Looking to the start of the 2021 NFL season, the North Division of the American Conference is shaping up to be one of the most fought and exciting, since three of the four teams that make it up have high expectations and have decisive players in each of its lines on both sides of the ball.
The Steelers will look to stay with the division for the second year in a row. Last season they finished with a 12-4 record, They started the campaign with a surprising 11-0 mark, however, they couldn’t keep up and were eliminated in the Wild Card Round after falling 48-37 at the hands of the Cleveland Browns.
During the off-season, there was much speculation about whether Ben roethlisberger He would continue with the team because his contract stipulated that he would charge 41.2 million dollars and the team was not going to be able to afford it due to the salary cap. That’s why the quarterback renegotiated his tie to the franchise and will play what may be his last season in the NFL. With ‘Big Ben’ at the helm, the odds of Pittsburgh signing a great season increase dramatically.
Pittsburgh’s offensive line suffered considerable casualties such as those of the guard Alexander Villanueva, who signed with the Baltimore Ravens and center Maurkice Pouncey, who withdrew. Nonetheless, management made good additions in free agency and the draft to protect the quarterback.
The Steelers’ main strength is your defense, With TJ Watt as their main reference, they will seek to once again be one of the most dominant defensive apparatus in the league to be able to fight to get to the playoffs and seek to add one more championship to the franchise’s showcases.
The Browns have one of the best rosters in the NFL, they have elite players in various positions such as running back Nick chubb, the receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, defensive end Myles garrett, among others. In addition, his offensive line is ranked in the Top-3 of the NFL and Baker Mayfield managed to establish himself as a great quarterback last season.
With the arrival of the head coach in 2020, Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland had an extraordinary season with a record of 11-5 and achieved his first playoff victory in more than 25 years after defeating the Steelers in the Divisional Round, which means that the franchise has lifted a very heavy slab and the future is very promising.
This offseason, the Browns propped up certain positions with heavy hitters like safety. John johnson lll and the cornerback Troy Hill, who empower the team and place it as one of the franchises to follow for 2021.
The Ravens finished last season with the same record as the Browns, 11-5. They subsequently eliminated the Tennessee Titans 20-13 in the Wild Card Round, which represented Lamar Jackson’s first win in the playoffs. However, they lost in the Divisional Round to the Buffalo Bills who were far superior and defeated them 17-3.
The solidity has been characteristic of Baltimore in recent years, but they have not been able to reflect it in the postseason. For this year, they will seek to take the next step to be able to fight for the championship. They have an imposing defense and, during the offseason, they were in charge of getting offensive weapons for Lamar Jackson, the most outstanding being the receivers Sammy watkins, former Kansas City Chiefs, and the rookie they took in the first round of the last Draft, Rashod Bateman, graduated from the University of Minnesota.
The Bengals They look like the weakest team in the Division The previous year they closed the campaign with a 4-11 mark and will seek to improve to have a better season in 2021.
The illusion in Cincinnati is awakened by the return of the quarterback, Joe Burrow, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 Draft, but suffered a cruciate ligament tear in Week 5 that kept him inactive for months. The LSU graduate completed his recovery and will return to action this campaign, in addition, the receiver will be found again Ja’Marr Chase, with whom he had great chemistry during his time in college football.
Defensively, the Bengals lost important pieces, so it is expected that it will continue to be one of the great weaknesses of the team, but they will seek to compensate with a good job on offense and not be an easy obstacle for any team in the NFL.
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