NFL 2011 American Football Conference: North Division Preview
Many pundits, on an annual basis, predict a changing of the guard in the AFC North but it rarely materializes. The Pittsburgh Steelers have won this division three of the last four years and played in Super Bowl XLV.
The Baltimore Ravens will be the Steelers main challenger again this season but they have lost some depth. Cleveland will be better as the Browns continue to rebuild under GM Mike Holmgren, while the Bengals are a mess.
Steel Curtain Continues To Cover AFC North
Pittsburgh came up short in Super Bowl XLV but they return for the 2011 season with their offensive weapons virtually unchanged. While the offensive line and shaky corner coverage are concerns, the Steelers are still the team to beat in the AFC North Division.
Veteran turnover has been the buzz in Baltimore as the Ravens released or lost no less then nine key cogs during the off-season. WR Derrick Mason, along with running backs Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain, and TE Todd Heap, all have new homes for the 2011 NFL season.
Things are looking up in Cleveland as the Browns showed signs of promise last season. QB Colt McCoy has a year under his belt and practiced the West Coast Offense with retired QB Brett Favre during the off-season. Though not quite there yet, the Browns are building momentum.
After showing so much promise heading into the 2010 season, the Cincinnati Bengals are an utter mess on the eve of the 2011 NFL season. Their police blotter is almost as long as the list of departing players that includes QB Carson Palmer, WR Terrell Owens and WR Chad Ochocinco. The Bengals have reverted back to the Bungles.
NFL 2011 – AFC North Predicted Order Of Finish