Hard to predict this team. With 2 of his AFC north mates not making the journey over to next gen this season could be the one for the Bengals. As of now though I can’t place them over .500. We will see how things play out with the 2 new coaches in the AFC north.
Browns – HD – (9-7)
Like the Bengals, the Browns are hard to predict. Again, this division will have 2 new coaches and a new next gen game. HD has let the world know how much he enjoys the updated version of the game. Will his game be updated? If so he will be the new King in the North.
Ravens – Wumbo (6-10)
We dont know much about Wumbo, but we do know PML is a beast. I’d be surprised if he shows up and goes over .500.
Coming off of their best season yet the Steelers will look to take control of their division and repeat the success they experienced last season. Deshaun Watson and CJ Verdell are integral components of what made this team competitive last year and they’ll need to do even better now that Pittsburg has a first place team schedule and Julio Jones has retired. Next gen could help or hurt this team depending on what kind of game plan we see and how the Steelers perform inside their own division.
The Browns seem to have a similar season path every year, start well and stay competitive through the first half of the season or so and then fall apart losing a majority of their games down the stretch. They have a chance this season to do better if they can avoid the inconsistent play from Baker Mayfield. Not to mention the defense has been the main culprit of the lack of winning seasons in Cleveland but this may be their best chance yet to make some noise.
Another offseason, another quarterback change. While they downgraded last offseason by going from Joe Burrow to Jordan Love, they were able to flip Love for the 3 overall pick and sign Gardner Minshew to take the helm. A strong secondary and a fast receiving core are the highlights of this team and can be the keys to success if Cincinnati wants to sneak into the postseason with a couple of upsets.
The Ravens lost their grip on the division last year as the Steelers overtook them and immediately Baltimore found a new head coach to try and get back to success. Lamar Jackson is coming off of a great season where he earned 2nd team All-Pro honors and had 14 rushing touchdowns so the Ravens could impress but their competition is strong so its likely they hang around .500 and piggyback off of good performances but they are the most dangerous team to the Steelers as of now.
AFC North –
Ravens – 9-7 – Y
Bengals – 6-10
Browns – 4-12
Steelers – 0-16
It was sad to see Bacon go. He had a formidable run with a top tier Ravens team, but he was never able to take them to the next level and get a playoff win. I think that changes with Wumbo. He is easily the division favourite after seeing his success in PML B league. We don’t know how he’ll favour against the top tier talent of PML, but his division gives him a playoff berth from the start. He’s taking over the best team (89 overall) in the division and he’d have to royally fall on his face to mess this gift up. Arod has had up and down seasons so far this cycle and his unlucky run is going to continue in season 5. I think he’s the second best in his division and has the talent on his team to compete, but he has to find a rhythm early on in the season and stick with what’s working. The Cleveland Browns and HD are easily one of the lower tier teams in PML but he’s been crowned as the self proclaimed Superbowl champion of season 5. He has over 100 games on next gen under his belt and should easily run away with this division, but if our scrimmage on next gen is any indication (I won), his failure this cycle will rollover as usual. Drama has been one of the most controversial coaches in PML. He has made speeches about villains in the league, but ultimately Sony was the biggest villain against this fallen hero. He has been unable to secure a PS5 and has become a ghost in general chat. It’s anyone’s guess if we will see this self proclaimed hero of the league again.
AFC North –
Ravens – 9-7 – Y
Bengals – 7-9
Browns – 6-10
Steelers – 0-16
Just based of the success that Wumbo had a very limited PML B league debut, I think he might be able to pull off a playoff bid in a relatively weaker division that lost its 2 most consistent contenders. The Ravens don’t have a great defense, but they do have Lamar Jackson and a host of talented WRs and a good OL. This should be enough to get Wumbo a playoff spot in his first PML season. The Bengals have been a traditionally run heavy offense, but I dont think many run first teams will find success in next gen. It’s not impossible to have a good run game in next gen, but it is definitely not as easy to weave out defenders, make sharp cuts through open holes, and break off explosive run plays. The Bengals have a solid defense though and that should help get ARod some wins. I think HD has the talent to take this division, but the real question is how serious will he take season 5. When HD shows up with a winning attitude, he can really beat almost anyone. But too often he doesn’t approach his matchups seriously and loses games that he otherwise shouldn’t. The Steelers lost their coach and in a shocking decision made by the ownership in pittsburgh, they feel its best to go with a player-led approach in season 5 and are opting not to replace their coaching staff. This is a bold strategy – we’ll see if it pans out.