2014 AFC NORTH PREVIEW

The AFC North is even tougher than it used to be. The Bengals are very decent now and who knows what the Browns will do…

Here is a preview of the four teams from the AFC North:

Cincinnati Bengals 

Coach: Marvin Lewis

Stadium: Paul Brown Stadium 

“In Dalton we trust”. A few words I never thought I’d hear. But Andy Pandy is here to stay, for at least the next six years, which is great for…Bengals? This Bengals team has definitely roared in the last three seasons and they will be there and there abouts at the end of the year. Wednesday may be ‘hump day’ for many in the working week and January is hump month for this team. Cincinnati are sponsored by the up and coming fashion brand Giovani Bernard and he will be carrying a large workload this year. Let’s hope the threads in his back are strong enough to carry the team.  

Key losses: DE Michael Johnson, OT Anthony Collins, C Kyle Cook, WR Andrew Hawkins 

Key signings: CB Darqueze Dennard (draft), RB Jeremy Hill (draft), QB Jason Campbell, DB Danieal Manning.

 Bengals

Baltimore Ravens 

Coach: John Harbaugh

Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium 

I’ve had a hangover before. It’s not ideal. The Raven’s definitely had a hangover last season, which lasted more than one day. It lasted 16 horrible weeks for the beloved purple people eater fans from Baltimore. The Raven’s swooped almost undercover in 2012 to win the Super Bowl, but in 2013, they just swooped low. They’ve had some off field dramas and their star running back won’t be punching up the ball in the first two rounds. If you have a mix master, put this team in the bowl for January though. 

Key losses: RT Michael Oher, S James Ihedigbo, CB Corey Graham, DE Arthur Jones 

Key signings: WR Steve Smith, OL lineman Jeremy Zuttah, TE Owen Daniels, LB Rookie C.J. Mosley 

 New York Jets v Baltimore Ravens

 Pittsburgh Steelers 

Coach: Mike Tomlin

Stadium: Heinz Field 

The Steelers were downright horrible last year and yet with 3 seconds left in the season, they almost made the play-offs! This team just doesn’t know how to lie down and give up. Big Ben is pretty consistent with its hourly chimes in London and let’s hope the Big Ben of Pittsburgh can also chime with consistency. Their roster isn’t as strong as previous years and they are in a tough division, but it’ll take a lot more than Heinz baked beans to say this team smells. 

Key losses: S Ryan Clark, WR Jerrico Cotchery, RB Jonathan Dwyer, LB Larry Foote, DE Ziggy Hood, RBFelix Jones, DE Brett Keisel, P Mat McBriar, WR Emmanuel Sanders, RB LaRod Stephens-Howling, OLFernando Velasco, LB LaMarr Woodley, NT Al Woods 

Key signings: rookie RB Dri Archer, RB LeGarrette Blount, rookie WR Martavis Bryant, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, CB Brice McCain, S Mike Mitchell, LB Arthur Moats, WR Lance Moore, P Adam Podlesh, rookie LB Ryan Shazier, DT Cam Thomas, rookie DE Stephon Tuitt, P Brad Wing

 big ben

Cleveland Browns

Coach: Mike Pettine

Stadium: First Energy Stadium 

They had a movie made about them and then the real Draft Day went almost to script. Sometimes Hollywood does get it right. Johnny Football is at Cleveland. He needs to get past Brian Hoyer first, but all of the US wants to see Manziel start. With all the Manziel media, people forget that the Browns also now have Ben Tate at running back to add some fire power. It won’t be boiling hot in Cleveland this coming winter but let’s hope the QB, whoever it is, can warm up the stadium. Oh yeah, Brandon Weeden is no longer there.

Key losses: LB D’Qwell Jackson, DB T.J. Ward, WR Greg Little, QB Brandon Weeden 

Key signings: S Donte Whitner, LB Karlos Dansby, RB Ben Tate, CB Justin Gilbert, QB Johnny Manziel, WR Nate Burleson, WR Andrew Hawkins, RB Terrance West

 

Thanks to foxsports.com for contributing the in and outs of players.

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