In this week's "Take your pick" we wanted AFC North fans to look ahead and predict which division team will have the best defense in 2010.
With that said, here are some of the many responses from our AFC North inbox:
Kyle from Austin, Texas, writes: Barring injuries, the Bengals' defense will be the best D in the AFC North this year. Under Mike Zimmer they have consistently moved up in the past two years and will keep that trend. We have kept our whole defense in tact and added depth at every position. With Antwan Odom healthy, Michael Johnson in his second year and Carlos Dunlap added to the mix, our pass rush will have new life.
Matt from Washington, D.C., writes: The Ravens will probably be the No. 1 defense in the AFC North. Cincy definitely has the best corners, but I think with the addition of Terrence Cody and Sergio Kindle, plus Terrell Suggs fired up about getting back to true "T-Sizzle" form, the Ravens will keep the No. 1 spot. Also, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is saying he is bringing back the pass rush to Bmore. You can almost say the pass rush was the weakest link last year, not the secondary. So improving that should make the Ravens the best, maybe in the entire league.
Carl from East Brunswick, N.J., writes: It's clearly the Steelers. This team was fifth last year without arguably the league's best defensive player: Troy Polamalu. With Troy last year the team was 4-0 I believe, and the rest speaks for itself. They also lost Aaron Smith early with a season-ending injury, who is always so key. With these two returning they have a great chance of returning to their Super-Bowl winning form, when they were a dominant defense. They also return Bryant McFadden, who was also a solid corner for them with some play-making ability.
Prnitz from Roxana, Del., writes: Assuming Polamalu is healthy and Aaron Smith is back full-time, is this really a serious question? With PGH's two best defensive players out for much of last season their D was still on par with the other two "contenders." A no-brainer question JW.
Tamey from Baltimore writes: I think the Ravens will have the best defense because their run defense will be unstoppable with Haloti Ngata and Terrence Cody and with adding Sergio Kindle their pass rush will be better which will also help pass defense. Also just because Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington are injured, they aren't going to be out forever, if the will be out its only going to be for a couple of games.
Neal from Minneapolis writes: Maybe I'm a homer, but its gotta be the Bengals! This is the only group that is really coming into its prime. The Ravens, Steelers, and Browns all have an older average age than the Bengals. We have the best CBs, plus a very good line backing core and D line. We added depth at every position and added pass rush specialists Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins.
Kovacs from Santa Monica writes: For what it's worth (even if it sounds like an excuse), the Browns defense didn't get any help from the O last year. The Browns D was on the field the most of any defense in the league (by a wide margin). Tough to put up respectable defensive stats in that situation. The combo of an improved defense and a ball control offense will lead to a drastic change in the pure numbers for the Browns D. Here's hoping that it leads to some more wins.
Alex from Westminster, Md., writes: Baltimore will lock up the No. 1 spot. With the additions to our D-Line and the promises by Mattison to revamp our blitzes and packages, pressure will be added to the opposing QBs and our secondary will be able to capitalize on more mistakes.
MattMiselis via Twitter writes: Regarding the best defense in the AFC North, Pitt gets the edge as of now because the return of Troy and Smith. Ravens a close second.
Nick from Harrison, Ohio, writes: I'd say the Bengals have the best D in the division. They showed last year they could stop the run when the line is healthy and they have one of the best CB tandem in the league let alone the division. They've added more depth across the board during the offseason which only makes them better.