Buffalo Bills: Keep doing what you’re doing
The Bills are the preseason favorites to win the Super Bowl and for good reason. They have talent at every position and don’t have many weaknesses. They signed future first-ballot Hall of Fame linebacker Von Miller this offseason as well. The only issue they may have is that the playoffs are a win-or-go-home format. Sometimes, any team can win any game. They will be on upset watch for almost every game they play this season.
Miami Dolphins: All eyes on Tua and coach McDaniel
Even though the Dolphins missed the playoffs the last two seasons, they finished above .500. They have an extremely underrated roster. Offensively, they traded for all-pro deep-threat wide receiver Tyreek Hill this offseason. Hill joins rising sophomore receiver Jaylen Waddle, another deep threat. The problem on everyone’s mind is if quarterback Tua Tagovailoa can consistently reach two of the fastest players in the NFL. Hill recently said that Tua is more accurate than Patrick Mahomes, arguably the best (and his former) quarterback in the NFL. Defensively, the Dolphins have consistently been an above average squad as pro bowl cornerback Xavien Howard agreed to a five-year extension. Rising sophomore safety Jevon Holland is on most analysts radar as a player who could become an all-pro. The Dolphins hired former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as their head coach this offseason. The 39-year-old has had several coaching gigs in the NFL since 2005. If Tua can consistently connect with Hill and Waddle, while McDaniel keeps Miami under his wing, the Dolphins have a shot at the Lombardi.
New England Patriots: Play every game like the first half of last season
The Pats are indisputably the best NFL franchise of this generation, but since Tom Brady left, New England has been inconsistent. However, last season they found their quarterback by drafting Mac Jones. Their defense was top tier and the whole team was the most feared midway through the season. The second half of the season was subpar as it ended in a 30-point loss against the Bills in the Wild Card round. The Pats need to simply find that spark they had in the first half of last season and ride it out for 17-20 weeks.
New York Jets: Bengals-like turnaround
The Jets had arguably the best draft two months ago by acquiring cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, wide receiver Garrett Wilson and defensive end Jermaine Johnson II in the first round. The Jets haven’t made the playoffs since 2010 and have been a bottom tier team since then. However, they currently have talent at most positions with a small amount of holes to fill. NY needs to have a Bengals-like turnaround this season and they just might have the weapons to do so.
Los Angeles Chargers: Brandon Staley needs to put on the chef hat.
The Chargers took on their “Los Angeles” lifestyle this offseason by trading and signing big-name players like linebacker Khalil Mack and cornerback J.C. Jackson. They have the firepower on offense with 24-year-old quarterback Justin Herbert, running back Austin Ekeler and receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. All of them are pro bowl caliber players. Jackson and Mack join an already above-average defense led by pro bowl defensive end Joey Bosa. The Chargers missed the playoffs in heartbreaking fashion against the Las Vegas Raiders in the final game of the regular season. Chargers head coach Brandon Staley has all the ingredients needed to win the Super Bowl. However, the recipe only tastes good if the chef cooks it correctly.
Las Vegas Raiders: New friends
This offseason, the Raiders acquired all-pro receiver Davante Adams and pro bowl pass-rusher Chandler Jones. Adams joins an excellent offense starring former college teammate quarterback Derek Carr, pro bowl receiver Hunter Renfrow, top five tight end Darren Waller and an underrated backfield of Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake and rookie Zamir White. Jones joins an up-and-coming defense as he’ll share the D-line with 25-year-old (August 22) pro bowler Maxx Crosby, pro bowl linebacker Denzel Perryman and several young defensive backs. If Adams and Jones can adapt to the Raiders play style, they could be a dark horse to win the Super Bowl.
Kansas City Chiefs: No Tyreek, no problem
When combining the last four seasons, the Chiefs are the best team in the NFL. They have the third best odds to win the Super Bowl. However they lost receiver Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. In order to replace a top five wide receiver like Tyreek Hill, you need to acquire at least two new ones. The Chiefs signed receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster this offseason. In addition, they drafted receiver Skyy Moore. These three will add more weapons to league-best quarterback Patrick Mahomes and league-best tight end Travis Kelce.
Denver Broncos: The Alabama players
Entering his third season, former Alabama receiver Jerry Jeudy is expected to be the best pass-catcher in Denver. Jeudy was injured and had below average quarterbacks throwing to him. This offseason the Broncos signed future hall of fame quarterback Russell Wilson. He is the key to making Jeudy an all-pro. Wilson has plenty more weapons like receiver Courtland Sutton and running back Javonte Williams. Defensively, former Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II has also been on analysts radar as a player who could become an all-pro. Surtain is part of an elite secondary with safeties Justin Simmons and Bama alum Kareem Jackson. The Broncos also acquired defensive end Randy Gregory, who will pair very well with pro bowl linebacker Bradley Chubb. If the former Alabama players ball out, Russell Wilson could take them to the promise land.