Jerome Bettis: Steelers a 'question mark' in AFC North


Jerome Bettis is a Pittsburgh Steelers icon. That doesn't prevent him from giving an objective opinion on the current state of affairs in the AFC North.

Friend of ATL, Dave Dameshek, welcomed Bettis as a guest this week on the "Dave Dameshek Football Program" from the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe, Calif. Bettis believes the Cincinnati Bengals are the division's most improved team. Conversely, Bettis believes the Steelers did the least to improve.

"The question mark in the division is the Steelers," Bettis said. "How will they perform? Will they be able to run the football? Will the defense be able to stay intact? They've got some questions that need to be answered, so right now if I had to step out of my body and give a prediction I'd say the edge goes to Cincinnati, then Baltimore, then Pittsburgh, then Cleveland."

Bettis then couched his opinion with some concerns about the Bengals' mental makeup.

"They still have to learn how to win," Bettis told Dameshek. "They don't know how to win yet. And I think that's the one Achilles' heel if you had to think of anything, that's going to be the Achilles' heel, they really don't know how to win a big game."

The Bengals quietly have gone out in back-to-back postseasons, but the solution is far more definable than Bettis' they-just-don't-know-how-to-win-yet trope. They'll go deeper in the playoffs if Andy Dalton plays better when it counts.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.