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NFL Pittsburgh Steelers

5 Reasons Why the Pittsburgh Steelers Will Win the AFC North in 2014

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Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Reasons Why They Will Win the AFC North in 2014

Ben Roethlisberger
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers finished the 2013 NFL season with a disappointing 8 - 8 record and will be looking to go to the playoffs in 2014. Pittsburgh has done what it takes in the offseason to win the AFC North and make the 2014 NFL Playoffs automatically. Here are five reasons why the Steelers will win the AFC North.

5. AFC North Changes

Steelers Browns
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

5. AFC North Changes

Steelers Browns
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore is still rebuilding. Cleveland is young and missing Josh Gordon. Cincinnati looked shaky at times last season and is still trying to figure the offense out. The AFC North is wide open.

4. Strength of Schedule

Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

4. Strength of Schedule

Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers play seven games against teams that had a losing record last season -- ten if you count teams that were just at .500.

3. Le’Veon Bell

LeVeon Bell
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

3. Le’Veon Bell

LeVeon Bell
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Bell surpassed expectations by a mile with 860 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in his rookie year. If he improves, as most second-year players do, Bell could finish the season as one of the best running backs in the league.

2. Revamped Defense

Ryan Shazier
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

2. Revamped Defense

Ryan Shazier
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers’ defense was shredded last season, but the younger players showed signs of improvement. With the focus this offseason being on improving the defense, Pittsburgh should come back looking a little bit more like the tough defense that we’ve come to expect.

1. Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

1. Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh may have had a few down seasons, but Roethlisberger has played consistently well when healthy. With two 4,000-yard seasons in the last three, he’s quietly been one of the most consistent passers in the NFL.