Baltimore Ravens - Along with the Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. There are expectations of a third consecutive playoff appearance under Flacco. Third-year back Ray Rice has the gifts to run for 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns. But, many eyes will be on former Arizona Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin. Flacco has to be smiling from ear to ear with Boldin's potential on the field.
Cincinnati Bengals - It'll be another year of whether Marv Lewis should stay or go. Carson Palmer, a starter in all 16 regular-season games last year after playing in only four in 2008, had a quiet 3,000 yards passing and 20 touchdowns. And, with Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco on the field at the same time, it should be a media frenzy year-round and a bonus for the hungry Palmer.
Cleveland Browns - For the most part, Eric Mangini is on the hot seat. And, don't be fooled because this is president Mike Holmgrem's team. The biggest issue for the Browns is at quarterback. The 35-year-old Jake Delhomme, a long-time starter with the Carolina Panthers, should be the opening-day starter. I have a gut feeling that Cleveland could be one of those so-called "sleepers" in 2010.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Even with two Super Bowl rings, Ben Roethlisberger has numerous question marks. Of course, it's primarily with his character issues. If the team can go at least .500 with Big Ben suspended for his conduct in Georgia, the Steelers are more than capable of playoff contention. Head coach Mike Tomlin, who recently signed an extension, can get this squad back to Super Bowl status after an absence from the playoffs - even with a respectable 9-7 regular season last season.