2007 record in parentheses:

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (10-6, 10-7 including postseason)

Strengths: QB Ben Roethlisberger, who won Super Bowl in his second season and is one of NFL's best in his fifth year. He makes passing game strongest element on team historically dependent on running and defense.

Weaknesses: Offensive line, which must be revamped following departure as free agent of G Alan Faneca, who has long been the anchor. Linebacking corps, another strength, is starting to age.

Players to Watch: G Chris Kemoeatu, who is slated to replace Faneca. Rookie RB Rashard Mendenhall, who gives Steelers inside complement to Willie Parker they haven't had since Jerome Bettis retired after 2005 season. WR Santonio Holmes, first-round pick in 2006, who could emerge at Pro Bowl level.

Biggest Change: Revamped offensive line.

Schedule Key: Steelers' schedule is toughest in league and includes home games against Cowboys, Colts, Chargers and Super Bowl champion Giants.


Strengths: Offense that can score from anywhere on field. QB Derek Anderson threw 29 TD passes in first year as starter, but if he struggles early, club will not hesitate to insert Brady Quinn. WR Braylon Edwards (16 TDs) is one of game's top playmakers, and TE Kellen Winslow should be better after offseason knee surgery. RB Jamal Lewis ran for more than 1,300 yards last year behind top offensive line.

Weaknesses: Defense. Browns ranked No. 30 overall and need to develop pass rush. Newcomers NT Shaun Rogers and DT Corey Williams should help plug middle, but secondary is glaring weakness.

Players to watch: OLB Kamerion Wimbley should benefit from new beef up front. Return specialist Josh Cribbs can score any time he touches ball and might be used more on offense.

Biggest change: For first time in ages, the Browns are expected to be good.

Schedule key: Home opener against Dallas and Week 2 matchup at home with Pittsburgh could set tone for season.


Strengths: Offensive line allowed only 17 sacks last season. Carson Palmer can make every throw. PK Shayne Graham is one of most accurate in history on field goals.

Weaknesses: They just can't stay away from troubled players. Decision to bring back WR Chris Henry left them depending on player who has been arrested five times and is already suspended for first four games.

Players to watch: CBs Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall, a pair of first-rounders who will be left on their own much more in new defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's tight man-to-man schemes.

Biggest change: Zimmer's new defense, which will get tested early by Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Brett Favre.

Schedule key: Bengals play at Baltimore, at Giants, at Dallas and at Jets in first six weeks.


Strengths: As always, Ravens will rely on defense. Linebackers Ray Lewis, Bart Scott and Terrell Suggs, and safety Ed Reed are stars of unit led by defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.

Weaknesses: As always, Ravens will struggle on offense. Quarterback position is muddled, RB Willis McGahee is hobbled with sore knee and no decent replacement for LT Jonathan Ogden has emerged.

Players to watch: Rookie RB Ray Rice has starred in emergency starting role. CB Fabian Washington, a draft-day acquisition from Raiders, and QB Joe Flacco, whose development could be most important facet of entire season.

Biggest change: First-year coach John Harbaugh takes over for Brian Billick, who stumbled at end of his nine-year run.

Schedule key: If Ravens don't start well, it won't matter how they finish. Three of first four games are against division foes.