NFL Insider - Will the Ravens Cry Nevermore to the Steelers?
In 2008 the AFC North Division produced the two teams that battled it out in the AFC Conference Title Game, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens.
The Steelers, who would go on to win the Super Bowl against the Arizona Cardinals two weeks later, are once again the favorites to win the AFC North Division. Their top rival appears to once again be the Baltimore Ravens.
Let’s take a look at the teams in the AFC North Division.
NFL: AFC North Division
1. Baltimore Ravens +300 - - The Ravens should be better with Joe Flacco, their rookie quarterback from a year ago, having played an entire season under center. Flacco makes good decisions and with offensive tackle help coming in the form of former Ole Miss star Michael Ohr, Flacco will be even better. This all lead to the Ravens having a shot to take over the top spot in the division. The schedule doesn’t appear overly difficult and the defense is still one of the best in the NFL. They deserve consideration at 3 to 1.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers -250 - - The Steelers don’t have an overly difficult schedule either and they are already proven to be champions. So, they should easily win the North, right? Probably, but as a gambler, I can’t bet them at those odds. Pittsburgh was exceptional last year, but winning back to back Super Bowls is very difficult to do. No key loses on their roster will make them very tough again, but the pressure will be significant.
3. Cincinnati Bengals +1000 - - Chad Ocho Cinco, the NFL’s tweeting god, has declared that the Cincinnati Bengals will make it into the playoffs in 2009. He’s wrong. Quarterback Carson Palmer got absolutely beat up in 2008 and the defense still isn’t that good. Laverneus Coles could help restore some order in the wide receiver position, but Cedric Benson probably isn’t the answer at running back. They are a big time long shot in this division.
4. Cleveland Browns +1100 - - Things didn’t start out well for the Browns when Coach Eric Mangini wanted his rookies to take a 13 hour bus ride to mini-camp. Then, as has been well documented, wide receiver Donte Stallworth will have to sit out the year. Also, Braylon Edwards is unhappy. The defense has nobody, absolutely nobody, who is a difference maker and Mangini has been proven to be a loser already.
Remember Guaranteed Sports Picks is your #1 source of free football picks.