Now that we’re about a week into training camp at Latrobe and real football is right around the corner, I figured it was a good time to take one final look at my Ranking the Rooms: AFC North summer series here at Steelers Depot before moving onto my Ranking the Starters series.
In today’s piece, I’ll take a look at how all four teams fared in the series and determine who the best team in the division is based on a points system for each position group, based on my initial rankings.
So, for the best team in the position group according to my rankings, I’ll give 4 points. Second place get 3 points, third gets 2 points, and last gets 1 point. We’ll take all the pieces from the series that I did and add them all up to determine who the best team is.
Before we get started, here’s one final reminder of how my rankings went:
QB — Steelers, Browns, Ravens, Bengals
RB — Browns, Bengals, Steelers, Ravens
WR — Browns, Steelers, Bengals, Ravens
TE — Ravens, Bengals, Browns, Steelers
OL — Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, Browns
DL — Browns, Bengals, Steelers, Ravens
LB — Steelers, Browns, Bengals, Ravens
CB — Ravens, Steelers, Browns, Bengals
S — Ravens, Bengals, Steelers, Browns
Specialists — Ravens, Steelers, Bengals, Browns
Okay, here we go.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers scored a total of 28 points in these rankings, breaking down pretty evenly with 14 points on offense, 11 points on defense, and 3 points on special teams.
While the Steelers did lose Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown in the off-season, this group still appears loaded for bear this fall, led by Ben Roethlisberger, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Cam Heyward, and TJ Watt.
Some in the national media are very down on this current group due to the loss of two stars, but this is a deep, talented roster once again, and one that should fly under the radar heading into the season before hopefully surprising many.
2. Two-way tie between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns
For all the hype (and rightfully so) surrounding the Browns heading into the 2019 season, they tied with the Ravens in my rankings with 25 total points, leaving both significantly behind the Steelers.
Some could see that as bias, but I don’t, honestly. I feel that I’m pretty hard on the Steelers, but offensively they’ll be just fine and are balanced in the rankings outside of tight end. The Ravens have major question marks at QB, RB, and WR on offense, and DL and LB on defense. With the Browns, they are very talented, but the OL could lead to their demise offensively, while the secondary concerns me, especially at safety.
That doesn’t even mention the special teams for the Browns, as Cleveland consistently struggles to find a kicker.
All that said, the Steelers, Browns, and Ravens will all be fighting for the AFC North division title late in the season. This is a tough, tough division.
3. Cincinnati Bengals
I like that the Bengals finally made a change on the coaching staff, firing Marvin Lewis and bringing in the young, up-and-coming offensive mind in Zac Taylor. But there are just far too many holes on this roster that will need some time to be fixed.
There are quite a few high-end players on this roster that I like, namely the defensive line and the safety position, but I just can’t see the Bengals turning this ship around this season with Andy Dalton calling the shots offensively and AJ Green likely to miss quite a few games early in the season due to ankle surgery.
There you go, folks. Please leave comments below letting me know if you like the rankings system, or if I should scrap it/tweak it for next summer. Once again, thanks so much for reading all summer long.