Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry was recently the guest on 92.3 The Fan with Ken Carman and Anthony Lima.
In typical Berry style, he did not provide a lot of specifics on outstanding team issues including Deshaun Watson‘s potential suspension, Baker Mayfield‘s imminent trade, or if Jarvis Landry will be back with the Browns.
One thing he did double down on was his feeling that the Browns are in the most competitive division in football.
That is an interesting statement, and perhaps initially, NFL fans may not agree because they may think the retooled AFC West division with Russell Wilson entering as QB1 for the Denver Broncos is the most competitive with the Chiefs, Broncos, Chargers, and Raiders.
But Berry has a valid argument about the AFC North being the most competitive and here are the reasons why.
1. Defending AFC Champion Is In AFC North
The most obvious is that the team representing the AFC in the 2022 Super Bowl, the Cincinnati Bengals, is a member of the AFC North division.
The Bengals are young and talented and should only get better as they have time to gel and develop.
That is a scary thought for the rest of the division.
The Cincinnati Bengals are headed to their first Super Bowl since 1989. They defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in overtime to win the AFC Championship game.https://t.co/9L1pkrHhtd
— CNN (@CNN) January 30, 2022
2. AFC North Has Best Kickers
Special teams wins and loses games.
If you don’t believe me, just ask the Green Bay Packers.
The best kickers come from the AFC North.
And now entering the scene for the Browns is Cade York.
Call it the Justin Tucker effect in the AFC North …
2021: Bengals are only team to draft a kicker, taking Evan McPherson in 5th round.
2022: Browns are only team to draft a kicker, taking Cade York in the 4th round.
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) May 3, 2022
3. All AFC North Teams Have Been In Playoffs In The Past 2 Seasons
Every single AFC North team has made the playoffs in either 2020 or 2021.
That fact alone makes it the most competitive.
There has not been a playoff drought for any team.
4. Half Of the QB1s Are Heisman Winners
There are two Heisman Trophy winners among the starting quarterbacks in the division.
5. DPOTY Is From AFC North
The reigning 2022 Defensive Player of the Year is T.J. Watt from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He is one of the best defensive ends in football with tight competition from divisional rival Myles Garrett.
🏆 Your 2021 NFL award winners:
MVP – Aaron Rodgers
COTY – Mike Vrabel
ROTY – Ja'Marr Chase
OROTY – Ja'Marr Chase
DROTY – Micah Parsons
DPOTY – T.J. Watt
OPOTY – Cooper Kupp
— Sky Sports NFL (@SkySportsNFL) February 11, 2022
6. NFL Offensive/Rookie Of The Year Is From AFC North
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase is both the 2022 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and the overall Rookie of the Year.
— Bengal Jim’s BTR (@bengaljims_BTR) May 5, 2022
Berry has a lot of analytics that we are not privy to that further delineate reasons why the Browns are in the most competitive division of football.
Of course, how the teams compete in 2022 will demonstrate if Berry’s theory is true.