AFC North Power Rankings after preseason Week 2

Cleveland Browns, Kevin Stefanski
Cleveland Browns, Kevin Stefanski / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 4

1. Cincinnati Bengals

This should not come as a surprise, as the Cincinnati Bengals are still the cream of the crop within the AFC North. After finishing last in the division during the 2020 season, Cincinnati has now won the North twice running, and look to make it three years in a row during the 2023 campaign.

Cincinnati hasn't played many of their notable players during the offseason just yet, but they don't necessarily need to. Offensively, the Bengals are a well-oiled machine. Joe Burrow should be in the running for an MVP award this year. Ja'Marr Chase might just be the best wide receiver in football, with Tee Higgins also checking in as a top-15 type of talent.

One thing about the Bengals that isn't talked about nearly enough, though, is their defense. Last year, the Bengals finished as the sixth-best scoring defense in all of football, giving up just 20.1 points per game. For context, they were sandwiched between two stellar defenses in Dallas and Philadelphia.

Assuming there aren't any major injuries, the Bengals should still be in line to take home the division crown this year. They still have the most talented roster, overall, with Burrow tipping any scale that comes too close. It helps to have one of the best players in all of the NFL at quarterback, and until that changes, Cincinnati should be favorites.