Next in CSC's 2013 NFL Divisional Prediction series is the AFC North, home of the Super Bowl XLVII Champion Baltimore Ravens.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 14-2
Surprised? Well don't be. The Steelers had a great draft, acquiring defensive stud Jarvis Jones at outside linebacker and offensive weapons Le'Veon Bell at running back and Marcus Wheaton at wide receiver. They will be thin in the secondary, but the Steelers' tough front seven has always been able to compensate. The Steelers take advantage of an easy schedule and miss out on the one seed in the AFC by a division loss to the Ravens.
2. Baltimore Ravens: 11-5
At the beginning of the offseason, it looked as though the Ravens would struggle getting to .500 this season. That quickly changed. They drafted two defensive standouts in Matt Elam and Arthur Brown and took Brandon Williams in the third round who has a lot of upside, and picked up Chris Canty and Elvis Dumervil, two well-proven pass rushers. The performance receiving corps will be questionable, but having Ray Rice in the backfield is always good. The Ravens take the first Wild Card spot at 11-5.
3. Cleveland Browns: 7-9
The Browns are starting to put together a pretty good defense, which is great to have in the NFL these days with the offensive power houses. They added pass rushers Paul Kruger and Desmond Bryant through free agency, drafted another in Barkevious Mingo, and also drafted Leon McFadden at the corner position. The young offense features second year starters Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden, and Josh Gordon. Their schedule is moderate and the defense will keep them in the playoff race, but they barely miss out on the big dance at 7-9.
4. Cincinnati Bengals: 6-10
The Bengals have an interesting season ahead of them. Andy Dalton had a slight improvement from his rookie season, AJ Green is a beast, and Giovanni Bernard provides a wonderful second option to BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham figure to add a nice one-two punch as well. But the defense is extremely questionable. Their offense is strong, but not strong enough to carry the team throughout the season. Therefore, they suffer a decline.
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What are YOUR thoughts on the AFC North for 2013?