Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)

This offense is downright scary. Pittsburgh possesses perhaps the NFL's top running back (Le'Veon Bell) and receiver (Antonio Brown) and a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger). An uncharacteristically bad Steelers defense is their Achilles heel, but they can overcome issues on that side of the ball by racking up points with their explosive passing game, as expected.

Baltimore Ravens (9-7)

It's hard to count out the Ravens in any year. While the defense isn't what it used to be during the Ray Lewis era, second-year linebacker C.J. Mosley could be ready to take the next step and lead the unit. Quarterback Joe Flacco may not be elite, but he can keep Baltimore in the playoff hunt through December.

Cincinnati Bengals (9-7)

With so much talent in Cincy, it's hard to figure why the Bengals can't get over the hump and end the longest current drought between playoff victories -- now at 24 seasons. The defense is well-rounded, there's no true weakness on offense and receiver A.J. Green is capable of taking over games. Maybe this is the year, but don't bet on it.

Cleveland Browns (4-12)

Cleveland is a team that probably isn't as bad as their final record is likely to indicate. They have the misfortune of facing the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals a total of six times a year, which is automatically a sub-.500 start. That's not an excuse, however. Cleveland still has a messy quarterback situation and little else to speak of on offense.