As we come closer to the start of the 2020 NFL regular season, I will do an in-depth preview of the AFC and NFC. Each breakdown/preview will offer a analysts point of view. I’ll start with the AFC.
The Miami Dolphins, are looking to develop their young talent. The Dolphins added three first round draft picks that includes Tua Tagovailoa in the 2020 NFL, along with Byron Jones the top cornerback in free agency. There is still plenty of work to do, but the Dolphins are improving on both sides of the ball. The AFC east is a wide open race, and it’s not too crazy to consider the Dolphins, especially if Tua can live up to the hype.
The New York Jets, have been rebuilding since 2018 and they still have lots of work to do. They drafted QB Sam Darnold in 2018 but they are still lacking in crucial areas, such as wide receiver, offensive line, and cornerback. It’s impossible to improve every position through free agency and the draft. Jets should focus on Sam Darnold progression as a QB, and trying to acquiring some more draft picks.
New England Patriots, it’s a new era with the Patriots. Tom Brady has left for Tampa Bay, and now the post Tom Brady era can begin for the Patriots. Tom Brady leaving was the biggest story of the off-season, but for the Patriots it was the same old story. Successful players left and they sign new players to fill specific roles within the team. They draft a lot of players this year unlike previous years. Then they sign free agent QB Cam Newton, which increases expectations for them. The biggest question the Patriots face is Newtons health, if Cam can stay healthy this Patriot team can surprise a lot of people.
Buffalo Bills, I’m optimistic about the Buffalo Bills they had three years of strong defense, and I’m hoping for a strong fourth year. They continually added offensive talent which gave them one of the strongest rosters in the league. After revamping the offensive line and skill position groups over the last two seasons, the Bills 2020 NFL season will be all about quarterback Josh Allen taking the next step in his development.
Baltimore ravens, are the model franchise when it comes to winning every facet of the game in 2019. They built their offensive system perfectly to Lamar Jackson’s skill set. They play a unique brand of aggressive defense and attacking on 4th downs. I except big things from the Ravens this year. Hopefully they can duplicate last season success.
Cincinnati Bengals, it was another rough year for the Bengals, but that’s been the case for every Bengals season. They ended up with the 1st pick in the draft that led them to drafting Joe Burrow. Cincinnati believes that Burrow can save this team and give the fans something to hope for. Burrow has super star potential, and combined with the additions at wide receiver and the secondary, the Bengals should look more competitive but they still have a long way to go before they can be considered a playoff team.
Cleveland Browns, entered 2019 with so much hype, but their whole season was a huge disappointment. New Head coach Kevin Stefanski will look to get the most out of his talented roster, and that includes getting Baker Mayfield back on track. If Baker can live up to expectations the Browns can compete with the deep AFC North.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, 2019 season centers around the QB Ben Rothlisberger he was limited to just one game. The Steelers weren’t the same team Mason Rudolf at helm, but their defense was outstanding and carried them all season. In 2020 Ben will be back and hopefully the Steelers offensive will be able to match their defense.
Indianapolis Colts, they have slowly transformed their roster with young players on both sides of the ball. They’re primed to take another step forward in 2020, especially after adding quarterback Philip Rivers and NFL veteran DeForest Buckner. The Colts are no longer a young upstart, as they feature the best offensive line in the league, a capable quarterback and a defense with playmakers at all three levels. The big question will be the development of young receivers for Rivers, who still has enough to offer if he has playmakers to throw to. The Colts are set up to compete in a wide-open AFC South
The Houston Texans, since trading up to draft superstar QB Deshaun Watson the Texans have been trying to build a super bowl team around him since. The effort has been compounded by multiple high draft picks being traded in other deals, leaving the Texans with question marks in the secondary that remain unresolved. Trading star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins didn’t help their cause. The big question remains on the back end of the defense, where Houston must be able to stop good teams if they want to give Watson and the passing offense a chance to win high-scoring games.
Tennessee Titans, were an unexpected participant in the AFC Championship game last year. QB Ryan Tannahill put together his best season and the rusher attack led by Derrick Henry created a potent offensive for the Titans. The Titans are going to stick to the same game plan as last year. Duplicating last year’s success will come down to creating similar production in the pass game, and that will be a challenge given Tannehill’s history of mid-tier play. Defensively, the Titans have had a secondary capable of competing against good passing attacks, and they should be in good position once again. This looks like another strong Titans roster that will go as far as the pass game takes them.
Jacksonville Jaguars, are three years removed from the AFC championship game. They have revamped their roster with hopes of finding postseason success once again. Quarterback Gardner Minshew emerged last season, and could be a stater this is impressive considering that he was a sixth round draft pick. The roster needs work across the board, but the key for Jacksonville this season will be getting young players into the mix and ready to contribute in the coming years.
The Los Angeles Chargers, very few teams have the roster depth of the Chargers as they feature one of the league’s best groups of offensive playmakers as well as one of the league’s deepest secondaries. Their success in 2020 comes down to Tyrod Taylor, Taylor has multiple years of experience under his belt, and this team will go as far as he’s able to carry them. The offensive line is a perennial problem, as is the interior defensive line, but the Chargers have a roster that is going to be competitive every week and could do some damage in the AFC West with good quarterback play.
Kansas City Chiefs, put it all together last year winning the Super Bowl. Their road to the Super Bowl wasn’t easy. They had to overcome an injury to Patrick Mahomes, play from behind to come back and win the game. The key to the Chiefs success this year is simple keep Mahomes healthy and you have a shot at winning the Super Bowl again.
Denver Broncos, are moving in the right direction. They drafted well these past three years, and the offense overhaul puts quarterback Drew Lock in a great situation for a young QB. The offensive and defensive lines are both solid, the big question is who will play cornerback after Chris Harris JR’s departure. Head coach Vic Fangio has put together strong units with average talent in his zone heavy playing style. This season is all about development of Lock and his playmakers this season.
The Las Vegas Raiders, quarterback Derek Carr was once looked at as a top ten quarterback in the NFL. That is no longer the case for Carr he’s now an average quarterback at best. The Raiders have a chance to compete if he connects with the young playmakers, and then it will come down to the back seven’s ability to slow down opposing passing attacks. The linebackers should be much better, and the secondary has been addressed with volume, so the range of outcomes is wide for the Raiders heading into 2020.