The AFC North has been one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. Historically known for its hard-hitting and grind-it-out style of football. In 2022 nothing has really changed, three out of the four teams’ identity is running the ball.
As well as playing tough defense and allowing its team’s toughness to set the tone each week. Above all a hard-hitting division known for its blue-collar roots, we will take a look at how each team’s season is going thus far. For this purpose, we will rank them in order based on current success.
Baltimore Ravens (4-3)
The Baltimore Ravens are first in this power ranking because they have the best record and an even better record in the division. At 2-0 and having beaten the Bengals and Browns so far the Ravens lead the division power rankings.
However, leading the division they are not a complete team. The Ravens have a solid defense but at times have found ways to lose. They have led by ten points or more in all of their games but allow teams to get back into those games.
The Ravens are 4-3, and in those three losses, they have trailed for a combined two minutes. Nonetheless, they still have found a way to be ahead of the pack. This team runs the ball effectively and plays great defense at key moments.
Along with having the most dynamic quarterback in the division, they are first.
Cincinnati Bengals (4-3)
The Cincinnati Bengals come in ranked second in the AFC North power rankings. They are currently 0-2 in the division. The Bengals are rebounding from a very rocky start at 0-2 but now have won two games in a row.
They beat the Saints and as well the Falcons in commanding fashion. The Bengals find themselves in second because of the division record and they are just now beginning to rebound from a shaky start.
Right now they have a solid defense that is playing better in unison with their offense. Joe Burrow is continuing to look like a legit superstar in the making. Completing 68.9% of his passes with a 15-5 touchdown to interception ratio.
In addition, leading wideout Ja’Marr Chase is playing just as well from his rookie campaign. Continued excellent quarterback play will take them a long way.
Cleveland Browns (2-5)
Coming in the Cleveland Browns have lost four games in a row and are at a critical point in their season. On paper, they have one of the best rosters in the AFC North and the NFL. However, there is only so much they can do without their starting quarterback.
The defense has been a mess in recent weeks but has shown some small signs of life. In fact, during the pre-season, the defense was ranked to be top five worthy and a super bowl caliber defense. Seven games into the season they have been anything but that.
In spite of mediocre to bad defense, the Browns have a top-ten offense in the NFL. Cleveland ranks first in rushing attacks and has handed the ball to running backs more than any other team.
Playing with their backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett has struggled in game-on-the-line situations. The Browns are 1-1 in the division and seem to be waiting on the debut of Deshaun Watson.
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5)
The Pittsburgh Steelers come in last in the division at 2-5 overall and 1-1 in the AFC North. They are struggling after reigning defensive player of the year TJ Watt went down in week 1.
Pittsburgh is in a transition season and looking for stability at quarterback. Along with finding a quarterback to lead them into the future. Mitch Trubisky started the season but was benched for Kenny Pickett.
Pickett seems to show some promise and could be the next great QB for this team. Head Coach Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season while coaching the Steelers. So in that case a rebound of some sort should be expected.
In addition to the possibility that TJ Watt can return from injury this season. They should rebound in some fashion.
Right now seven games into the season the AFC North is a mediocre division. The two teams in the lead Ravens and the Bengals don’t seem to be taking command of the division.
The ravens seem like an ok team that can catch fire at any moment. The Bengals have shown flashes of dominance. However, there needs to be sustained success on their end. The division right now seems to be a two-man race.
The Browns are waiting on their QB to be cleared to play. Along with the Steelers evaluating what they have in first-rounder Kenny Pickett. In all honesty, going into the future this division will probably be loaded for the next ten years.
Each team will have a franchise quarterback and three of four of those quarterbacks are in the top ten of quarterbacks in the NFL. The future is bright here.
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