The New AFC North

Josh JacobsContributor IJanuary 31, 2008

Just three days away from the biggest football event of the year, most of the football news is about Manning, or Brady, or how Super Bowl XLII compares to Super Bowls of years past.

We even see some early mock drafts.  I'm going to talk about the new AFC North, however.

The North is on its way to becoming one of the AFC's, and the NFL's, toughest divisions. 

At the moment, the distinction of being football's hardest-to-win division is shared by  the NFC East and the AFC South, both of which had three of their teams make the playoffs and all of their teams finish at least even.

The North, however, is on its way to joining them as two teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns, finished 10-6 and another, the Cincinnati Bengals, went 7-9 and have been at least .500 every year from 2003-2006. 

The Steelers are good and will continue to be good, with Ben Roethlisberger being consistently rated as one of the best quarterbacks today. 

The Browns are getting better all the time, and, with a new-found, solid offense, all they need is a new defense to compete with the big boys. Also, look for Brady Quinn to have more playing time as the Browns have to make a decision between Quinn and their starter, Derek Anderson.

All the AFC North teams had a home record of at least .500 with the Browns and Steelers each having lost only one game at home.

The Browns only missed the playoffs on the third tiebreaker.

Look for the North to be far more competitive than ever before.

Go Browns.