#5 – Will Baltimore’s offense regain good form?
The Ravens lost a lot of firepower following the 2012 Super Bowl season but have a few potential pieces. Steve Smith Sr is in his last season, but might have something left. Kamar Aiken, Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, Justin Forsett, and rookie running back Kenneth Dixon are a solid nucleus for quarterback Joe Flacco, but the question mark is, can they put up points to take pressure off their defense?
In 2015, the Ravens were 25th in points scored and need to improve.
#4 – Can Robert Griffin breathe some life into Cleveland?
He has looked solid in preseason, but Robert Griffin has to show he can do it in the regular season. If he, Josh Gordon, and Duke Johnson could become an effective trio, the Browns could be a lot more competitive than in the past.
The Browns have a lot of work ahead of them, but they have some intriguing possibilities for 2016.
#3 – Will Pittsburgh’s defense improve enough to win the division?
Pittsburgh has enough talent on both sides of the ball to win the North, but need more out of the defense, especially the secondary to stay ahead of the Bengals.
The front seven looks like it should be able to put pressure on quarterbacks and stop the run, but rookie defensive backs Artie Burns and Sean Davis will be called upon to help improve the secondary.
If the defense can limit the amount of big plays in the passing game, they should be much harder to beat this year.
#2 – Will this be the year it comes together for Cincinnati?
The Bengals have a lot of pieces in place and have the talent to repeat as AFC North champions, but still have to worry about the Steelers and most importantly, winning a playoff game.
2015 saw a lot of things work out for the Bengals as they were largely healthy until the injury bug hit quarterback Andy Dalton and tight end Tyler Eifert, which hurt them in the playoff game against Pittsburgh.
If they can repeat their 2015 performance and stay healthy, they’ll have a great chance to pass Pittsburgh for the North title and end their now 25 year playoff win drought.
#1 – Can Big Ben and Le’Veon Bell play the entire season?
The offense of the Steelers greatly hinges on the health of Roethlisberger and their star running back Le’Veon Bell. If they both stay healthy, the Steeler offense will be very hard to stop with the best receiver in football Antonio Brown, newly acquired tight end Ladarius Green and emerging receiver Sammie Coates.
Expect a lot of competition in this division and a couple of great games between the Steelers and Bengals.