I actually think the Ravens will represent the AFC in this season’s Super Bowl but the defending champs deserve to start in first spot. And this talented team is built to compete year in and year out.
The Ravens got better in the offseason, even with the cutting of safety Earl Thomas. Team-first is the mantra in Baltimore but they do have one of the most exciting individuals in MVP Lamar Jackson.
The Super Bowl window remains open, but time is running out for 41-year-old passer Drew Brees. The Saints are talented enough to go all the way in 2020 and I love the Emmanuel Sanders signing at WR.
The reigning NFC champs should mount a challenge to run it back to the big dance. But Super Bowl losers historically rarely fare well. Oh, and this is a big ‘prove it’ year for QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
Pass me the Kool Aid because I’m drinking it all up! For at least one week, I’m buying the hype that this talented team can make the playoffs in 2020 and make some noise when they get there.
The Cowboys had been in my top five all offseason. The offense remains elite but some rolls of the dice on defense (Everson Griffen and Aldon Smith) need to pay off in a big way. A true contender.
The Bills lead the “best of the rest” section in the AFC after Kansas City and Baltimore. It feels like Buffalo are poised to take the AFC East but what damage can they do once they reach the playoffs?
The Titans are keen to prove their bruising style at the end of 2019 – when they knocked off New England and Baltimore in the playoffs – was no fluke. This team deserves a seat at the AFC’s top table.
With Russell Wilson at QB and Pete Carroll at head coach, the Seahawks are likely to remain in this top 10 all season long. But can they be more than a playoff participant and a genuine contender?
The Packers were 60 minutes from last year’s Super Bowl but look to be a class below the likes of New Orleans and San Francisco in the NFC. How does Aaron Rodgers respond to an ordinary 2019?
The Vikings need to find a way to take their game to the next level. They are regular playoff participants but do we ever get the feeling that they are true Super Bowl contenders? Not right now.
The defense feasts on sacks and turnovers and is one of the best in the NFL. But the key to getting Pittsburgh back into the playoffs will be a return to pre-injury form for QB Ben Roethlisberger.
The Colts are a good fit for Philip Rivers and the ageing quarterback can make another playoff charge in Indy. The trade for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was also good business. This is a playoff team.
A wildcard spot is a possibility with Bill Belichick leading the way. But there are too many questions. What will Cam Newton be like at QB? Who replaces Don’t’a Hightower and Patrick Chung on defense?
The expectations may be lower in Cleveland this time around but the talent is still there. Player-wise, this team has enough to make the playoffs but young quarterback Baker Mayfield must play better.
Not much has gone right since Houston led 24-0 at Arrowhead in the Divisional Playoffs. It’s hard to write off a team with Deshaun Watson at QB, but they have pulled the rug from under their star man.
Progress has been steady for the Silver and Black and they now kick off ‘another’ new era by moving to Las Vegas. Their new stadium looks amazing but will sadly be empty all season long.
I would not be surprised to see the Cards turn things around in a big way in 2020. The offseason trade for DeAndre Hopkins has energised a team that was already on the rise and threatening to contend.
Injuries continue to dog these Eagles. Receivers Jalen Reagor and Alshon Jeffery are question marks for Week 1 while offensive linemen Brandon Brooks and Andre Dillard are already gone for the year.
Mitchell Trubisky has emerged as the winner of the training camp quarterback sweepstakes. The defense is in place to contend, so Trubisky must step up his game in 2020. There can be no excuses.
Winners of six of eight to end 2019, the Falcons can be a dangerous team this season. If they start fast, they could be a wildcard squad. But they are just as likely to frustrate once again.
Positive vibes were flowing through the Rocky Mountains this offseason thanks to the end-of-2019 form of QB Drew Lock. But the loss of pass rusher Von Miller for the season is a devastating blow.
It’s hard to jump all the way off the Rams’ bandwagon given Sean McVay is in charge, but they lost a ton of defensive talent in the offseason and questions continue to surround quarterback Jared Goff.
The Dolphins have added to their ranks significantly in the offseason and are very well led by Brian Flores. I’m not predicting a miracle playoff run, but I do think steps in the right direction will be taken.
Tyrod Taylor gets the opening day nod and his task will be to play clean and tidy football and let LA win with defense. That’s hardly an inspiring recipe for winning over new fans in Southern California.
The Lions were an 0-8 mess to end 2019, placing head coach Matt Patricia on the hot seat. But let’s not forget they were 3-4-1 and fun to watch when Matthew Stafford was healthy and firing downfield.
The Bengals are not, by any means, the worst two-win team in NFL history and they should take positive strides away from the gutter. Rookie QB Joe Burrow offers genuine hope for the future.
Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram are exciting pieces to work with on offense, but both lines are questionable and the defense is terrible. The Big Blue’s rebuild is going to take some time.
It’s tough being an NFL fan in the Big Apple these days. Adam Gase starts 2020 on a hot seat and quarterback Sam Darnold is lacking in talent around him as he enters a career-crossroads season.
The road to respectability is going to be long and bumpy. This season will be about Ron Rivera creating a culture, finding out if Dwayne Haskins is the answer at QB and enjoying the ferocious Chase Young.
The Panthers are taking motivation from being written off across the board. But it’s easy to see why given how much change there has been. I’m fascinated to see what new coach Matt Rhule can do.
The Jags also appear to be rebuilding and have 16 rookies on their opening day roster. This year will also be about culture and also finding out if Gardner Minshew is the real deal at quarterback.