With the exciting NFL action still a full two months away there’s not much to do but speculate until the preseason kicks off. Luckily for football fans everywhere there’s been nearly a full offseason of moves, signings, trades, draft disasters and more. Many teams might’ve looked like they were doing everything they could to bring their teams one step closer to championship material, and other dug themselves holes so deep that their fans may never climb out. But this list isn’t about them. No, this list is about so much more than the cacophonous roar of Superbowl glory, so much more than the depth of the draft tank: this is the 5 NFL teams that are the most interesting to watch.
Here’s an interesting statement to kick it off: Drew Lock will be the starting quarterback by mid-season. Joe Flacco has shed the argument of “Elite or Not” when he got ousted permanently by Baltimore in march, but he still has plenty of time to prove that he’s the best in Denver. New head coach Vic Fangio has to prove that the problems with their offense will stop with him, whilst maintaining the high-level defence that Mile-High is known for. Noah Fant finally provides life to a dormant tight end room but can the Broncos turn around the franchise after their post-Peyton decline?
Lamar Jackson. Cries of “He’s a running back!” sound out across the village, but is there any truth to them? Yes. One needs only look as far as their last game to find evidence of his best effort at passing (A wild card game the ravens could’ve easily won with an elite QB), but garbage time points aside, the Ravens needed help. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown was the top pick at wide receiver in the 2019 NFL draft and he looks to expand on Jackson’s limited passing game despite losing receivers John Brown and Michael Crabtree. Former Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas and Louisiana Tech defensive end (and third round pick this year) Jaylon Ferguson look to fill the gaping holes on defence made by the departures of linebackers Terrell Suggs, Za’Darius Smith, and C.J. Mosley as well as safety Eric Weddle. Can the Ravens pull the ol’ switcheroo, or will these additions fail to compete at the level their predecessors did?
Kansas City Chiefs
Not necessarily a hot take, but the Chiefs were one of the best teams to watch last season. This offseason they’ve been in headlines for a few reasons and most of them have been positive. The latter have been few, with a shoutout to Tyreek Hill for teaching us all a little something about parenting (That maybe it’s not for everyone). Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is coming off of an MVP season and the world waits to see if he can serve up a repeat performance, and the question is posed: Does Tyrann Mathieu have what it takes to turn around the defence ranked 31st in the league?
Many could argue that the Cleveland Browns are suddenly the most beloved team in the NFL. They may be right. Many could argue that they deserve the top spot in this list. They would be wrong. The Cleveland Browns are looking like a whole new team right now, much like an ex who got left because they wouldn’t get their life together and now it’s a year later and they’re vacationing with their new partner (who is WAY hotter) in Bermuda on a six figure salary and it’s all over social media leaving everyone wondering: What happened? All distractions aside, the crowded backfield of running backs Nick Chubb and (the admittedly suspended) Kareem Hunt gives second year passer Baker Mayfield a security blanket in case he ever gets tired of throwing the ball downfield in the direction of recievers Odell Beckham JR and Jarvis Landry. Regardless of their success, all eyes will be on Cleveland this year.
There are no surprises here. The Oakland Raiders have been the team to watch since the offseason began, and with good reason. The Antonio Brown trade was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and spending the fourth overall pick in the draft on Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell was seen by many as a massive reach by a team with 3 first rounders. Perhaps the craziest move this organization pulled is bringing in noted rival Vontaze Burfict to play across the field from their shiny new toy. Let’s hope he doesn’t break him. Add the explosive (Admittedly pro-bowl calibre) Richie Incognito fresh from retirement and they’ve got more problem guys than solutions. Feel free to tune in to everything from practices to press conferences this year with HBO’s acclaimed series “Hard Knocks” as they follow the potential train wreck no NFL can look away from.