When we talk about BBB around here, you can rest assured we aren’t referring to Lavar Ball or the Big Baller Brand. In fact, if we could send someone to North Korea to live with Kim Jong Un for a while Lavar Ball would probably be high on the list.
Of course, BBB stands for the Killer B’s — Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. The class of the AFC North year in and year out. The rest of this division is just playing for second place, or in the Browns case, to win a game.
Here’s how I see the AFC North playing out this season.
Over / Under – 10.5
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the steadiest franchises in the NFL. They may have some down years, but they don’t last for long. Last year they dealt with some big blows and still came out on top. The loss of Ryan Shazier was a big one and let’s all give that dude some props, because he is the definition of a fighter. He’s walking unassisted now, which is just amazing!
This is a team that had a top five offensive and defensive season. They were 5th in points scored and top 10 in time of possession. It’s easy to win games when you’re scoring points and controlling the clock. Their division should be improved, but they are still the team to beat and I don’t see them regressing much. Hopefully Bell will find his way to the field ASAP and help them take down the division again.
Prediction: 12-4 (Over)
Over / Under – 8
Same old story every year. They play great defense and Joe Flacco can’t get them into the end zone enough. With that being said, how did they win nine games last year? They had the 11th ranked defense last year and allowed only 18.9 PPG, that’s how.
Thankfully, they’ve added some talent at WR to help the inept Flacco, with the additions of Michael Crabtree and John Brown. The one thing Flacco has always been good at is throwing the deep ball, and Brown will give him a nice target. I love the pick up of Crabtree; the guy is a monster in the red zone and should help Flacco big time.
If they can stay steady of defense, they should improve on the offensive side and put together some nice wins.
Prediction: 9-7 (Over)
Over / Under – 6.5
The Red Rocket… or more like “I fucking suck and AJ Green has made my career”. This guy can’t win a big game to save his life and shows no signs of changing that. The Bengals have been in decline for a couple of years now, and that trend will continue. They were a bottom 10 team in scoring offense and defense last year. You don’t just flip stats like that overnight.
Basically, they’re just an average team that could get lucky and finish 8-8, or just be plain bad and end up 4-12. I like them to fall in the middle somewhere.
Prediction: 6-10 (Under)
Over / Under – 5.5
Going out on a limb here and saying it now, the Browns will win a game. There, I said it. Maybe my boldest prediction of the year, as they have averaged .5 wins the last two seasons. It’s hard to average less than a win per year, but they found a way to do it. With that being said, this is one of my favorite overs this year. One of this team’s biggest flaws has been turning the ball over and poor quarterback play. I love the addition of Tyrod Taylor, because he does the one thing best that they have done the worst for years — this guy doesn’t turn the ball over. He’s not the best QB in the league, but he’s steady and can manage a game. Hell, he took that shitty Bills team to the playoffs last year.
This offense should be drastically better with Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, and David Njoku. The addition of Carlos Hyde (Free Agency) and Nick Chubb in the NFL Draft should provide a solid ground game. If they can create a few more turnovers on defense this year, it should lead to a couple wins. At some point, we will probably see Baker Mayfield if Taylor doesn’t produce enough to keep the browns in playoffs contention. But, even a rookie QB is an upgrade over the bums they’ve had back there recently. Overall, this is much improved team and Browns’ fans should be awarded some wins this season.
Prediction: 6-10 (Over)
All NFL betting lines provided by mybookie.ag.