The AFC North had a pretty good season last year, with three teams making the Playoffs and a fourth having an impressive rookie season by their new QB.
But the past is in the past and looking forward to 2021, who will emerge as the contender and how many wins will they get? The full schedule release is not expected until mid-May, but in the meantime, DraftKings Sportsbook unveiled their 2021 NFL season win totals. We’re here to break down if each time will get more or less wins than Vegas thinks they will.
Baltimore Ravens, Win total: 11
The Ravens made their way to the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs last season where they fell to the Buffalo Bills’ stout defense. The Baltimore offense, which saw such success in 2019 and parts of 2020 will be under a lot of pressure this season. There were times went they became too one-dimensional and even reportedly had opposing defenses calling out specific plays before they were even run.
OC Greg Roman will have to figure out how to be more diverse in his playcalling this season. On top of that, the other three teams in the division definitely got better in the offseason, so 11 seems like a high bar to hit.
Cleveland Browns, Win total: 9.5
The Browns made the playoffs for the first time since 2002 last season under first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski. They nearly took down the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round as well but came up just short. Their biggest weakness was their secondary, which was injured and iffy at best. They added a couple of free agents in safety John Johnson and corner Troy Hill to sure up the back end of the defense.
The solid offense led by Baker Mayfield doesn't lose much and will get back Odell Beckham Jr. after dealing with injuries the latter half of the season.
Pittsburgh Steelers, Win total: 8.5
The Steelers had an extremely shaky season in 2020. They started the season out on fire, winning their first 11 games, but losing all but one for the remainder of the season. There are question marks surrounding the offense, as it failed miserably for the last month and a half of the season before getting whacked in the playoffs by their division rival, the Browns. The defense remains solid though, with one of the better pass rushes in the NFL.
If the aging Ben Rothlisberger comes out like he did to start 2020, they should have no issues getting to 8.5, but if he looks anything like he did for the final six games of the season, it might be tough. I think they get the over, but not by much.
Cincinnati Bengals, Win total: 6.5
The Bengals ended the 2020 season with four wins and a rookie QB with a decimated ACL. Joe Burrow was taken down more than any other QB in the league before he got injured in week 11, so the offensive line needs a ton of work to protect their prized signal-caller. There are always questions surrounding how well a player will recover from such a serious injury as well and how fast he can get back to 100%. Still, if he’s able to play the whole season, they should inch close to that 6.5 win mark.
Will they get to seven, though? Seems doubtful.
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