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Who Will Win the AFC North in 2019?

Who says the Pittsburgh Steelers are out of the running to steal the AFC North once again this season? Those rumors have been circling ever since the Cleveland Browns have been making some pretty impressive moves this off-season.

The attention has been on the Browns ever since John Dorsey has been recognized as an ‘evil genius’ for recruiting Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland. Quite the opposite attention has have been on the Steelers, negativity galore. Whether it’s about Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, or leadership questionability, the Steelers are all wrapped up in drama.

I wouldn’t go as far as saying that the Steelers are the underdogs in the AFC North though. there are plenty of reasons that the Steelers will still hold down the North.

First off, the Browns seem to be a large favorite to win the division and finally have a playoff appearance. This will be a first time in a long time that the Browns enter a season with these kinds of expectations.

The Browns are being recognized to some analysts and fans to being a contender to win the Super Bowl. It’s hard to make these kinds of predictions with a team that hasn’t worked together yet, but all things said, we’ll see if they’ll melt under the pressure.

The Steelers are used to the hype and the scrutiny. This isn’t their first rodeo with the drama and the rivalries.

The Steelers aren’t left empty handed with Bell and Brown leaving. The ‘backups’ JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner have made quite the on-field appearance since they’ve had their time to shine.

Smith-Schuster has shined in the spotlight to become one of the best receivers that the NFL knows. At the head of the show, both Conner and Smith-Schuster, still have Roethlisberger throwing to them, a Hall of Fame-bound quarterback.

Individuals don’t make the whole team. The loss of the All-Pro’s doesn’t make or break the 53 man roster. It just creates room for improvement and growth. The Steelers are good at that.

The 2018 season wasn’t a complete loss for Pittsburgh. They were still one win away from winning the division and lost some games they didn’t have any business losing. For example, their opening game against Cleveland was a ‘stole-the-show’ case. Pittsburgh was close to losing, as many think they should have.

One good thing that came out of the season was the win against a longtime rival, New England. That win had to have felt like a playoff win for many people, although they didn’t win when it really mattered.

The Steelers didn’t lose the division in 2018 because they were ‘bad.’ They lost the division because things didn’t fall into place for them most of the time. They had Chris Boswell’s fluke season, which many couldn’t believe the number of times he missed field goals or even game-winning extra points.

You can even target the officiating, arguing that they were playing against the refs, too.

The Steelers will bounce back in the 2019 season. Don’t count Pittsburgh out just because the off-season has been a wild ride. There are games to be played.

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