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Cincinnati Bengals: 4 way too early predictions for the AFC North

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Cincinnati Bengals, Tyler Boyd(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, Tyler Boyd(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – JANUARY 11: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens walks off the field after the the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – JANUARY 11: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens walks off the field after the the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens looked like an absolute juggernaut in 2019, and NFL MVP Lamar Jackson seemed unstoppable. For 16 games over 17 weeks, he was. But in a copycat league, their last loss in the AFC playoffs will have a lot of coaches studying how to stop Jackson. The problem for Baltimore, there will be a success in doing just that.

Finishing 14-2 will be a reach in 2020, and it’s not necessarily because the Ravens will get worse, but because everyone either gets better or figures out how to contain Jackson. In the AFC North, count on Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Cincinnati to do their homework in making sure they don’t steamrolled again.

Against the Bengals, Jackson was particularly impressive. The same can be said for the other 13 teams Baltimore beat. However, the Titans may have provided the blueprint to not just beat the Ravens, but also how to limit Jackson. In that tape, look for the division and every 2020 opponent to begin the process of scheming for who is the most dynamic quarterback on the planet next to Patrick Mahomes.

It will be a different finish for the Ravens in 2020. 14-2 will be a hard win/loss record to repeat and Jackson won’t win the MVP award two seasons in a row. It’ll be a tough one in Baltimore as everyone seems to have figured it out.

2020 record: 10-6

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