Jan 3, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) prepares to throw the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half in the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Heinz Field. The Ravens won 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
No Steelers Fans, I am not jumping on the bandwagon. The Pittsburgh Steelers benefit from being the top dog in the AFC North last season. The current pending suspension for Le’Veon Bell will hurt this ranking once the final verdict comes down, but there is still a glimmer of hope with Deflategate still hanging in the balance. Bell’s suspension could get reduced or eliminated, but regardless, the Steelers still have one of the fastest receiving cores in football and Ben Roethlisberger is still a good quarterback and leader.
If the suspension holds or only gets reduced a game, the Steelers will see two very tough teams off the top: the Patriots and 49ers. They will employ a reserve running back in DeAngelo Williams, who is no where near the talent he was in Carolina. They could end up 0-2 after two weeks, and though not impossible, a 0-2 hole is not something the Steelers would like early, especially when facing the toughest schedule in the NFL. I understand Tom Brady might not be eligible for that first game, but no one expected Brady to be this good after Drew Bledsoe went down; the Patriots always find a way.
Next: AFC North: Second By A Helmet