National Football League
This division is really up for grabs with a Cleveland Browns team on the rise, a Cincinnati Bengals club showing improvement and a Pittsburgh Steelers franchise suffering from instability. The Baltimore Ravens also carry enough talent to be in the running.
The fact is that the Cleveland Browns look to have the most balanced team in the division, offering solid offensive and defensive units. They’ve made some fine draft picks and great trades over the past three years, and it looks like all of the moves could payoff in 2008. A lot is expected from this team and they have the stuff to deliver.
Although the Cincinnati Bengals field one of the weakest defenses in the NFL, their offense is loaded with passing and catching power. Carson palmer is an elite performer and a fine clutch quarterback. The owners have stuck with coach Marvin Lewis for five years; overall he’s a solid helmsman who lends stability to the team.
The Pittsburgh Steelers made it back to the playoffs last season under new coach Mike Tomlin. But the team’s 2008 schedule is the hardest in the NFL and uncertainty regarding ownership as the team heads into training camp is certainly a distraction. Can this team finish first? It can. But is it likely that they will? The frontline was porous in 2007 and QB Roethlisberger, who is extremely tough, can take just so many beatings. The O-line’s performance and Roethlisberger’s health will determine the Steelers’ final outcome in 2008.
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