With preseason over and the regular season beginning Wednesday, ESPN staff members have submitted their predictions for 2012 division winners, wild cards, individual award winners, conference champions and Super Bowl winners. Out of 16 ESPN.com "experts," only one chose the Bengals to win anything. Andrew Brandt of ESPN.com predicted the Bengals to be an AFC North wild card in 2012. Not only were the Bengals only picked by one of sixteen ESPN.com experts, but Brandt’s pick of the Bengals has them sharing their AFC wild card berth with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Here’s how the AFC North Division winner picks total between all 16 ESPN experts:
Baltimore Ravens: 8
Pittsburgh Steelers: 8
Cleveland Browns: 0
Cincinnati Bengals: 0
Some additional observations:
Of the eight experts that picked the Steelers to win the AFC North division, seven experts picked the Ravens to be an AFC wild card.
Of the eight experts that picked the Ravens to win the AFC North division, five experts picked the Steelers to be an AFC wild card.
The Ravens were picked by four experts to win the AFC Championship.
No AFC North teams were predicted to win the Super Bowl.
Four experts picked Trent Richardson to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.
For what it’s worth: No ESPN experts predicted the Bengals to be an AFC wild card in 2011.