Cincinnati Bengals 6-3
With the Ravens trading away their core group of players to sign Joe Flacco to a huge contract this offseason, it opened the door for the Bengals to step in and take control of this now weak division. Third year Quarterback Andy Dalton is finally finding his rhythm, and the Bengals have two promising young backs in Benjarvus Green-Ellis and rookie Giovani Bernard. They also have a much-improved top 10 Defense and a Superstar target for Dalton in receiver A.J. Green. All this adds up to the Bengals first division win in the Andy Dalton era. But losing Superstar D-Tackle Geno Atkins to injury hurts their Super Bowl chances.
Dalton is a QB2, the D is a DEF1, Bernard is a RB2 and Green is a WR1.
Baltimore Ravens: 3-5
Coming off a Super Bowl win, Superstar Linebacker Ray Lewis retired. Baltimore then traded stars Ed Reed and Anquan Boldin, to clear cap space to sign Franchise Quarterback Joe Flacco to a 6 year deal worth $120.6 million. Flacco, however, has struggled this year and the Ravens are on a 3 game-losing streak. The defending Super Bowl champions are unlikely to make the playoffs at this rate, especially if Halfback Ray Rice continues to struggle.
Coming off a narrow defeat to the Chiefs in week 8, the Browns responded with a 23-18 statement win over defending Super Bowl champion Ravens. Led by third-string Quarterback Jason Campbell the Browns are now very much in the Playoff race. Although they likely won't make the Playoffs this year, I expect them to next year.
Cleveland Browns: 4-5
Pittsburgh Steelers 2-6
Pittsburgh has been a disappointment this year, led by returning stars Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polomalu the Steelers have just 2 wins so far this year and are likely to finish last in this weak division. If they really make a big push they can get 7 wins but it's more likely they finish with 5 or less wins. It's time to clean house in Pittsburgh.