The NFL season officially starts in September, but teams are already shaking up their rosters in their quest for the Super Bowl ring. Here are five teams you can’t sleep on.
Die hard NFL fans know that the season doesn’t begin with the first toss of the coin in September. The NFL season begins with free agency. It’s only been a few days since the start of the 2019-2020 free agency season, but it’s already been packed with moves that’ll shake things up come September.
While superstars like Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. are constantly trending, the teams below are quietly building momentum and a roster worth watching out for in 2019.
New England Patriots
The Patriots have consistently proven that they are not a pushover in the NFL. Although many Patriots fans are worried about the team’s offense, which is not as sharp as their defense, this does not in any way reduce the Pats’ ability to contend with more offensive minded teams in the league.
Of course, you don’t expect anything less from the team that boasts some of the best players in the league. Having the six-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady, will never cease to be an advantage in a league where smarts and experience often overshadow youth and talent.
The Philadelphia Eagles claimed their first Super Bowl in 2018, proving to many fans that they are no longer the underdogs. A consistent defensive unit is what propelled the Eagles to their victory over the Patriots. While the Eagles weren’t able to defend their title last season, they still have a lot of potential going into the upcoming season. However, their fire power entering the new season is no longer in the defensive end.
In fact, the Eagles recently traded defensive lineman and Pro Bowler Michael Bennett to the Patriots.This move leaves the pressure on defensive end Derek Barnett. His development can make all the difference in restoring the Eagles back to their championship caliber defense.
However, the Eagles aren’t only shaking things up on the defensive end. On the offensive end, the Eagles have acquired another Pro Bowler, DeSean Jackson. Jackson is known as a deep threat. This combined with the talent of Carson Wentz, could be the offensive power needed to bring the Eagles back to glory.
With Carson Wentz finally healthy and Jay Ajayi still in the equation for now, you can’t underestimate the Eagles. We all saw what that mistake led to in the 2018 Super Bowl.
Chicago’s injury-free advantage last season contributed to its excellent defense. Achieving 27 interceptions and 36 takeaways last season is definitely not a small feat. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Bears remain a team to watch out for in the 2019 season.
With Eddie Jackson, Khalil Mack, Kyle Fuller, and other prolific players still donning the Chicago Bears colors, NFL fans should expect a good outing from the team in the upcoming season.
However, all the buzz surrounding free agency for the Bears centered around the possible addition of superstar All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell. Bell eventually signed with the New York Jets.
Instead of adding a big name star to the offense, the Bears elected to strengthen their already stellar defense with another big name, Ha Ha Clinton Dix. Dix is well known for his interceptions and playmaking ability. Thus for their defensive fire power, the Bears are once again a team to watch in the upcoming season.
The Cowboys’ success last season can be traced to many factors, chief among them is the team’s decision to ensure their star running back, Ezekiel Elliot was targeted constantly.
The plan to maximize Elliot’s brilliance paid off at the end of the season as the 23-year-old Alton born player recorded 381 touches, which allowed the team to finish second in the NFC East even though they were unable to make the playoffs.
Elliot spent the previous season suspended. However, now that the former running back has the momentum of a full focused season on his side, expect the Cowboys to improve with a return to the playoffs.
New Orleans Saints
While several other teams in the league had difficulty maintaining a balance between their offense and defense, the Saints dominated the season having an incredible balance between the two crucial areas. This is the reason why the Louisiana based team ended the season on a high note. Fans still maintain that the Saints were robbed of a Super Bowl appearance by a wrong call. However, for the Saints, the show must go on.
Entering the 2019 season veteran quarterback Drew Brees, who was outstanding all through last season finishing with a 95.6% passer rating, restructured his contract. This left the Saints with $10.8 million cap space.
The Saints are rumored to be gunning for tight end Jared Cook from the Oakland Raiders. The notable tight end could turn out to be another powerful weapon for Drew Brees in 2019. On the defensive end, the Saints have already added nose tackle Malcom Brown. Brown logged 10 postseason starts with the Patriots and won two Super Bowl rings. His experience can add to the Saints high caliber defense.
However, the Saints biggest move thus far is signing running back Latavius Murray. While he may not fill the shoes of the team’s departing star running back Mark Ingram, who will spend 2019 with the Ravens, Murray is expected to be a formidable partner to Alvin Kamara.The new duo of Murray and Kamara will be an offensive combination to watch out for come September.
While the Patriots have the GOAT and are always a team to watch, the Eagles, Bears, Cowboys and Saints can’t be ignored. Their performances last season combined with recent roster moves, make them the teams to watch out for in the 2019-2020 NFL season.
Yes, the Raiders made a splash by acquiring Antonio Brown. Also, Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield are going to be a young, talented duo to watch for years to come. However, I believe the 2019-2020 NFL season will be all about one of the five teams above and how they build upon past success to ultimately hoist the Super Bowl LIV trophy in Miami.
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