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Ravens are Being Anointed as Divisional Favorites Already

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Hold your horses folks....

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Another respected publication has thrown its hat into the growing ring of Ravens believers, picking Baltimore to win the AFC North. But it's only July.

The Sporting News' annual preseason football publication hit shelves this month, and with it, the prediction that the Ravens would be reclaiming their status as 'Kings of the North' by winning the division, after losing out the last two seasons. The publication also believes that the team will make their way to the AFC Championship Game, where the team will partake in its seemingly annual postseason battle with the Patriots.

However, not everyone is sold on the Ravens taking the division.

When ESPN asked their AFC North beat reporters who would win the division, their answers weren't very Raven-friendly. Only one reporter picked the Ravens to even make the playoffs, let alone win the division. That man was Jamison Hensley, the Ravens reporter. Hensley praised Baltimore's offseason acquisitions and strong draft class. While some of the other writers doubted Flacco's ability to adjust to a new coordinator and the "revolving door at the playmaker spot" could cause him to have a slow start. The consensus seemed to be that Pittsburgh would take the division, and if a team earned a wild card berth, it'd be the Bengals. This is in stark contrast to what The Sporting News had to say.

At the end of the day, these are just silly predictions that are being made before training camp even starts. The AFC North is truly one of the divisions where anything can happen. In my opinion, the Ravens really do look the best on paper, but we'll see how that translates to the field this September.