(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
The AFC North was the toughest division in the NFL last year with three teams making the playoffs in the Steelers, Ravens and Browns. It should be no different this year and the Bengals are a young and improving team. The Steelers will have Ben Roethlisberger back for an 18th season with the team and in all likelihood, it will be his last.
The rest of the quarterbacks in the division are significantly younger than the 39-year-old Roethlisberger. Baker Mayfield of Cleveland turns 26 in April, Lamar Jackson of Baltimore is 24 and Joe Burrow of Cincinnati is 24 as well.
All three of the young quarterbacks in the AFC won the Heisman Trophy in college and are expected to be franchise quarterbacks for their respective organizations. Jackson and Mayfield are off to good starts and Burrow had an impressive rookie campaign up until he suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 11.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, who is 24 years old like Jackson and Burrow, looks forward to competing against the three young quarterbacks in the years to come.
"I love it. I love the fact that we have three Heisman winners and three great teams we play in our division," Fitzpatrick told Teresa Varley of Steelers.com. "It keeps you on your P's and Q's. These guys we are playing, when you look back 10, 20 years from now they will be the ones people are talking about as the best in the game. When you have the chance to compete against them twice a year, sometimes three times a year, it's awesome. I love it.
"I am a competitor and I am always going to want to go against the best of the best."