coach Hue Jackson, the Browns look to be improving. However, this is not the year that those improvements will be clearly seen.

Key Acquisitions: Josh Gordon (coming back from suspension), Robert Griffin III, Corey Coleman, Corey Coleman (Draft)

Key Departures: Johnny Manziel, Alex Mack

Prediction: 5-11


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Greyhound Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
2016 AFC North Preview