I have been working at Prettyman Broadcasting since 2010, doing a little bit of everything, but my passion is Sports! I graduated from Shepherd University in 2010, with a degree in Mass Communications and New Media. I hosted a sports radio show there for 3 years. I love sports writing too, so expect some fun articles on this blog. I love talking NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA. Make sure you comment on the blogs too, because I love discussing sports. Please Note: The opinions, analysis, and/or speculation expressed on wepm.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or labled as such do not represent the opinons or policies of Prettyman Broadcasting.
2012 NFL Preview: AFC North
by Pietro DiSante,posted Sep 1 2012 2:11PM
Nothing feels like old school football than a good old AFC North Game. Especially a Ravens-Steelers game. Those two teams will battle it out for the division again this season. The Bengals had a strong 2011, but I see them falling back to Earth in 2012. The Browns had a solid draft and could be getting back on track, but this looks like a two team race.
2012 Prediction: (12-4) The Pittsburgh Steelers ended their season on a very sour note in Denver, losing to an (8-8) Broncos team. Why an (8-8) team got to host a (12-4) team is a different story for another day, but it was tough. The Steelers are a tough team though, who realize that their window might be closing. Big Ben Roethlisberger is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and by far, the toughest. You have to be tough to wear the black and gold. Isaac Redman is going to have to carry the load at running back early in the year, as Rashard Mendenhall continues to heal. The Steelers wide receivers are strong with Mike Wallace back, along with Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery. Pittsburgh still has a Top 5 defense too, despite it's age. I give them the edge in the North.
2012 Prediction: (11-5) The Baltimore Ravens were a few mistakes away from going to the Super Bowl last season. Those kind of events can either crush a franchise or inspire them to do better. I expect the Ravens to be able to bounce back from it stronger than most, but a key loss to the Steelers during the year will shift the division to Pittsburgh. Baltimore is still one of the best teams in the AFC and I think Joe Flacco has a chance to enter that next tier of quarterbacks this season. Ray Rice and the defense are the most important part of the Ravens, but Flacco and the passing offense will continue to improve. The Ravens can win on the road too. I could see them in the Super Bowl.
2012 Prediction: (7-9) I am not going to say the Bengals were overrated last year, because they did play well, but I would not say they were a playoff caliber team. Six teams make the playoffs, so someone had to go from the AFC when only four really belonged there. Andy Dalton is a talented player and he will continue to hook up with AJ Green for years to come. Head Coach Marvin Lewis always finds a way to keep his job, but I am not sure the Bengals have enough this year to take that next step. I would not be surprised to see them back in the playoffs in 2013 though.
2012 Prediction: (5-11) The Cleveland Browns are in a year of transition. They drafted new quarterback Brandon Weeden and new running back Trent Richardson. There is no reason that they can't succeed this year, but it is tough in a division like the AFC North. I think the Browns also have an underrated defense and new Head Coach Pat Shurmur looks like a guy who can get the Browns in the right direction. It just takes time.