NFL Week 1: AFC North Preview
Which AFC North team is going to have the most trouble in Week 1?
The AFC North has a lot of questions around all their teams. With Week 1 of the regular season just a couple days away, many of those questions will begin to be answered. However, removing our focus from a broader picture, lets focus on each individual team’s Week 1 match-up in an attempt to answer the question, Which AFC North team is going to have the most trouble in Week 1? We will be answering that question with a good ol’ fashioned list that will be in order from least trouble to most.
Titans @ Steelers
The inter-division rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans goes back to the days when these teams played old school, smash-mouth style football both defensively and offensively. As of late, both teams have cooled off a bit on both ends of the ball. The Titans have more optimism than the Steelers as they did more during the offseason and preseason in an attempt to bolster their offensive line. Despite all this, the Steelers will be playing at home and against an unproven Titans team. This games is Pittsburgh’s to win.
Dolphins @ Browns
The Miami Dolphins were the most improved NFL team last year and they seemed to only make improvements again this season as they march toward becoming contenders in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns have to start winning games at some point and all the talent is there, they simply need to execute. The Browns will be playing at home in their season opener, which should make this game a bit easier than the rest of the AFC North Week 1 schedule.
Bengals @ Bears
The Cincinnati Bengals have a lot to prove. Sure they had a great preseason, but the preseason does not always translate well into the regular season. When the Detroit Lions went winless, they had a 4-0 preseason. Still the Bengals are the team with the best odds at taking the AFC North Division over at Bovada. They want to start the season with a win, but they will have the Chicago Bears standing in their way. The Bears are a team whose defense may have lost its veteran leader in Brian Urlacher, but are returning many of the same talent that was stripping balls all season long in 2012. It is not going to be an easy away-game win for the Bengals.
Ravens @ Broncos
Make no mistake, the Denver Broncos will be looking for some revenge when they play the Baltimore Ravens for the NFL season opener on Thursday. It was the Ravens who dashed their Super Bowl hopes last year, and the Broncos would love nothing more than to embarrass the Ravens with a big win on national television. Baltimore has a lot to prove this season. Despite, looking like a playoff team during the preseaon, many are still skeptical that this team can contend for another championship. Even most sports books have the Ravens as 9 point underdogs in this game. We will see how they respond to the challenge when they play the Broncos on the road.