Is the AFC North the NFL’s best division
By Scott Long
The Argument for the AFC North
The AFC North has been arguably the best of the bunch so far. The Baltimore Ravens sit atop the division thanks to an offense that has been carried by the dominant play from Lamar Jackson. Pair that with the best kicker in the NFL in Justin Tucker, and contributions from Marquise Brown, Marlon Humphrey, Patrick Queen, and more, and it’s no surprise that the Ravens are once again a serious threat in the AFC.
Sitting in second place are the Pittsburgh Steelers, who many labeled as over the hill after last season’s catastrophic collapse. However, the Steelers have surrounded the aging Ben Roethlisberger with plenty of help, as Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, and Pat Freiermuth have made life easier for Roethlisberger.
But, despite all of that, it is the Steelers defense that has made this team as successful as it is, with TJ Watt proving once again that he’s one of the top 3 defensive players in the sport, and Cameron Heyward once again having a tremendous season, despite injuries to his counterparts along the defensive line.
Finally, the two Ohio teams are no slouches in their own right, with each team’s young core proving they are ready to compete. Cleveland is led by the likes of Nick Chubb, Baker Mayfield, Myles Garrett, and Denzel Ward. While the Browns haven’t been as good as expected, once Kareem Hunt returns from IR, the team could kick things up a notch, as they are still sitting at 5-4, despite a slow start.
As for the Bengals, the team has played better than anyone expected with Joe Burrow and Jamarr Chase lighting things up on offense just like they did back at LSU. Whether the team can keep up their current pace remains to be seen, but regardless this team looks to be a force for years to come.
These divisional races figure to come down to the wire, as all of the teams are right in the thick of things. By season’s end maybe there will be more clarity as to which of these three divisions reigns supreme.