"Hard Knocks" has me high on the
Raiders. Jon Gruden's crew has a completely different look and attitude in his second season. Both sides of the ball have improved immensely, so fireworks should be firing early and often with Gruden's offense at the center of it all.
We can no longer say the Jags are a quarterback away from being true
Super Bowl contenders. They have one now in free-agent addition
Nick Foles, who can win games, not just manage them. Foles provides a sense of calm in the huddle and locker room, and I believe he's refueled and focused on bringing a team that's
his to the next level. This defense -- even without Telvin Smith -- will (for once) feed off the offense's success and return to 2017 form.
Kyle Shanahan's group has the potential to win 10 games in 2019, but the team must stay healthy after being hit hard by injuries last season and again this preseason. The offense should be improved with
Jimmy Garoppolo healthy again, and the defense has undergone a massive makeover, adding
Kwon Alexander and
Jason Verrett. This is a very talented roster, and I'm hoping the Niners can put it all together.
There's plenty of buzz about Bruce Arians and how he'll help take
Jameis Winston to the next level, but don't sleep on Todd Bowles' ability to improve this defense. The Bucs added
Ndamukong Suh in free agency and drafted potential Defensive Rookie of the Year contender
Devin White. Those two alone make the defense a more feared unit, and with Bowles' past success as a D-coordinator, the Bucs could establish themselves as one of the more balanced teams in the league.
I know the
Browns won seven games last year, thanks to tremendous improvement in the second half of the season, but they'll continue climbing even higher in 2019. This squad has all the ingredients to make a run at the Lombardi Trophy: star power, a fearless quarterback, a nasty pass rush and a motivated front office and head coach. Going from a below-.500 team to the
Super Bowl champion? Now
that would be a turnaround worth noting.