AFC North: Ranking each offensive position group for 2019

Which AFC North team has the best offense? Let’s find out by ranking each position group on that side of the ball.

The AFC North expects to be an extremely competitive division, powered by impressive offensive attacks. In this post, we are going to try to determine the best offense in the AFC North division by ranking each position group. Up first, the offensive line.

Offensive line

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers
  2. Baltimore Ravens
  3. Cleveland Browns
  4. Cincinnati Bengals

This AFC North boasts three really good offensive lines. The Steelers are still the class of the division and probably the entire league, Baltimore’s offensive line excels at run blocking in particular and the Browns’ excellent pass blocking the second half of last year made it a tough choice between them and the Ravens at the second spot.

The Browns trade of pro bowl guard Kevin Zeitler drops them down below the Ravens. Like the Steelers, the Browns ability of their quarterback to evade rushers and go off script helps the line immensely. The Bengals got struck with news that first-round rookie offensive tackle Jonah Williams won’t play this year. They should see some improvement from their line play this upcoming season, but not enough to keep them out of the lower tier again in 2019.

Running Backs

  1. Cleveland Browns
  2. Baltimore Ravens
  3. Cincinnati Bengals
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Browns firepower at running back leads the league, with two of the best backs in football together for the second half of the season, along with underutilized Duke Johnson behind them. The Ravens improved on a strong running game by adding bruiser Mark Ingram. The Bengals return the electric Joe Mixon, who led the AFC in rushing last season, along with Giovani Bernard. James Conner was solid last year, but the Steelers are a tier below the others.

Quarterback

  1. Cleveland Browns
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers
  3. Baltimore Ravens
  4. Cincinnati Bengals

Baker Mayfield is one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. He grabs the AFC North quarterback crown in front of a declining Ben Roethlisberger. Lamar Jackson‘s running ability makes him deadly, but he is an extremely inconsistent passer. Andy Dalton returns to the Bengals this season, finally getting a creative play-caller to work with.

Tight End

  1. Cincinnati Bengals
  2. Baltimore Ravens
  3. Cleveland Browns
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers

It’s a big “if” for Tyler Eifert‘s health, but he’s elite when healthy. David Njoku will have a breakout season if his second half of 2018 is any indication, and will be paired with newly acquired Demetrius Harris. Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews both had great rookie seasons. Talented Vance McDonald leads the Steelers, in a strong position in the AFC North.

Wide Receivers

  1. Cleveland Browns
  2. Cincinnati Bengals
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers
  4. Baltimore Ravens

Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, and Antonio Callaway make for a talented and deep group, arguably the best in the league. A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd are a phenomenal pair who would top a lot of lists in other divisions. Antonio Brown is gone, but JuJu Smith-Schuster still leads a Steelers’ group that has a lot of potential. Rookie Marquise Brown has plenty of upside but the Ravens lack impact talent at wide receiver.

Overall Running Game

  1. Baltimore Ravens
  2. Cleveland Browns
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers
  4. Cincinnati Bengals

With an elite mobile quarterback as a threat, Baltimore’s running game was nearly unstoppable last season. We should see more of the same out of them. Cleveland will have the best running back group in the league and a strong offensive line to block for them.

Pittsburgh’s offensive line will continue to open huge holes consistently for their running backs and while Mixon is talented, it is hard to put the Bengals over any of these teams when it comes to the overall run game.

Overall Passing Game

  1.  Cleveland Browns
  2.  Pittsburgh Steelers
  3. Cincinnati Bengals
  4. Baltimore Ravens

The Browns will take the top spot in 2019, as Pittsburgh declines a bit. Cincinnati’s offensive line will make life tough for Andy Dalton, but they have tough options in the receiving game. Baltimore’s success in the running game will set up an efficient passing game, but they are clearly the last option here.

Ranking the AFC North Offenses

  1. Cleveland Browns
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers
  3. Baltimore Ravens
  4. Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland will claim the top spot overall with the returning play calling of Freddie Kitchens, the growth of Baker Mayfield and David Njoku, as well as one of the best receiver groups in football. This Cleveland team is extremely dangerous and is primed to make a run for the playoffs.

Next: Re-Drafting the 2017 NFL Draft, who ends up in the AFC North?

The Steelers will likely take a step back after losing Brown, but Roethlisberger will keep them competitive. Baltimore’s rushing attack is scary, but in today’s NFL, that can only take you so far. Lastly, the Bengals have some nice skill position talent on the offensive side of the ball, but they have some work to do if they are going to compete against the other teams in the AFC North.