AFC North Power Rankings: Will Russell Wilson make a difference for the Steelers?

How does the AFC North stack up with each other?
Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The AFC North again appears to be the best division in football. How do all four teams stack up with each other approaching the 2024 NFL Season? Three AFC North teams made the postseason last year, and since the NFL expanded to seven playoff teams, an entire division can make the postseason now.

If there is a division that can do that, it's the rugged AFC North. All four rosters are strong overall and have truly beaten the snot out of each other for years. In this crowded division, which team will stand at the top when the 2024 season ends?

AFC North Power Rankings: Will Russell Wilson make a difference for the Steelers?
4. Pittsburgh Steelers

Even with Russell Wilson being a clear upgrade at QB over what the Steelers had in 2023, I just do not see this team making a ton of headway in the AFC North, especially if Joe Burrow pick up where he left off and if Deshaun Watson regains his old form. To be fair, though, the Steelers did win 10 games last year with one of the worst QB rooms in the NFL.

So if Russell Wilson isn't unplayable, Pittsburgh could again be a solid football team. The AFC North again seems to be the best division in football, with each team having a realistic shot at a winning record and a postseason berth.

3. Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns would instantly turn into a Super Bowl contender if Deshaun Watson regained his old form from his days with the Houston Texans. It is a bit odd to see Watson play as iffy as he had with the Browns. Watson has thrown 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions through 12 games with the Browns. That's good for a passer rating of 81.7.

During his time with the Houston Texans, his passer rating was 104.5 If Watson is washed-up, the Browns are in trouble, but perhaps a full offseason and not dealing with injuries can get Deshaun Watson back on the right track.

2. Baltimore Ravens

With some of the losses that the Baltimore Ravens have suffered this offseason, I do not think they are an easy choice to put at the top of the division for 2024. And yes, I am banking on Joe Burrow coming back healthy and returning to the great QB he has always been.

And as weird as it sounds, I would choose Burrow over Lamar Jackson most of the time, even though Jackson has way more accolades. Anyway, the Ravens also lost their stud defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald to a head coaching job, so a regression in 2024 would not be a total shock.

1. Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals could find themselves right back at the top of the AFC if Joe Burrow can simply stay on the field, something he actually has not consistently done. On both sides of the ball, the Bengals have great talent and are a threat to the Kansas City Chiefs, who are in a tier of their own.

In 2023, Cincinnati did finish with a 9-8 record even without Burrow for a large chunk of the season, so they should still be viewed as a top-dog. To me, the Bengals are the best team in the AFC North.