The Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens start the season in two very different places. The Ravens do not have Joe Flacco to start the season, but the Bengals have their corps three ready to go. These two teams are fighting for the second place spot in the AFC North because it appears that the Steelers are the best team in the division going away. We must consider how much more talent the Bengals have at this time because they did not overpay Andy Dalton.

Dalton's deal

Andy Dalton's deal allows the Bengals to spend less money on him while giving him incentives every year.

They chose to pay him as early as possible because he got more money, they paid less overall, and they protected themselves in case he was terrible. Dalton is the kind of guy who may take another hometown discount because he is such a big part of the Cincinnati community, and he has two very good players around him on offense. Their offensive line is pretty good, and they are not strapped for cash.

Flacco's deal

Joe Flacco is not even starting the season for the Ravens, but he is being paid almost all of their money. He won a Super Bowl for the team, but they have major salary cap problems because they cannot afford to pay other players to play on either side of the ball. The Ravens made the wrong choice in paying Flacco at his peak for earning potential, and they cannot manage their roster properly as a result.

Andy Dalton has AJ Green and Joe Mixon, but Flacco does not have many weapons to play with.

Green and Mixon

Green and Mixon make the Cincinnati offense very dangerous, and they could help each other by forcing opposing defenses to respect them both. These two guys will have an amazing season with Dalton, and the three of them could give the Steelers trouble in the division.

The Steelers are very good, but it would be foolish to think that the Bengals are not very talented. They are a good team that can make waves in the AFC North, and they should make improvements during the season as Mixon learns how to play in the NFL. AJ Green will become more deadly because Mixon is taking pressure off him, and the pair could be just what Dalton needs to make a name for himself in Cincinnati.

The Ravens fall

The Ravens are not very good, and this initial loss will probably be the start of a bad season that sends them near the bottom of the NFL. They should have signed Colin Kaepernick, made better choices, or simply managed the cap better.