Playoff picture: AFC North, part one
The AFC North is the most difficult division to predict. The Ravens, Browns and Steelers all have strong cases as potential division winners. The only thing that is clear in the division is that the Bengals should be last in the pecking order.
The team has already been ravaged by the injury bug. They do have a star in running back Joe Mixon and a very deep defensive line. But their first eight games are extremely tough. At Seattle, home against the 49ers, at Buffalo, Monday night game in Pittsburgh, home against the Cardinals, at Baltimore, home against the Jaguars, and then a game in London against the Rams before their bye week.
The back half of the schedule eases up a bit but with all the injuries to key players, it’s tough to see this team eclipsing their six-win mark from last season.
The Ravens won this division last year thanks to a 6-1 finish to the season. They have a very solid offensive line and added more talent to surround Lamar Jackson with veteran Mark Ingram and rookie Marquise Brown so their offense should improve.
All word out of camp is that Mark Andrews has looked great at tight end as well, something the Chargers can sadly vouch for. But their defense lost a lot of key players from last year and now cornerback Tavon Young is likely out for the season with a neck injury.
The Ravens will still be very competitive, especially with the addition of Earl Thomas, but expect them to take a slight step back as a team this year. The future is certainly bright with Jackson at the helm.