The AFC North is probably the most loathed of NFL divisions. It produces either tragically boring games (Cleveland, Cincinnati), or consists of teams (Baltimore, Pittsburgh) with fans that make the Khmer Rouge seem tolerable.
1. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
For DBSF, Ravens' fans have done for camouflage what Al Qaeda did for air travel. Regardless, the organization drafts well, has a promising young QB in Flacco, and is deep at running back. In addition, the Ravens added WR Anquan Boldin and dropped TE Quinn Sypniewski. That should equate to at least one more win over last season's 9-7.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6) (tied)
It was an odd off-season for the Steelers. Roethlisberger learned of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's aversion to sexual assault (who knew?), the team traded WR Santonio Holmes who was coming off a career season for a 5th round pick, and then allegations were made that first round pick Maurkice Pouncey received a cool $100K from a sports agent while he was still playing at the University of Florida (likely the next team to join the NFL should it expand to 33). What came as a surprise to DBSF is that a high-profile Gator, like Pouncey, received only low six-figures. Pete Carroll made sure his boys at USC received at least the NBA league minimum.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7)
With TO now playing alongside Chad Ochocinco one might expect a greater showing from the Bengals than 9-7 but consider two other member of the WR corps. Antonio Bryant failed a drug test, and proceeded to file suit against the NFL in 2007 to stop drug testing him as he was no longer an NFL player. To DBSF, that qualifies as a genuine affinity for weed. The icing on the cake, Matt Jones, who makes Antonio Bryant look like Jeff Hornacek, was arrested in 2008 for having coke and weed in a parked car. (Way not to take the blow to some club or boat party, Matt.) Then in 2009 Jones failed a drug test by having alcohol in his system. The later event came as a result of a failed test for Washington County, not the NFL. So, this wasn't some surprise test, but the standard weekly piss test for the PO. Matt, you really couldn't stop drinking at midnight the night before you knew you had a piss test?
4. Cleveland Browns (6-10)
How could a team that added Jake Delhomme actually increase in projected wins, you ask? Four words. No, more, Brady, Quinn. In hindsight Quinn's public campaign to urge teams to draft him first in the 2007 draft seems questionable. Fortunately, Quinn's greatness will remain immortalized for us with this piece of cinematic ecstasy.