In the AFC North I expect to see the Pittsburgh Steelers who posted a mark of 16-2 straight up and 11-7 ATS overall last season to win a close divisional battle over the Baltimore Ravens who finished up their 2004 campaign with a 9-7 straight up and ATS mark and over a much improved Cincinnati Bengal team that finished with an 8-8 straight up record for the second straight year in 2004, the Brownies once again look to pull up the rear in what should prove to be the toughest division in the NFL in 2005.
Pittsburgh has a tough row to hoe this season, the Steelers only have five games on the 2005 docket against 2004 playoff teams but four of those affairs take place on the road and that includes Monday Night road games at San Diego and at Indianapolis, overall the Steelers will play 10 of their 16 games against teams that posted .500 records or better last year, thus the reason for the projected drop off in regular season wins.
Like most teams Pittsburgh lost quite a bit of talent to free agency, most notably the Steelers lost a total of five linemen along their offensive and defensive fronts which could cause depth problems if the ole injury bug hits and those losses were in addition to star WR Plaxico Burress departing to the big apple to play catch with Eli Manning.
Baltimore has a very favorable schedule with regard to playing seven games against playoff teams from a year ago, however, five of those seven affairs will take place in Baltimore and two of those games are against dome teams (Vikes and Colts). The Ravens drafted WR Mark Clayton out of Oklahoma and overall had the best draft of any team in the AFC North, the free agent addition of WR Derrick Mason from the Titans along with the drafting of WR Clayton should bolster a stagnant Raven passing attack that was fully exposed last season.
The Bengals finished 2004 with an 8-8 straight up record for the second straight year under HC Marvin Lewis, Bengal faithful should be overjoyed with their seasonal finishes over the past couple of years when considering that these same Bengals posted a total of 8 wins combined during their 2001 and 2002 campaigns.
With QB Carson Palmer starting his second full season under center and weapons WR Chad Johnson and RB Rudi Johnson happy with new contracts, Cincinnati has all of the pieces on offense to make the playoffs in 2005, the Bengal’s major malfunction during their 2004 campaign was คู่บอลสเต็ป ufabet their run defense but the drafting of Georgia DE David Pollack who will play LB for the Bengals and Georgia LB Odell Thurman should correct that problem.
A new era starts in Cleveland Brownie land with the arrival of new HC Romeo Crennell who replaces ousted Butch Davis, the Brownies are actually an expansion team once again when considering that they have a totally new front office, totally new coaching staff and have replaced most of their offensive and defensive starters, the saving grace is that the new QB will be experienc