Updated: Sep 6, 2022
NFL Season Outlook
Written by: Charles Vakassian
Rising Star, Josh Allen / buffalonews.com
With the NFL regular season rapidly approaching, it is time to take a look at the respective teams in each conference, and see who is a contender, and who is a pretender.
Super Bowl Potential
These don’t require too much of an explanation. The Chiefs offense, led by Patrick Mahomes, can outscore any opponent on the field, and a revamped offensive line with Joe Thuney and Orlando Brown should prevent a repeat of last year’s Super Bowl, where Mahomes had no time to make any plays.
As for the reigning champs, Tom Brady continues to defy Father Time, and in his first season in Tampa, takes home the Lombardi Trophy. A dominant offensive line, with second-year Tristan Wirfs and reliable veteran Ali Marpey, will keep Brady upright in the pocket. The real specialty of Tampa Bay is their defense, the linebacker corps, with two legitimate stars in Devin White and Lavonte David, patrol the middle of the field, and a stud secondary led by Antoine Winfield and Carlton Davis helps keep opposing wideouts locked down, allowing for Shaw Barrett and the front four to get plenty of pressure.
The Packers are led by reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers, and a solid offense led by Davante Adams and Aaron Jones. The defense is solid and will keep the team in games, thanks to the play of Jaire Alexander, Za'darius Smith, and Kenny Clark
In Cleveland, the Browns loaded up on defense in the draft and free agency, fixing the few holes their team had. By bringing in Troy Hill, John Johnson, Grew Newsome, and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, the Browns make their defense even more suffocating than it already was, allowing plays to be made by their dominant front four, led by Myles Garrett. And on offense, a ridiculously talented offensive line gives Baker Mayfield all the time in the world to make smart throws and Nick Chubb plenty of running lanes.
These four will definitely be in the postseason, but are just a tier below the teams listed above. The Colts will ride a talented offensive line and stifling defense, and Carson Wentz will do just enough to push Indy into the playoffs. The Ravens have Lamar Jackson, enough said. Their elite defense will keep shutting down opposing offenses, led by Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey. Josh Allen will continue to perform at an All Pro level, and Stefon Diggs will torture opposing secondary's, helping the Bills to the AFC East title. The Rams, with the addition of Matthew Stafford, have a path to a division title, with their stud defense and a now working offense.
The NFC East is bundled together, as every team except for the Eagles has a shot at taking the division. The Cowboys have the best offense, the WFT has the best defense, and the Giants are the most well balanced.
The Dolphins will see a breakout year 2 from Tua Tagovailoa, and their defense may be enough for them to fight for a wild card spot. The Titans will be in the hunt as well, with a suddenly dangerous offense, led by Derrick Henry, AJ Brown, and Julio Jones. The Broncos have a top 5 defense in the NFL on paper, but that offense has a lot of question marks, no matter who is behind center. Justin Herbert is going to light up the scoreboard, but the Chargers defense may let them down, with question marks across the board. The Seahawks and Saints have solid all around rosters, but suffer the misfortune of being good teams in a division with a superior opponent (Bucs, Rams). The Saints will also be with Jameis Winston as their starting quarterback. The Seahawks will let Wilson cook, but will he falter again in the second half?