The AFC North has been one of the more exciting divisions the last few seasons as the Cincinnati Bengals have emerged as a top AFC contender, joining the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers as tough teams. The Cleveland Browns started showing signs of life during the Baker Mayfield era, but since his departure, they have struggled to get back to contention. Having Deshaun Watson at the helm for a full season will either make the Browns another hard team to beat – or show us that Watson’s past his prime. Let’s take a look at the quarterback rankings in the division as we think about how to plan our NFL betting for the 2023 season.
NFL Betting News: Ranking the Starting Quarterbacks in the AFC North
Team: Cincinnati Bengals
#9 | 2022 Stats: 4,475 YDS – 35 TD – 12 INT – 58.7 QBR
After just three seasons in the NFL, Joe Burrow has established himself not just as the top quarterback in this division but also one of the top handful of quarterbacks in the entire NFL. After winning a national championship at LSU, Burrow had his rookie season in Cincinnati end with a knee injury. The Bengals’ front office boosted the offensive line and brought in Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase to run routes for Burrow, and he has turned the Bengals into an elite team. The chemistry between Burrow and Chase, former teammates on that LSU national championship team, has worked wonders, and Higgins has taken advantage of the double-teams that teams have put on Chase, but he also is an elite receiver in his own regard. Behind Burrow are Trevor Siemian, who is a strong backup, and Jake Browning. Siemian has started 30 games in his NFL career, making 35 appearances overall, with a 13-17 record in those starts. That’s a lot better than the likes of Brandon Allen. The third-stringer is Jake Browning, who knows the Cincinnati system after spending two seasons on the practice squad.
Bet on the Bengals!
Team: Baltimore Ravens
#8 | 2022 Stats: 2,242 YDS – 17 TD – 7 INT – 59.1 QBR
Lamar Jackson was the NFL’s MVP in 2018, but in recent seasons, injuries and playoff meltdowns have kept the Ravens from making deep postseason runs. It looked like the Ravens might move on from Jackson in the off-season after he requested a trade; he was representing himself in contract negotiations, and things were not going well, but then he inked a five-year, $260 million extension. The Ravens also gave him some help at wide receiver, and he is still an electric runner – but it will be interesting to see if he adjusts his game to make himself more durable. Todd Monken has arrived as the new offensive coordinator, so all signs point to a fresh start in Baltimore. Jackson’s backup is Tyler Huntley, who has played well for Jackson in recent years. Anthony Brown and Nolan Henderson, from the University of Delaware, will compete for the third-string position.
Bet on the Ravens!
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
#8 | 2022 Stats: 2,404 YDS – 7 TD – 9 INT – 51.5 QBR
Kenny Pickett had a solid rookie campaign in 2022. He didn’t put up eye-popping numbers, but he grew into the quarterback role as the season went along, and he showed up big-time in clutch moments late in the season. He still has Najee Harris at tailback and Pat Freiermuth at tight end. The wide receiving room showed promise in OTAs, and we will see how they work with Pickett in the preseason. Mitch Trubisky was the caretaker starter to begin the 2022 season, and he has 55 starts and 64 career games played at quarterback. He came off the bench to lead the Steelers to beat Tampa Bay in Week 6, and he started in relief of Pickett in Week 15 to get the win at Carolina. Tanner Morgan, Bryce Perkins and Hunter Johnson, who played at Northwestern and Clemson, will compete for the third spot.
Bet on the Steelers!
Team: Cleveland Browns
#4 | 2022 Stats: 1,102 YDS – 7 TD – 5 INT – 38.3 QBR
Given the fact that Watson signed the largest contract in NFL history to join the Browns, you know that the team hopes he vaults out of last in these rankings quickly. Watson sat out a year in Houston and then had to serve an 11-game suspension thanks to allegations from a group of massage therapists regarding sexual harassment. He started the last six games of the 2022 season, and the team went 3-3 in those games, but he didn’t look ready at all. He’s had a full offseason to prepare, so will he get back to elite quarterback play like he showed in Houston? After Watson, the depth is iffy at best, since Jacoby Brissett is now in Washington. The team has Joshua Dobbs as the primary backup, with just two starts in his NFL career. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the rookie out of UCLA, and Kellen Mond, the second-year pro out of Texas A&M, will compete for the third-string spot.
Bet on the Browns!
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