AFC North: 2016 Season Preview

matthewwillson
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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Dec 6, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) jumps onto the goal post padding after scoring on a seventy-one yard punt return for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 45-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) jumps onto the goal post padding after scoring on a seventy-one yard punt return for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 45-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Bengals and Steelers hatred jumped about 100 times last season. The Steelers were still pointing fingers even deep into the off-season about the Bengals being a dirty team. Their constant distraction can not linger into the season or they could be in trouble before it even starts.

The Steelers season ended as the second Wild Card team and it continued in the post season as they competed in one of the craziest games the NFL has ever hosted in the playoffs. The Steelers were another team that had some injury issues with the loss of their best running back, Le’Veon Bell, and had their best wide receiver suffer a concussion to miss the divisional playoff round.

They will finally look to return healthy in 2016 and fight for the divisional crown the Bengals took away in 2015. The Steelers went 3-3 in the division last season, losing both of their games to the Ravens and spiting with the Bengals. They did take both of their games against the Browns, which helped make their season a little better.

They had a mediocre first round pick in Artie Burns out of Miami, who had a second round grade at best, but made up for it with a solid second round pick in Sean Davis out of Maryland. The return of Bell will help, but the Steelers will be missing Martavis Bryant for the entire season, due to a suspension for violating the substance abuse policy for the 4th time. They will also be missing Heath Miller, who retired after last season.

The Steelers will rely heavily on Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell, if their offense is going to go anywhere this season. Look for them to make some noise but it will be a tough season and an even tougher division.

Next: Cincinnati Bengals

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