A team can't win the Super Bowl in July and August, but a team can certainly bolster or hinder its chances to end up in the NFL's championship game.
The past couple weeks of signing, trades and cuts have slightly altered the order of power in pro football.
Here's a rundown of each team's latest odds to reach Super Sunday in Indianapolis.
With a talent-laden roster, the defending champion Packers remain the front-runner to win the Super Bowl. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is just entering the prime of his career, has a good group of receivers to throw to and is helped by a defense that will always keep him in the game.
That said, Green Bay doesn't have a burning need to add any significant pieces to this already formidable club.
Granted, losing Cullen Jenkins hurts the pass rush. But if the Packers can remain healthy, they could be even better than they were in 2010. Now that's a scary thought.
What can we expect from Albert Haynesworth? He was a stud in Tennessee and a malcontent in Washington. Odds are he'll be more of a run-stopping force under the watchful eye of head coach Bill Belichick.
Chad Ochocinco won't post the gaudy numbers he compiled in Cincinnati, but he'll get what he's always wanted during his pro career—a chance to play with a consistent, legitimate contender. The Pats have been made more venerable with No. 85's insertion into the New England receiving bunch.
Tom Brady having another Pro Bowl year is a near certainty.
No team has been more in the spotlight since the lifting of the lockout than the Eagles.
With the addition of Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin, Ronnie Brown, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Philadelphia has upgraded on an already athletic roster.
Is that enough to overtake the Packers? Not yet. Consider that the linebacking corps is weak, and who knows what to expect on special teams with a new punter and kicker on board?
Defending Super Bowl champ Green Bay is still the class of the NFC, but Philly has boldly emerged as the prime challenger.
The Steelers have not made a splash in free agency or on the trade market. This has been the norm for this franchise for years...and it's turned out pretty well.
Don't expect any flashy upgrades to this already souped-up model prior to the season getting under way.
Ben Roethlisberger has had an offseason without trouble, which can only be a good thing for him and Pittsburgh.
It'll be interesting to see how the recent incident involving Hines Ward will affect the Steelers. But if last year's fiasco with Big Ben is any indication, it should be zero distraction.
After a disappointing loss to the Green Bay Packers in the divisional playoff round, the Falcons are primed for another run at the big game.
Atlanta made two key additions—one on each side of the ball.
End Ray Edwards makes what was a solid defensive unit even better.
As well, on draft day the Falcons took wide receiver Julio Jones with their first-round selection. By the end of the season, he could very well be the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
An annual playoff participant, the Ravens will be battling the Steelers for the AFC North crown with their usually strong defense and an offense that has two emerging stars.
Quarterback Joe Flacco has already experienced the postseason in each of his three seasons, while Ray Rice is capable of carrying the bulk of the running game.
Baltimore unloaded a number of veterans but has a good mixture of young and old to at least go far on the road to the Super Bowl.
The Jets will be solid again on defense. However, there are questions that remained to be answered on offense.
For starters, there is the wild card that is Plaxico Burress. It'll be very interesting to see how the 34-year-old wide receiver does after spending two years in prison. It may take time for his speed and quickness to return, but he's still a tall target for Mark Sanchez to throw to.
The re-signing of Santonio Holmes was imperative to keeping the passing attack intact. The emergence of Sanchez in his third year behind center will be vitally important.
Most of the Saints' moves in this rapid free-agency period have involved the re-signing of their own players, including safety Roman Harper and wideout Lance Moore.
One player that was let go was running back Reggie Bush. The same day Bush signed with the Dolphins, New Orleans picked up Darren Sproles, a player with many similar traits.
An injury-riddled 2010 prevented the Saints from being better record-wise.
Peyton Manning's neck has been all the rage recently around Colts camp. The franchise quarterback re-signed with the only NFL club he's ever known last week to a five-year, $90 million deal—which gives the team some flexibility to sign other players.
However, Manning isn't fully recovered from neck surgery and has yet to practice. When he does come back, how will he do when he's hit?
No. 18 has been old reliable for Indy, as he has yet to miss a game in his entire pro career. As long as he's out on the field playing, the Colts are contenders.
The Chargers always have enough talent to reach the Super Bowl. The only problem is they have difficulty fulfilling that talent.
Vincent Jackson playing wideout for all 16 games—something he didn't do last season—can boost San Diego's fortunes, as well as the stats of QB Philip Rivers.
Darren Sproles is gone, but the Chargers are relying on Ryan Mathews to be the primary ball carrier. The biggest replacement they need may be for inside linebacker Kevin Burnett, who posted nearly 90 tackles in 2010.
No big moves have been made in Big D, which is quite unusual for this franchise.
They released two members of the offensive line, wide receiver Roy Williams and running back Marion Barber.
A Tony Romo that avoids injury will result in a season in which Dallas contends for a playoff spot, as Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten are good enough to carry the passing game.
The Cowboys are hoping that new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's bite is as good as his bark.
We're still waiting for the Bears to make a significant move to upgrade an offensive line that put quarterback Jay Cutler on the ground way too often last year.
Chicago obtained a few Cowboy leftovers in WRs Roy Williams and Sam Hurd, as well as RB Marion Barber. That, unfortunately, doesn't make up for their glaring weakness up front.
To boot, Cutler's top passing target in 2010—Greg Olsen—has been traded away from the Windy City and will suit up for Carolina.
It's better to have a disgruntled Osi Umenyiora than none at all.
All indications are that the talented pass rusher is going to be with Big Blue after months of complaining. Should he play up to his usual self, the Giants defense should be solid.
