The AFC North division features some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and the expectations for them is certainly high. There are a few intriguing quarterback battles taking place within the division, but we’ll shift our focus as to who we believe will be the man under center week one for each team.
Ben Roethlisberger is “old faithful” for the Pittsburgh Steelers and is hoping to keep them in contention this season, while the Baltimore Ravens are hoping to see Lamar Jackson get back to his MVP ways. Both the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals have talented young quarterback in Baker Mayfield and Joe Burrow and would love to see them take the next step.
Let’s dive into the early outlooks for each starting quarterback in the AFC North.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger
There is a lot of speculation regarding how much legendary Steelers’ signal caller Ben Roethlisberger has left in the tank, but all we can accurately say is that he’ll be back under center in 2021.
Roethlisberger, 39, has been in the league with the Steelers since 2004 and he decided to continue his career this offseason. This very well could be the last we see of Big Ben in an NFL uniform, and his departure from the league would surely be the end of an era.
My projected stat line for Roethlisberger has him completing 63.8 percent of his passes for 3,741 passing yards and posting a touchdown to interception ratio of 33 to 11.
Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson has seen a lot of early success in his career thus far and he is widely regarded as the best mobile quarterback in the league.
Jackson, 24, has kept the Ravens in consistent playoff position and he could continue to do the same in 2021. A former NFL MVP, Jackson may not have the same success he had as the league’s best player, but he is always a dangerous weapon to keep an eye on.
My projected stat line has Jackson completing 63.7 percent of his passes for 3,281 passing yards and logging a touchdown to interception ratio of 29 to 9. I also think Jackson will record 1,128 rushing yards and score an additional seven touchdowns on the ground.
Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield is one of the fastest rising stars at the quarterback position in the NFL and the poise he carries himself with makes him a fan favorite. Mayfield loves to have fun on the football field and his high-energy personality is showcased with every snap he takes.
Mayfield played a major role in helping lead the Browns to the payoffs in 2020, and he could lead them deeper into the playoffs in 2021. My projected stat line for Mayfield has him completing 68.2 percent of his passes for 4,192 passing yards and logging a touchdown to interception ratio of 38 to 10.
Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow
We only got to see a rather small sample size from number one overall draft pick Joe Burrow in 2020, but in the 10 games he did play, he looked like a top tier NFL quarterback.
Burrow now has an even better receiving unit to work with, an enhanced offensive line, and an overall improved team and the Bengals could see some increased success in 2021. My projected stat line for Burrow has him completing 65.2 percent of his passes for 3,541 passing yards and logging a touchdown to interception ratio of 36 to 13.