REPORT: In-Season ‘Hard Knocks’ Will Follow All 4 AFC North Teams For 2024 Season

This is a first.

HBO and NFL Films announced Monday the newest in-season edition of Hard Knocks will be following the entire AFC North division across the final six weeks of the 2024 season.

Rather than focusing on one team, the cameras will capture all of the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Last season the AFC North became the first division ever to have all four teams finish with a winning record, making it the perfect place to launch this new approach to Hard Knocks,” said Keith Cossrow, NFL Films vice president and head of content. “We thank the Bengals, Browns, Ravens and Steelers for the opportunity to showcase some of the greatest rivalries in football and present the intensity of a playoff chase from all four corners of this incredibly competitive division.”

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As Cossrow mentions, no other division was as strong from top to bottom in 2023 as the AFC North. The Ravens won the division crown, while the Browns and Steelers both made the playoffs. The Bengals, who won nine games, finished one spot below the Steelers in the playoff race.

Any of the four could plausibly come out on top in 2024.

The Ravens are pretty much running it back. They lost 2023 Pro Bowler Patrick Queen, who signed with the Steelers, but retained another Pro Bowl defender, Justin Madubuike. Signing Derrick Henry could provide a new dimension to the running game and ease the burden on Lamar Jackson in the playoffs.

The Bengals will see the return of Joe Burrow after the quarterback was limited to 10 games due to a wrist injury. While the Bengals didn’t dramatically improve this offseason, keeping Tee Higgins around amid the wide receiver’s seems significant.

As for Cleveland, the situation remains same. They are counting on continuity and improved quarterback play to push them forward. Everything with the Browns hinges on whether Deshaun Watson can reestablish himself as a franchise QB.

The Steelers are the one North team that does look quite a bit different by virtue of having signed Queen and Russell Wilson and acquired Justin Fields from the Chicago Bears. Imagine where Pittsburgh might be if it once again has a top-10 defense, only with consistent QB play on the other side of the ball.