Nick Kostos, an NFL writer for Bleacher Report, takes Scott and Jeremy through every division in the NFL as training camps begin to open.
The AFC North wasn’t more than a one-horse race through most of the season, as Cincinnati took the crown with the Steelers and Ravens finishing at .500 respectively.
“I think the Ravens will definitely contend for a wild card spot in the AFC, but I don’t think the team is good enough to win the division,” said Kostos. “I know the Cincinnati Bengals made an impression last year, but I actually think the Steelers are winning the division.”
“I think the Steelers are flat out better than Baltimore, and I think the Bengals are slightly better as well,” Kostos claimed. “That leaves the Ravens on the outside looking in.”
Although the Steelers seemed to be uncharacteristically controversial last season, the collective history of the men in power would suggest a quick turnaround is very possible.
“I think Roethlisberger and Tomlin are too good at their jobs to fail like that again,” said Kostos.
The team at the cellar of the north isn’t short on controversy either, given their immediate quarterback controversy as they step into training camp. However, Kostos believes there shouldn’t be a controversy at all.
“I think everyone is really jumping the gun on Brian Hoyer. He was a journeyman quarterback for a reason—he’s just not that good. I hope Jonny Manziel is starting under center week one against Pittsburgh because it’s so exciting,” Kostos admitted.
While the AFC is most likely a case of three or four strong teams and the rest mediocre or worst, the NFC is much more competitive and crammed with good teams.
“You have to start with the Super Bowl Champions. Seattle will still definitely make the playoffs, barring a catastrophic injury, but
“If you put a gun to my head, I’d say the defending champion [Seahawks] will take it again.”
Though the ‘Hawks’ NFC West is highly competitive, the NFC South may be creeping toward that level.
“If you look at the NFC South this year, all three teams besides the Panthers get much better. Carolina got a lot worse. I actually love what the New Orleans Saints did this offseason—improving their defense with two great safeties and signing Graham—they’ll be a force,” said Kostos.
“I look for Tampa to finish second, and Atlanta fighting the Panthers to stay out of the basement.”
What’s more, as the NFL is full of surprises each season, Kostos sees a team in a very week division taking advantage of such a circumstance.
“I think the surprise team this season could be Houston. They play in the worst division, by far. They won’t be that bad again, and Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t terrible at quarterback.”