AFC North: 2016 Season Preview

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Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 14, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; A general view of the Baltimore Ravens logo painted on the hill outside the Under Armour Performance Center prior to the start of mini camp. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; A general view of the Baltimore Ravens logo painted on the hill outside the Under Armour Performance Center prior to the start of mini camp. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

Baltimore Ravens

The headline last season was, “Injuries, Injuries, and More Injuries,” but now they are using the off-season to get healthy again. Injuries to Joe Flacco, Steve Smith Sr., Michael Campanaro, Justin Forsett, and Terrell Suggs were season crushing. In fact, almost half of their team made the injured reserve list by the end of the season.

Last seasons, 5-11 record was coupled with a 3-3 division record.  The Bengals had the Ravens number for the second consecutive season, getting swept by the eventual division winners. However, they did much better against the eventual wild card team, sweeping the Steelers. They split the Cleveland Browns with an overtime 33-30 loss and a 27-33 win at Cleveland.

Their record did help them in one regard, by having an excellent draft position. Picking up Ronnie Stanley out of Notre Dame to help protect Flacco in the back field answered what most Raven fans were hoping for, protecting the franchise QB. They also added a guy who they are convinced can help them in the run and short passing game, in Kamalei Correa from Boise State.

The Ravens are expected to rise again in the division and get back to a winning record in 2016. Their biggest questions will remain, can they stay healthy? and can they keep up with the Bengals and Steelers in the division? It could make December quite interesting to say the least.

Next: Pittsburgh Steelers

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