The AFC North on paper appears to be wide open in 2019.  The new-look Cleveland Browns are hyped up to be a playoff contender after years of misery.

Baltimore’s defense is as good as ever, and they sport the NFL’s best rushing attack. In Pittsburgh, the offense still has strong weapons despite losing RB Leveon Bell and WR Antonio Brown.

Who’s going to come out on top?

Cincinnati Bengals

In Cincinnati, there’s a new head coach for the first time since ex-head coach Marvin Lewis was hired in 2003. The Bengals didn’t make a big splash in the offseason, so expectations are low. The first four weeks are going to be tough, as the Bengals play three out of four on the road. They’ll finally earn a victory in week five against the Cardinals. After getting their first win it’ll be an up and down season with one of the most difficult schedules in the NFL. Wins against Jacksonville, Baltimore (at home), Oakland, and New York will be the bright spots for their 2019 campaign.

Prediction: 5-11 (1-5)

Pittsburgh Steelers

Despite losing Brown and Bell, RB James Conner proved last year that he can pick up the slack in Bell’s absence. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is a good quarterback and can make his WRs look good although Brown’s production will be missed. The Steelers boosted their defense in the offseason which was desperately needed. After a tough 0-2 start to the season, the Steelers will win their next three. They’ll have hard-fought losses to the Chargers, Colts, and Browns (at Cleveland), but will crush Miami, and outgun the Rams to stay in playoff contention. After the week 11 loss in Cleveland, the Steelers will win their next five before losing the biggest game of their season in Baltimore.

Prediction: 10-6 (3-3)

Baltimore Ravens

Expect big things from quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2019. With two new wide-receivers Marquise Brown, and Miles Boykin the passing game should improve. The Ravens improved their No. 1 rushing attack by adding Mark Ingram, and the secondary improved with safety Earl Thomas. Baltimore will get its first loss in Kansas City, and suffer its next one shortly after in Pittsburgh. Weeks six, seven, and nine will be victories, as the Ravens defense will shut down Tom Brady and the Patriots on Sunday Night Football. After a tough loss in Cincinnati, the Ravens will win five of their last seven including a showdown with Pittsburgh for all of the AFC North marbles in week 17.

Prediction: 11-5 (3-3)

Cleveland Browns

Cleveland has gone all-in on 2019. By bringing in CB Greedy Williams, WR Odell Beckham Jr., DT Olivier Vernon, RB Kareem Hunt the Browns made a statement to compete. The big question is coaching. Can head coach Freddie Kitchens’ staff gel this team together, and win? It’ll be a good start with victories against Tennessee and New York, but the train will fall off the tracks in week three. The Browns will lose their next six, before bouncing back with wins against Buffalo, Pittsburgh (at home), and Miami. After losing in week 13, the Browns will salvage what’s left of their season and win out.

Prediction: 9-7 (4-2)

AFC North Standings: 2019-20 Prediction

Ravens 11-5 (3-3)

Steelers 10-6 (3-3)

Browns 9-7 (4-2)

Bengals 5-11 (1-5)

Featured Image: NBC Sports
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