by Tommy Gimler
Unlike the AFC East, the AFC North is so damn close that the only way to predict this bitch is to get hammered, and that’s exactly what we’re doing…
1. Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals, a first place team? Look, it’s all starting to come together. For starters, if not for Pacman Jones, the Bengals would have had an arrest-free offseason for the first time since 2002. Second, for the first time since my stones dropped into their pouch, the Bengals have the most talent on both sides of the ball in the AFC North (and Central).
Andy Dalton might be an ugly ginger mother fucker, but he’s been hotter on HBO this preseason than a married couple dressing up like ponies and fucking each other on Real Sex 28. With Dalton firing that fucking pigskin to A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham, the passing game is there. Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis provide a solid rushing attack. And last year’s defense that finished 7th against the pass and 12th against the run added the baddest mutha fucka in the NFL in James Harrison.
The schedule might seem a little daunting in the early going with games against the Bears, Steelers, Packers, and Patriots in the first five weeks, but the Bears and Steelers are overrated, the Packers are beatable on the road, and the next three games after New England are against the Bills, Lions, and Jets. Ba-zing…
Key Addition: Um, James Harrison, brah. He could set the record for the most sacks in one season after the Bengals’ first two games against Chicago and Pittsburgh. Both teams have a harder time protecting their quarterbacks than Melissa McCarthy does saying no to anything edible…
2012 record: 10-6 (2nd)
Vegas: 8.5 wins (t-2nd) – OVER (-135) / UNDER (+105)
The DUD: 11-5 (1st)
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): 12-4 (1st – Super Bowl Champions)
Bleacher Report: 10-6 (2nd)
Will Brinson (CBS Sports): OVER 8.5 wins (3rd)
2. Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens offseason could be classified as the largest exodus of African-Americans from one city since Hurricane Katrina. Ray Lewis – gone. Ed Reed – gone. Dannell Ellerbe – gone. Cary Williams – never heard of him. Eight starters from last year’s Super Bowl champion’s roster won’t return this season, by far the most ever for the reigning Lombardi Trophy winner.
Quarterback Joe Flacco still has one of the best running backs in the game in Ray Rice and a solid deep threat in Torrey Smith. And if the postseason started in September, we’d be all over Flacco’s shit. But in the regular season, Flacco has been merely an above-average quarterback, and without the murderous (literally) defense to carry him through it, the Ravens have no shot at repeating…
Key Addition: The Denver Broncos being classified as fucking retarded in regards to the Elvis Dumervil situation is a bigger understatement than me saying I would like to have a nice conversation with Alyssa Milano, as everybody knows I would eat a California roll out of her asshole. Anyway, the Ravens wound up as the beneficiary because of it. With Dumervil on the right side of the Ravens defense and Terrell Suggs on the left, opposing offenses will be terrified to run anything outside…
2012 record: 10-6 (1st)
Vegas: 8.5 wins (t-2nd) – OVER (-130) / UNDER (even)
The DUD: 9-7 (2nd)
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): 10-6 (3rd)
Bleacher Report: 9-7 (3rd)
Will Brinson (CBS Sports): OVER 8.5 wins (2nd)
3. Cleveland Browns
Did you see the Browns schedule? It’s easier than kicking Stephen Hawking’s ass, featuring games against the Jets, Jaguars, Bills, Lions, Vikings, Dolphins, and Steelers. You have to figure there are at least five wins in there, and we think we’re being almost as conservative as Rush Limbaugh with that estimate.
Fantasy dork alert: We’re all over Trent Richardson’s jock, as the rookie finished with 950 yards and 11 scores last year. As long as he keeps running behind big Joe Thomas to the left, Richardson is going to fulfill every stat dork’s fantasy other than actually getting laid. We think that’ll take the pressure off 80-year-old second-year quarterback Brandon Weeden, who doesn’t even come close to repeating the 14 touchdown, 17 interception numbers from a year ago.
Key Addition: Norv Turner as a head coach fucking blows. But as an offensive coordinator, teams have actually improved under him. In 1991, his first year as the Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator, Turner took a 7-9 squad the year before and finished the season 11-5. In 2001, he took a one-win Chargers team and turned them into a 5-11 squad as their OC. He kept Miami competitive in his two years as OC there, and he helped the 49ers improve by three games in 2006. Don’t say you haven’t been warned. Norv Turner is going to make Brandon Weeden a “not that shitty” quarterback…
2012 record: 5-11 (4th)
Vegas: 6-10 (4th) – OVER (-135) / UNDER (+105)
The DUD: 7-9 (3rd)
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): 4-12 (4th)
Bleacher Report: 6-10 (4th)
Will Brinson (CBS Sports): OVER 6 wins (4th)
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are old, slow, and completely missing an offensive line. Seriously, have you seen this group of fat asses they put in charge of protecting Roethlisberger? They are the Taylor Swifts of offensive lines. Are we supposed to expect Jonathan Dwyer and a Le’Veon Bell coming off a Lisfranc injury to tear it up running behind these clowns? Maybe we’re just really hammered now, but something isn’t adding up. And then there are turds like Will Brinson at CBS Sports think Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are legitimate #1 and #2 receivers. We think he’s fucking high.
No Mike Wallace. No James Harrison. No Heath Miller for the time being. No good season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. We also don’t like how fat head coach Mike Tomlin is getting…
Key Addition: We’re going to throw Head and Shoulders model Troy Polamalu in here, as the Steelers are a completely different team with him on the field. And since he’s missed 22 games over the last two seasons, keeping him healthy for at least 12 games this year would be one hell of an addition and make this last-place prediction seem rather silly come January…
2012 record: 8-8 (3rd)
Vegas: 9-7 (1st) – OVER (-135) / UNDER (+105)
The DUD: 7-9 (4th)
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): 11-5 (2nd)
Bleacher Report: 12-4 (1st)
Will Brinson (CBS Sports): OVER 9 wins (1st)