Here is the AFC North installment of an eight-part series sharing five predictions for each division in the NFL.
Madden Curse arrives in Baltimore
Reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson is the newest player to be featured on the cover of the Madden video game franchise. While it is an honor to grace the game’s covers amidst a select class, many cover stars have dealt with somewhat of a curse, ranging from freak injuries to a down season statistically. Jackson and the Ravens will have a bigger target on their backs from opposing teams on the heels of their impressive regular season last year. They won’t be as successful in 2020.
Watch that Burrow to Green connection in Cincinnati
Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green is said to be 100 percent healthy after missing all of last season due to injury. That will bode well for No. 1 pick Joe Burrow. Green, who was former Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton’s favorite and most reliable target, will be a big factor in Burrow’s transition to the NFL. Expect Burrow and Green to appear on highlight shows regularly.
Big Ben returns to form
After being sidelined for the last 14 games of the 2019 season with an elbow injury, veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is healthy and ready to go. The Steelers just missed making the playoffs last season, which was impressive for a team that fielded a handful of different signal-callers. Pittsburgh will benefit from the return of the only remaining quarterback from the 2004 draft class with his original team. Roethlisberger will prove he’s still a competent NFL quarterback
Beckham Jr. will have a monster season
After a subpar first season in Cleveland, Odell Beckham Jr. will prove that he still belongs in the conversation among the league’s top handful of receivers. With that said, his bounce-back season won’t translate into enough wins for his Browns team.
A new but familiar division winner
With Roethlisberger returning in Pittsburgh, the Steelers will be primed to once again to take over this division. The Ravens will take just a minor step back, still posting double-digit wins and securing a Wild Card bid. In addition, the Bengals will be the best team in Ohio.