As teams start reporting to training camps at the end of July, it is a great time to start talkin’ some football. Here are my predictions for the AFC North in 2012.
Baltimore Ravens: In 2011, the Ravens were 12-4 overall with a 6-0 record in the AFC North. The Ravens are an aging team. Ray Lewis is beginning his 17th season in the NFL, as a linebacker that is very impressive. Ed Reed will begin his 10th season if he doesn’t retire before the season even begins. Terrill Suggs begins his 10th season as well. Although the defense is aging, the offense has a nice mix of prime veteran players. Ray Rice and Joe Flacco will both begin their 5th season in Baltimore. While last years addition of Anquan Boldin will continue to help the team succeed in 2012. The Ravens will continue their rivalry with the Steelers for the top of the AFC North.
My Best Prediction for the Ravens: 12-4.
My Worst Prediction for the Ravens: 9-7.
My most likely Prediction would be an 11-5 year for the Ravens.
Cincinnati Bengals: In 2011, the Bengals were 9-7 overall with a 2-4 record in the AFC North. Last season, the Bengals were led on offense by two rookies QB: Andy Dalton, and his top target A.J. Green. Hopefully, Dalton and Green continue to progress and avoid the dreaded sophomore slump. The addition of cornerback, Dre Kirkpatrick, should provide help to the Bengals’ pass defense. I look for the Bengals to take a step back in 2012. But I do believe this is a young team that could be pretty good in the next few years. Unfortunately for the Bengals two big roadblocks still stand in the way in Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
My Best Prediction for the Bengals: 9-7.
My Worst Prediction for the Bengals: 6-10.
My most likely prediction for the Bengals would be an 8-8 season.
Cleveland Browns: In 2011, the Browns were 4-12 overall with a 0-6 record in the AFC North. The Browns appear to have had a solid draft with additions of Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden. Richardson could make an immediate impact with the Browns but Weeden is locked into a quarterback battle with Colt McCoy. Cleveland is still building a team and they are still missing out on an elite wide receiver. If the defense does not improve in 2012, look for more of the same from the Browns.
My Best Prediction for the Browns: 6-10
My Worst Prediction for the Browns: 2-14
My most likely prediction for the Brown would be a 5-11 season.
Pittsburgh Steelers: In 2011, the Steelers were 12-4 overall with a 4-2 record in the AFC North. The most interesting addition to Steelers, this off-season, was the hire of Todd Haley to be the team’s new offensive coordinator. It will be interesting to see how this change to the coaching staff will affect the Steelers. I look for Ben Roethlisberger to have another solid year. The big question for the Steelers’ offense will be the play of the running backs. The defense should be solid with James Harrison and Troy Palomalu leading the way. As mentioned above, look for the Steelers or the Ravens to be the top of the AFC North in 2012.
My Best Prediction for the Steelers: 13-3.
My Worst Prediction for the Steelers: 9-7.
My most likely prediction for the Steelers would be a 12-4 season.
2012 Prediction Standings AFC North:
- 1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 12-4.
- 2. Baltimore Ravens: 11-5.
- 3. Cincinnati Bengals: 8-8.
- 4. Cleveland Browns: 5-11.