The Top 5 AFC North Quarterbacks of 2014

The Top 5 AFC North Quarterbacks of 2014

Andy Dalton
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The AFC North features some of the most intense play in the entire NFL. Each team's hatred for one another propels a rare level of physicality. With that said, the division is still home to quality quarterback play. Here are the top five quarterbacks in the AFC North.

5. Jason Campbell, Cincinnati Bengals

Jason Campbell
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

5. Jason Campbell, Cincinnati Bengals

Jason Campbell
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Campbell joins the Bengals after spending the 2013 season with the in-state rival Browns. No team would want to open the season with Campbell as a starter, but if Andy Dalton gets hurt or his play begins to sputter, Cincinnati will be glad it invested in such a quality insurance policy. He'll never beat an opponent by himself, but he'll make enough plays to keep the Bengals afloat if called upon.

4. Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns

Brian Hoyer
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

4. Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns

Brian Hoyer
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns won all three games Brian Hoyer started in 2013, so it's no surprise he'll likely open 2014 as the starter ahead of first-round pick Johnny Manziel. His leash will be short, as Browns fans will be pounding the table for Manziel if Hoyer even slightly struggles. Even though his quality play in 2013 occurred with a small sample size, Hoyer showed enough dexterity to believe he can be an adequate passer in Cleveland with good health.

3. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Joe Flacco
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

3. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Joe Flacco
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Flacco certainly didn't look like the third-highest paid quarterback in the NFL last season, but that's exactly what he is. He's played well in the past -- clutch too -- but in 2013, he tossed the second most interceptions in the entire league. Cutting down on the turnovers will be key for the Ravens' prospects of getting back to the postseason in 2014.

2. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

2. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Dalton's borderline ineptitude during the Bengals' first-round playoff loss has been well documented, but his larger body of work remains impressive. His 4,293 passing yards ranked seventh and his 33 touchdown passes ranked third in the NFL in 2013. Consistency is in order as Dalton must not continue faltering in big moments, but he's worthy of the No. 2 spot in these rankings.

1. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

1. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlsiberger
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

His 2013 campaign began on a shaky note as the Steelers lost six of their first eight games, but by season's end, Ben Roethlisberger had reminded NFL fans why he's still arguably a top 10 passer. His ability to prolong plays on his feet and with brute strength is far from conventional, but Roethlisberger is still making it work.