AFC North predictions for the 2022 NFL regular season
The AFC North is one of the toughest divisions in all of football. The Cincinnati Bengals won the division last season and they went all the way to Super Bowl LVI before losing to the Los Angeles Rams. Cincinnati will be the favorite to repeat as division champions this season, but all four of these teams in the AFC North have a case to win it.
The sports news has talked about the Cincinnati Bengals potentially being one of the favorites to win the division again this year. The question is, will they actually or can it be someone else this season for the 2022 NFL regular season?
1. Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals won this division last season because of how good Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and this offense became. The defense was very underrated. The offensive line was massively upgraded in the offseason and they won’t have to worry about this year. The only reason why Cincinnati won’t be back in this position in 2022 is that the AFC is a total gauntlet.
Head coach Zac Taylor is not going anywhere anytime soon and received a contract extension during the offseason. Taylor has total trust in Joe Burrow. Burrow has given hope and optimism for this franchise. They could win a Super Bowl title one day and they were oh so close last season.
Trey Hendrickson and Logan Wilson are two of the most important players on this defense. Tee Higgins is an unsung hero on offense and Jessie Bates III is an unsung hero on defense. Joe Mixon is also one of the most underrated running backs in the entire NFL.
They need to get off to a fast start this season because if they don’t, the Cincinnati Bengals could potentially have a Super Bowl hangover despite not winning it. Cincinnati needs to stay focused.
2. Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens finished in last place in the AFC North last season due to injuries. Baltimore started 8-3 and they finished 8-9. The Ravens will not have that happen to them again this year. Quarterback Lamar Jackson will be in a contract year. They will win tons of games with him this season, but they probably will not win the Super Bowl.
The Baltimore Ravens drafted really well in the first round by selecting safety Kyle Hamilton and offensive lineman Tyler Linderbaum. Baltimore still has no threats on the outside at the wide receiver position, but they do have a solid running game and hopefully running back J.K. Dobbins can stay healthy for them this season.
Head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta have run a tight ship around here. They know how to draft year in and year out. They are lacking some pass rushers, however. The Baltimore Ravens did switch defensive coordinators this season and it will be interesting to see what happens.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers decided to draft Kenny Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Pittsburgh has finished over .500 every year Mike Tomlin has been the head coach of this football team. Ben Roethlisberger retired. Pickett will be the front runner for the quarterback position and Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph will compete with him for that spot.
T.J. Watt is the reigning defensive player of the year. The question will be how will this defense help him out and can the offense produce more points this year than it did last year?
4. Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns will always be the Cleveland Browns. They traded for quarterback Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans and he has civil issues off the field. Baker Mayfield is being held hostage by this franchise and will be forever toxic.
Yes, they have Myles Garrett on defense, and yes Kevin Stefanski is a very good head coach, but this has been the mess of the offseason. The Cleveland Browns have the new regime in what it takes to win, but this drama is going to backfire on them big time after missing the playoffs a season ago. This is going to be a circus act during the regular season.