AFC North predictions: Where will the Steelers finish this year?
Third place: Cleveland Brown, 9-8 (3-3 division record)
This might raise some eyebrows for people but the Browns have a difficult schedule going into 2021. They had some playoff success last year by defeating the Steelers and pushing the Kansas City Chiefs to their limits. It was a great step forward for this team but this is a very talented division. Baker Mayfield is not the real deal and this team heavily relies on the running game for success.
Their defense is the real deal and those two positive aspects should allow this team to stay in the playoff hunt for a while. The biggest issue for this team was their division record. They finished .500 in division play and that would bite them at the end of the season if that comes true.
The AFC North could be won by this team if they can win another game or two in division play or make some upsets against some tougher opponents. They have all the pieces set in place to succeed in 2021 but Mayfield is just not good enough on his own. He cannot take over games and he has failed to show that in his career at this point. His reliability on a great running attack constantly might hurt this team and cause them to fall short of expectations this season.