Remind Red who is actually in this division?
It’s a mystery why the Ravens are in the AFC North and the Bills are in the AFC East, but then again several divisions make little sense in that regard. As an initial matter Red asks, if not the Ravens – who would you pick to win this division? The Bengals? LOL funny. The Browns? Cue Jim Nabors singing the Impossible Dream from Man of LaMancha. The Stealers? Here we are at least in the area of remote possibility. The Ravens are the Nabobs of the North. Led by MVP Lamar Jackson who has 3-4 capable RBs at his disposal, and excellent TE and a corps of serviceable WRs, the Ravens offense will simply overwhelm much of the competition by averaging 35 points per game. Jackson does need to run less than his 190 some carries last season. There are other guys. In fact the Ravens run offense gained more yards than all but five pass offenses in 2019. Combine that powerhouse with what may be the easiest schedule in the league for any returning division champion in facing the pathetic excuses for a professional football division that are the AFC South and NFC East, the Birds look capable of a spectacular season. Red has the marked for potential losses only against the Chiefs, Patriots, Titans and Stealers on the road. If they go 2-2 there, then a 14-2 season is not out of the question. Can you say AFC North Champs.
The Stealers are good, but they are not in the same class with the Chiefs and Ravens, and probably are not as good as the Bills and Titans. Of course, the Stealers play an even easier schedule than the Ravens in not having to play the Chiefs or Patriots and that will help – just not enough. Hey, the Stealers defense is good as always and T.J. Watt may have a shot at Defensive MVP. The offense line is still anchored by Pouncey but the offensive weapons just do not seem to be there. The Stealers will win a bunch of games by scoring 17 points but not enough games. Pittsburgh goes 8-8 and out the door.
Always a sexy underdog, downtrodden, homeless alcoholic guy kind of pick, but Red is not getting fooled this year. It was fool me twice last season and Red is not going down for the third time with the Browns schooner. This team just should not suck as much as it does. But alas, there we are. Now that the OTNAs are history, maybe good folks in Cleveland can give up the legacy of the late great Paul Brown and get a name that does not evoke the grosser bodily functions. Bring on the Cleveland Presidents. Red will give the Browns a break and have them also at 8-8.
Long-suffering Bengals fans are hopeful that Joe Burrow can turn this thing around. Red sees that as a distinct possibility but not this year. Cinncinatti goes 2-14.