The 2019 season was basically a total disaster for every team in the AFC North.

In Baltimore, the Ravens had high expectations going into the regular season, and although they met those expectations by finishing with the best record in the NFL at 14-2, the fact of the matter is that the season came to an ugly end after the Ravens lost their opening playoff game for the second straight year. Basically, the Ravens were a regular season success, but a postseason failure. 

For the other three teams, things were even worse in 2019. The Bengals finished with the worst record in football (2-14), the Steelers lost their quarterback to a season-ending injury, and the Browns preseason hype train went straight off a cliff just one week into the regular season thanks to a 43-13 blowout loss to the Titans in Week 1. 

The odd thing about the AFC North is that even though it only produced one team that finished above .500 in 2019, it's actually one of the most talented divisions in the NFL. 

So what needs to happen for each team to get better heading in 2020?

Let's take a look at the one burning question for each team, and not surprisingly, every burning question in this division revolves around quarterback play. 

Will Brinson and John Breech evaluate win totals as well as division, conference and Super Bowl odds for each team in the NFC and AFC South on today's Pick Six Podcast episode.

Steelers: Is Ben Roethlisberger going to be healthy? 

If you've followed the Steelers at all this offseason, you may have noticed that they didn't go out and try to make an upgrade at the backup quarterback position, which is very notable, because that might have been the one position that kept them from getting to the playoffs last year. 

There was an embarrassment of riches at quarterback this offseason that the Steelers could have gone after. From Andy Dalton to Cam Newton to Jameis Winston, any of those guys would have been an upgrade over Duck Hodges or Mason Rudolph. Of course, the reason the Steelers didn't go out and sign a backup is because they're confident that Ben Roethlisberger is going to be fully healthy when the 2020 season kicks off. 

As recent as May 12, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin felt that he'd be getting a fully healthy Big Ben back in time for the season. 

"As we sit here today, we are extremely confident in his readiness," Tomlin said, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "We are enjoying the process that he's going through right now."

The odd thing about Tomlin's comments is that he actually admitted there's some "angst."

"Obviously, it's not without its angst," Tomlin said. "The guy is coming off a season-ending injury and surgery. But we like where we are. He's throwing on a rehab schedule, and it's going well, and we fully anticipate him being ready to go for that opener."

The Steelers had one of the best defenses in the NFL last year and it went to waste because Hodges and Rudolph didn't do a good job of running the offense. Putting a contingency plan in place for 2020 would have made a lot of sense, but the Steelers didn't do that, instead, they're putting all their eggs in the Roethlisberger basket, which is why their biggest question for 2020 revolves around Big Ben's health. If he can't go or he's not 100%, the Steelers decision not to upgrade at backup quarterback could lead to another lost season in Pittsburgh, and this time Tomlin won't be getting the benefit of the doubt. 

Bengals: Is Joe Burrow the real deal?

Taking Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft was a no-brainer for the Bengals, but now, the team's new quarterback has to prove that he was worthy of being the top pick. The Bengals have bet everything on Burrow, which means the future of the franchise is now in his hands. If Burrow pans out, then the team will have a true franchise quarterback who could lead them to their first playoff win since 1990 ... and maybe even their first Super Bowl appearance since 1988. 

Of course, this is the Bengals we're talking about, and as most Bengals fans know, this is a franchise that has a long history of suffering. If Burrow were to flop, it would set the franchise back by at least a decade, which is exactly what happened in the 1990s when the Bengals whiffed in two different drafts on two different quarterbacks with David Klinger (sixth overall pick in 1992) and Akili Smith (third overall pick in 1999). 

It's unlikely that Burrow will be that bad, but there is a grey area that also wouldn't be ideal, and it's the area that Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton both existed in for the past 17 years. Both quarterbacks were successful during their time in Cincinnati, but neither team was able to get the Bengals over the playoff hump. 

If Burrow is the real deal and can get the Bengals over that proverbial hump, he better get his own statute on Fountain Square. 

Browns: Can Baker Mayfield make the leap to become the Browns' franchise QB?

The 2020 season is starting to feel like it could be a make or break one for Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. After two full seasons in Cleveland, the honeymoon period is finally over and it's time for Mayfield to prove that he can live up to the hype that comes with being the No. 1 overall pick from the 2018 NFL Draft. Although Mayfield wasn't great during his rookie year, he deservingly got a pass because he won six games in 2018 (6-7) for a team had gone winless just one year earlier. Those six wins led to some high expectations in 2019 and Mayfield simply didn't live up to them. 

Although the Browns surrounded him with multiple offensive weapons like Odell Beckham and Nick Chubb, Mayfield responded with an ugly season where he completed less than 60% of his passes while throwing 21 interceptions, which was the second most in the NFL. If Mayfield has one excuse for his struggles last year in 2019, it's the fact that he was playing for a coach in Freddie Kitchens, who was clearly in over his head. 

This year, there's no more room for excuses, it's put up or shut up time. The Browns have loaded their offense up this offseason. Not only have they added weapons like Austin Hooper, but they've also added some protection for Mayfield in the form of Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills. The Browns are only going to go as far as Mayfield takes them and that's why they need him to make the leap and prove that he can be the team's franchise quarterback for years to come. 

Ravens: Can Lamar Jackson finally win a playoff game?

There's no doubt that Lamar Jackson has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL over the past two years, but in this league, people only care about one thing, and that's whether or not you can win in the playoffs, which Jackson hasn't been able to do. 

In two playoff games with Jackson, the Ravens have been mostly shutdown by their opponent. During the 2018 postseason, the Chargers unleashed a defense that saw them put seven defensive backs on the field, and the scheme seemed to befuddle the Ravens. In 2019, the Titans shut Jackson down for most of the first half, before he was able to explode in the second half after his team was already trailing 28-6. 

At this point, it's hard to say what the Ravens' biggest issue is in the playoffs. Has it just been bad luck or is their unstoppable offense just much more stoppable during the postseason because your opponent has a lot more time to study everything you do? Whatever it is, the Ravens need to figure it out, because if they make the playoffs in 2020 and don't win a game, the stigma of 0-3 will start to follow Jackson. 

In the first seven years of Peyton Manning's career, the former Colts quarterback went 0-3 in the postseason and he started to gain the reputation of someone who couldn't win the big one. Of course, Manning was eventually able to shed the reputation with four Super Bowl appearances and two Super Bowl wins. 

Another example of this is Matt Ryan, who went 0-3 in the postseason to start his career before finally winning a playoff game in 2012. Although Ryan has four career playoffs wins, most people associate him with postseason failure, and of course, it definitely doesn't help that he was on the losing side of a 28-3 blown lead in Super Bowl LI. 

If things get extremely ugly for Jackson, his playoff reputation could turn him into the next Andy Dalton, who has gone 0-4 in his four playoff starts. If Jackson ends up emulating Manning's success, no one will remember that he started his career 0-2 in the playoffs, but if Jackson goes down the dark Dalton hole, he'll learn that fans quickly go bored of regular season success if it doesn't include an occasional playoff win. Jackson is much  more talented than Dalton, but he could end up with same kind of postseason reputation if he doesn't win a game soon.