Do these AFC North storylines ever change?

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

It seems that the Pittsburgh Steelers are now the top dog in the AFC North. Well, according to KC Joyner of ESPN at least. What has made the Steelers into the sure fire bet they are now?

Well of course it is the return of Maurkice Pouncey. The entire O-Line has been revamped and playing top-notch football, all they are lacking is the return of their All-Pro center. Stop me if you've heard this before.

To continue on this topic, we must not leave out the Baltimore Ravens. Why with the addition of Steve Smith, Joe Flacco will return to form and have his Boldin-like security blanket back. All the Ravens need was for Flacco to have some reliable targets. Stop me if you've heard this before.

No way can I leave out the Browns. Oh, the Cleveland Browns have a legit defense and some talent on offense. All they need is quarterback to bring it all together. What do the Browns do? They go and draft themselves a quarterback in the first round. Stop me if you've heard this before.

So what is going to happen when the all too familiar story of Pouncey hurting one of his lower appendages comes around in week 2 or 3? Are they still the dominate force they look to be now? What about Gilbert and/or Adams not living up to potential? If I remember correctly we haven't went more than a couple games in a row without this being an issue.

Dennis Pitta was back for the last couple games in 2013 and Flacco still dropped a deuce at Paul Brown Stadium securing an early offseason for the Ravens. Torrey Smith seemed to be legit the last couple years, but that didn't stop Joe Cool from tossing more picks than touchdowns. What about Steve Smith makes people think the Ravens will return to Super Bowl form?

Excitement abounds around the talented, but diminutive Johnny Manziel. I am bigger than this guy and if Geno Atkins, Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, Jason Worilds or Carlos Dunlap got ahold of me I'm not sure I would get up. How can you honestly expect a guy that runs around that much to make it through 16 games?

Meanwhile in Cincinnati, letdown is expected. Why? Well, because Pitt and Baltimore improved and will be on the hunt. Nevermind that there are legitimate concerns about both teams, outlined above, they will improve simply because they are expected to.

The team in the division with the most talent, agreed upon by almost every single person with any football knowledge, is expected to decline because of one person. Yes, the health of the defense is questionable, but didn't they have the 3rd ranked defense without those very players last year?

Stop me if you heard this before.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors.

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