As you all know, the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII. The Cincinnati Bengals, who finished with the same record in the 2012 regular season, came up short in the playoffs after a second-year-in-a-row loss to the Houston Texans in the Wild Card round.
But the Ravens restructured their team, dropping nine starters in the offseason, and picking up a bunch of star players in the league.
How will the Bengals fare against them, the healthy Steelers, and the re-vamped Browns?
Well, the answer is simple. They'll dominate.
They are THE most balanced team in the entire league. That special balance that the Bengals have is the kind that helped the Ravens win this past year.
The Bengals have an outstanding wide receiver in A.J. Green. Andy Dalton is blossoming to be a great quarterback after his second year in the league. The first two years are always the biggest years in the growth of any NFL player. After coming off of a season with 27 TDs, 16 interceptions, and a 62 percent completion rating, he should only be more confident.
The Ravens picked up many star players such as Elvis Dumervill, Chris Canty, and Rolando McClain, but the Bengals did as well, buffing their defensive line with James Harrison. We all know Harrison came off of the Steelers, who have a specific kind of hatred for the Ravens.
After they won a Super Bowl, I'm sure he'll want to hit them even harder. Not to mention the Steelers. I'm sure he wouldn't mind knocking Big Ben Roethlisberger around a bit. Yes, Harrison has gotten old, but he'll still bring a workhorse-like intensity to the Bengals' line.
As for the Browns, they might even beat the Ravens and Steelers. The Steelers are sluggish and one of the oldest teams in the league. They have no star receiver and their star players get injured often, i.e. Polamalu.
The Ravens will be tougher though, but with lack of defensive leadership, things could get ugly for them, quickly. The Browns upgraded a lot of positions, getting Paul Kruger, Kellen Davis, and Desmond Bryant, which should help them out greatly. The Browns haven't been a bad team for the past few years. They just haven't been good enough to put games away.