For most of the offseason, I’ve been psychologically and emotionally detached from the NFL, primarily because I thought the prospects for an NFL season was incredibly low. But since very few of the players or staff haven’t gotten the virus, once practices started, I have become way more optimistic. In any event, because of that initial detachment, I’m even less confident in my ability to gauge the quality of the teams, but I’m going to take a stab at thoughts about which teams have the best chance to have success and win the Super Bowl.
Off the top of my head, here are the tiers. To categorize the teams, here are some questions I ask: a) Are there any teams with a dominant defense; b) Which defenses have a really good defense, run game and QB? c) Which teams have the best balance?
Teams with potentially great defenses: 49ers, Bills, Steelers, Ravens. Maybe the Buccaneers, Titans, Broncos, Colts.
The Steelers defense seemed to be moving into a great territory last year, but if they move back to a more pass-first offense, I wonder if that will remain true.
Teams with good defense/run game/QB: Ravens, 49ers, Titans, Bills, Vikings Maybe Seahawks
The QBs for the first four are kinda skahy–especially with regard to making the handful of key plays in big games (usually from the pocket). With the Vikings and Seahawks, I’m uncertain about their defense, especially the Seahawks.
Teams with the best balance: Saints, Ravens, 49ers, Buccaneers Maybe the Chiefs.
With the Chiefs I don’t known how good their defense will be.
Chiefs, 49ers, Buccaneers
Saints: I’m not sure about what they gained and lost in their rosters, but if it’s similar to last year, I think I might choose them as the favorites.
Ravens: I’m uncertain about Jackson.
Chiefs: uncertain about their defense
49ers: uncertain about their QB (and WRs)
Buccaneers: Uncertain how Brady will perform at his age in a new system. If he performs well, they should be Super Bowl contenders>
Patriots, Titans, Cowboys, Seahawks, Colts, Texans, Rams, Packers
I think there’s even more uncertainty with these teams.
Bills: If Allen can improve (less boneheaded moves, better accuracy), they should be a strong team. They remind of the Panthers.
Steelers: If Roethlisberger plays well, they could be like the Chiefs (with less explosive offense but better defense). But will he?
Titans: uncertain about QB
Patriots: Lots of changes, but can’t count out Belichick
Cowboys: Offense should be good, but I’m guessing they’ll continue to move away from run-first. Really uncertain about their defense.
Seahawks: Uncertain about the trenches. They could be OK or really suck.
Colts: Uncertain how Rivers will play. Don’t know how good this D could be–but could be really good.
Texans: Don’t know how good D will be.
Rams: Don’t know about their OL. If really good, they could shoot up this list. No idea about the quality of their defense.
Packers: I’m uneasy about the conflict between Rodgers and LaFleur. Their OL has always been a strength, but they may decline, and I don’t think they have great pass-catchers. Their defense should be good. If Rodgers allows them to become run-first team, they could shoot up this list.
Lions, Falcons, Cardinals, Broncos, Raiders, Eagles
These are potential dark horse teams.