Baltimore Ravens — An Aging Defense
Some may say quarterback Joe Flacco is the biggest concern for the Ravens this season. And while he’ll be pushed by rookie QB Lamar Jackson, Flacco should at least benefit from a revamped receiving corps in 2018. Simply put, it’s his last chance to find his former self.
But the biggest concern in Baltimore is an aging cast of defenders. Linebacker C.J. Moseley and safety Tony Jefferson are young pieces to build around moving forward. But relying on players like 35-year-old veteran Terrell Suggs will be a tall order in 2018.
Cincinnati Bengals — Quarterback
The Bengals have gone from a perennial playoff contender to something of an NFL joke in recent seasons. Despite boasting plenty of offensive and defensive talent, the team has hovered around “merely average at best” the past couple of seasons.
And a lot of that falls on quarterback Andy Dalton, who’ll be on the hot seat entering 2018.
Same goes with head coach Marvin Lewis, who’s surprisingly still around.
Cleveland Browns — Head Coach
Browns head coach Hue Jackson is on the hot seat after winning just one game his last two seasons at the helm in Cleveland.
OK, last year’s roster stunk and 2016’s wasn’t much better. But the Browns brought in a good deal of talent this offseason, including Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry and former 49ers running back Carlos Hyde.
A solid, if questionable, 2018 NFL Draft class also helps to alleviate Jackson of any further excuses.
Pittsburgh Steelers — Inside Linebacker
The unfortunate loss of linebacker Ryan Shazier to a tragic back injury last season leaves a huge void in the middle of the Steelers defense.
Pittsburgh was never quite the same after Shazier went down, and that haunted the team all the way into the playoffs.
Unless the Steelers get a huge effort from fellow linebacker Vince Williams in 2018, this area could be just as problematic this season.