As of right now, the AFC North looks like the strongest and toughest division in the NFL.
Previewing this season, almost every platform you read or any analyst you watched agreed the AFC North and NFC West were the divisions to beat.
Now, nine weeks into the season, these North teams are proving just that, all being within one game of each other.
It’s scary but impressive at the same time. If the season were to end today, every North team would be in the playoffs, as the Baltimore Ravens would win the division, while the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, and Cleveland Browns would all be Wild Card teams.
Current AFC playoff standings pic.twitter.com/YrT53qVsbl— Jay Morrison (@ByJayMorrison) November 6, 2023
The current AFC playoff picture features FOUR AFC North teams pic.twitter.com/KXx71bCH40— PFF CIN Bengals (@PFF_Bengals) November 7, 2023
This Baltimore team is good. That’s just the truth.
They play complementary football, and they have good weapons on both sides of the ball. They have had one of the strongest starts in the NFL, but they have a tough schedule coming up, with two of the next three being divisional games at home.
The Browns are also making a strong push for the playoffs. Their offense could use some work, with Deshaun Watson still struggling a bit and Nick Chubb having been lost for the year earlier this season.
Their defense is proving to be massive this year and is allowing them to stay in the hunt. They still have to finish strong with two of their next three games against a divisional opponent.
Week in and week out, listening to different analysts and fans, there’s a common theme: Joe Burrow is special.
Yes, they may seem pretty obvious, but there are certain characteristics that not everybody sees. A lot of quarterbacks in the league are fast, have a cannon for an arm, and/or are precise.
Well, Burrow is all of them and more.
During the next few games, try and pay attention to him each play. He’s better than anybody else in the league at reading a defense and deciding what they’re going to run and counteracting them for a gain.
Bengals.— Kay Adams (@heykayadams) November 6, 2023
The experience. Tops.
Kay Adams nails it every time. Each season, you don’t think it could get any better, but the next season arrives, and sure enough, it’s better than the previous.
The way this Bengals team is performing and the way the team and the fans are playing off each other, hyping each other up, it’s such a strong bond, and that’s hard to break. They’re creating so much momentum off each other, and it’s getting hot at the right time.
“But you just think about what they’re able to do when they’re rolling, and then Lou Anarumo pushes the brakes on the Buffalo Bills offense, pretty much.”
Pat McAfee is not wrong. What this Bengals team is able to do when momentum is on their side is scary.
Are they perfect? No, nobody is, but when your team plays lights out when necessary, they’re hard for anyone to beat.
The Bengals have arguably the hardest schedule remaining and also have two of their next three against a divisional opponent. As long as they can stay healthy and stay hot, we are about to see some early playoff-caliber football.
So, what say you Bengals fans? Is the North the best division in football? Let us know in the poll below and in the comments section!