Now that free agency has begun to die down, we’re getting a clearer picture of what the rosters of the AFC North teams will look like for the 2013 NFL season, and after tying the Baltimore Ravens at 10-6 but losing out on the AFC North crown due to tie-breaking procedures, this year should be the year of the Bengal in arguably the NFL’s most competitive division.
“Do you feel the Bengals should be the favorites to win the AFC North in 2013?”
If the Bengals don’t win the AFC North in 2013, Marvin Lewis needs to be fired. The Steelers are getting old, and are on the downswing. The Ravens roster has been slaughtered, especially wit losing future Hall-of-Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. The Browns are, well, the Browns. They are competitive, but cannot find a way to win, especially with a new QB situation with the addition of Jason Campbell. The Ravens will have an extremely difficult schedule, with games against Denver(remember the regular season match-up?),New England,Green Bay, and Houston to name a few. we have the Pats and the Pack as well, but the Ravens have a schedule with 3 division winners (DEN, HOU, NE, GB) and quite a few playoff teams from a year ago (NE, HOU, GB, DEN , MIN, CIN). The schedule just doesn’t favor a weakened Ravens roster. The Bengals will win the AFC North in 2013, and should absolutely be seen as the favorites. Don’t be surprised if the Bengals end up sweeping the division, but that may be a stretch.
I feel like the Bengals, on paper, are favorites for the AFC North. I know with the recent (seemingly) cleaning of house or implosion of the Ravens roster that everyone wants to count them out. The other part you have to remember is that Pittsburgh is still going to play. I know that they are getting old and that they lost some key players, but they are still the Steelers. They are a well run organization and typically find a way to get things done. The Browns probably won’t win it, but you still have to play them twice a year as well as Baltimore and Pittsburgh so you can never get a clear cut answer. They are all division rivals, and always put up a good fight.
It’s time for the Bengals to rise and overtake the Steelers and Ravens while they’re in as close to “rebuilding mode” as they’re going to be. Both teams still have enough talent to contend for a postseason berth, but the Bengals are younger, hungrier, and more motivated then either of those clubs. Assuming that A.J. Green, Andy Dalton, Geno Atkins, and the rest of the bengals’ young nucleus continues to improve, they’ll be more talented as well, and outside of a rash of injuries to key players, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be crowned AF North Champions in 2013.