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Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
The four AFC North teams combined for the toughest strength of schedule of any division in football in 2008. But next year will be a welcomed relief because, in 2009, the AFC North has one of the league's easiest schedules.
Last year the Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 1), Baltimore Ravens (No. 5), Cincinnati Bengals (No. 7) and Cleveland Browns (No. 9) were all in the top 10. Baltimore and Pittsburgh survived and were battle tested for the postseason. The Bengals and Browns couldn't handle the brutal schedule and both were four-win teams.
Ironically, the Steelers and Ravens have the easiest schedules in the division next year and are No. 29 and No. 28 in the NFL, respectively.
Here is a look at the strength of schedule for the entire league in 2009: