On offense, QB Ben Roethlisberger beat out Ravens QB Joe Flacco. This choice is unsurprising considering Big Ben finally got the recognition he was due on a league level. Adjusting to Todd Haley's offense, taking advantage of an arsenal of reliable playmakers, and having more time in the pocket as a result of a more functional O-line helped Big Ben have one of his best seasons ever in 2014.
Also not shocking, WR Antonio Brown and RB Le'Veon Bell made the All-AFC North Team. Two of the best players in the entire league, Brown and Bell provided an offensive dual threat that kept opposing defenses on edge. Bencgal's WR AJ Green and Ravens WR Steve Smith rounded out the All-AFC North WR corps. Martavis Bryant has shown so much promise that it wouldn't be surprising if he ended up on the All-AFC North team along with Antonio Brown.
Though Heath Miller is past his prime, he was the only TE selected for All-AFC North honors. His ability to both block and catch does not make him a league-wide standout, but he is a reliable force in his division. Also on offense, Maurkice Pouncey was called "terrific" by NFL.com for his speed and playmaking ability.
The only Steelers players on the defensive side of the ball for the All-AFC North team were DE Cam Hewyard and ILB Lawrence Timmons. Both men will be called on to anchor a Black and Gold defense in decline and attempt to reverse the troubling trend of the past few years. For now,the Ravens dominate the All-AFC North defensive team to the same extent that the Steelers dominate the other side of the ball. With ILB CJ Mosley on the defensive team for the Ravens, it is hard not to think of the man the Steelers chose instead of him: Ryan Shazier. The Steelers are counting on both rookies and unproven veterans to step up and help the Black and Gold become a defensive threat once again.