AFC North standings heading into Week 1 of the 2021 NFL schedule

Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Week 1 of the NFL is always an interesting time to see what can occur in the early portions of the season. The AFC North will be another tightly contested division as it always is. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and Cleveland Browns seem to be the top three teams in the grouping.

The Cincinnati Bengals are still rebuilding and will be a couple of years away from true contention going forward. They will still cause issues when their rivals play them. But those three teams above them could finish in any order at this point.

All three are playoff-caliber talent and many expect them all to be in the hunt during 2021. Perhaps all three will make the playoffs like they did last year as they showed the NFL why they are the toughest division in the sport currently.

The Steelers won the North last year and it has been a long time since a team has won in back-to-back seasons. The Ravens should be one of the top teams yet again this year and might pull off the divisional crown when you look at recent history.

The Browns are still a young team but they now have some playoff experience and some stepping stones to make another move forward this season. They have to prove themselves yet again as there are still some skeptics on them entering this year.

They should be able to push this division going forward and possibly challenge to win this time around. It will be a huge fight for supremacy to call themselves kings this year but it will take a lot to accomplish that feat.

AFC North
AFC North (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals (Home), Sunday at 1 P.M.

This is an interesting matchup as the Bengals could win this game as the Vikings seem to lose what little relevance that they held in the NFL. The tigers from Cincinnati seem primed to win at least a couple more games than they did in 2020 with Joe Burrow back into the fold.

This team has a ton of weapons on offense and many should expect them to win some games like this against some more even opponents. This is not a slam dunk but it is a favorable matchup for the Bengals to start the season on the right foot.

The Bengals have a terrible defense and that will cause them to lose many games this season but that offense will keep them in contests. They should be able to challenge for a victory here against an average Vikings team. This game at home should help as well as the Bengals hope to go into the win column in that AFC North standings chart.

Expect Joe Burrow to light up this secondary but the pressure he gets because of his poor offensive line will be another issue. The protection that fails him and the defense won’t make stops consistently. This will be a good game for the Bengals to see where they’re at this year.