Steelers have a good shot to jump out to division lead early in the year.....
I been looking at the schedule the last few days for all 4 division teams the Steelers,Browns,Bengals,and Ravens and the way it sets up the first 3-4 games for each team if the Steelers take care of their own business for the most part and let's say even finish the month 3-1 they are going to be in total control of the division here pretty much for a good part of the year. I say this because if you look at the Browns,Bengals,and Ravens the first 3-4 games they are all going to play one another at least once which will give them all at least 1 probably 2 losses, plus aside from games against each other the Browns have games with Dallas and the Steelers the first two weeks followed by games at Baltimore and at Cincy. The best I see the Browns doing in that stretch is 2-2. If the Browns lose to Dallas the first week of the season and the Steelers beat Houston then that game in Cleveland on Sunday night in week 2 pretty much becomes a MUST win game for the Browns because if they lose that game to the Steelers they would then be virtually 3 games behind them already losing the tiebraker. If that happens the Browns will really start questioning themselves and could possibly fall apart very early on in the year.
The Ravens have a game with Cincy in Baltimore to open up which is a toss up either way one of them will have a loss, followed by a game at Houston which they will definitely lose I think,then they host Cleveland which once again will give another loss to a division team, then they play the Steelers here on Monday night which they will definitely lose as well. The best I see the Ravens doing in that stretch is 1-3. Lastly, the Bengals open up at Baltimore which again could go either way and regardless will give one of them at least one loss already. Then, they host Tennessee who is going to definitely want payback on them since they beat them very badly down in Cincy last season. Next they go to New York to play the Giants in a game they will definitely lose because Cincy can never win tough games on the road anymore. Then they come back home to host the Browns which again will give at least one of them another loss in the division, followed by a game at Dallas the next week which the Bengals will once again definitely lose. I see the Bengals going no better then 2-3 in their first 5 games but 1-4 is probably a safer bet. I see the Steelers going 3-1 in their first 4 games beating Houston and Baltimore here at home, and most likely splitting the games with the Browns and Eagles on the road.
If I had to pick one to lose I will say the Eagles because it's a non-conference game and it wont really have too much affect on tiebrakers of any sort. The Steelers could also win that game in Philly as well and maybe they run the table in September and go 4-0 who knows it's very very possible. The key game in this stretch is definitely week 2 against the Browns because they are the Steelers biggest threat. The Ravens and Bengals virtually have no chance to do anything in this division the way things look for them so far they have too many problems. So as I said above should the Browns lose to Dallas in Cleveland the first week of the season which by the way I think they will,and the Steelers beat the Texans here at home which I think they will if they win that game in Cleveland week 2 they pretty much have an excellent shot to control the division early on and possibly even run away with it.