The problems lie with the offense. New York did the right thing by re-signing Ahmad Bradshaw. The line in front of him, though, is questionable. Shaun O'Hara, Rich Seubert and Shawn Andrews have all been released, which has to make pocket passer Eli Manning quiver a little.
The pressure is on more than ever for the Texans to get into the playoffs.
The main area of concern, the secondary, has been alleviated with the signing of cornerback Johnathan Joseph and safety Danieal Manning. Mario Williams has never been a concern. This year may be one of slight transition, though, as he'll be called upon to be an outside linebacker instead of his normal position of defensive end.
The offense still remains explosive with Arian Foster, last year's emerging star, toting the ball on the ground and wideout Andre Johnson ruling the air.
All the pieces are there for head coach Gary Kubiak.
There's no doubt that Josh Freeman is one of the top young quarterbacks in the game. That doesn't diminish the fact that he and the Bucs feasted on a number of weak opponents to help inflate their record to one that nearly qualified for the postseason.
Nevertheless, a significant improvement from Freeman, along with other youthful talents, could prove the critics wrong.
Tampa made the most curious signing of the offseason, inking Michael Koenen to a whopping six-year, $19.5 million deal.
The revival of the Chiefs resulted in a home playoff game. That luster may wear off in 2011, as a brutal schedule may put Kansas City in a troubling position to return to postseason play.
Quarterback Matt Cassel has been a product of the system run by Bill Belichick and Charlie Weis. Well, Weis has left his post as offensive coordinator with the Chiefs and is now doing the same for the University of Florida.
This could hinder Cassel's growth, even with the addition of slot receiver Steve Breaston.
The defense's biggest upgrade was nose tackle Kelly Gregg, who signed on July 30.
The five-time Pro Bowler gets escape from Washington and lands with an offense led by running back Adrian Peterson. The rushing attack is great, but McNabb has a lot to prove after last season's lackluster effort with the Redskins.
McNabb's top target would have been Sidney Rice, but he's off to Seattle. Another loss that may hurt is defensive end Ray Edwards.
For the first time in more than a decade, there is an air of optimism in Detroit.
How can you not be excited when you have last year's Defensive Rookie of the Year (Ndamukong Suh) and a wideout (Calvin Johnson) with the gift of grab?
QB Matt Stafford's health is the key. In the past two seasons, he's played in just 13 games. If he can stay upright, the Lions' growth will be expedited.
The Lions didn't make any splashes in the free-agency game. They don't need to. The pieces are there to make a playoff run very soon.
St. Louis was a step away from the playoffs in 2010. In order to take the next step, it'll need added growth from second-year quarterback Sam Bradford.
His help includes WR Donnie Avery, who the Rams held on to with a new contract, and running back Steven Jackson.
Bradford and company better be improved and ready right out of the chute, as their first seven opponents line up like this: Philadelphia, N.Y. Giants, Baltimore, Washington, Green Bay, Dallas and New Orleans.
Arizona has made the most quality low-key moves in the abbreviated offseason, which has made it much stronger than it was at the end of last year.
The jury is still out on Kevin Kolb's ability to be a stable, long-term quarterback. That said, he has to be better than the futility the Cardinals suffered behind center in 2010.
Other newcomers to the desert include tight end Todd Heap, guard Daryn Colledge, wideout Chansi Stuckey and rookie cornerback Patrick Peterson out of LSU.
While the additions don't completely turn the Cards from a joke into a juggernaut, they will certainly make them a contender to win the mediocre NFC West.
For Miami, it's simply too hard to vault past the two powerhouses in the AFC East.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall remains the top pass-catching threat for Chad Henne, who will be called upon to improve personally and help the Dolphins improve their 30th-ranked offense of one year ago.
Reggie Bush will certainly add some versatility to the offense and any Wildcat formations the Dolphins are interested in scheming up.
It's easy to forget, outside of the Bay Area, that the Oakland Raiders went undefeated against all AFC West opponents. That made up for six of their eight victories in 2010 under head coach Tom Cable.
Now, Cable is out and former assistant Hue Jackson makes the transition up.
The biggest areas of concern will be replacing star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and figuring out if Jason Campbell is the answer as the Oakland signal caller.
One would be hard pressed to name the general manager of the Jaguars, but that person did a solid job of trying to turn around what has been a poor defense.
Donning the colors of Jacksonville now are linebackers Paul Posluszny and Clint Session, along with cornerback Drew Coleman and safety Dawan Landry.
This still may not be enough, however.
Offensively, the line still needs work if there going to protect rookie QB Blaine Gabbert in the near future. Right now, it appears as if David Garrard is the man, but any faltering by No. 9 will result in the former Mizzou standout getting his chance.
It's hard to believe that a division winner from last year would be such a long shot to win the Super Bowl.
Anyone that says that obviously didn't witness the NFC West in 2010. The Seahawks did emerge as the "champion" of that division. That doesn't mean they didn't have some serious flaws.
Seattle will try to defend the title with, apparently, Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback. The move to bring in a QB with a losing record as a starter is curious at best. Option No. 2, Charlie Whitehurst, isn't going to set the world on fire either.
Wide receiver Sidney Rice follows Jackson from Minnesota but is not as great as the amount the Seahawks paid him (five years, $43 million).
There hasn't been much change for the 49ers from the end of last season to the present day. The only thing that is different is there's a new head coach manning the sidelines.
Jim Harbaugh has his work cut out for him in year one of his NFL coaching life, but the possible adding of wide receiver Braylon Edwards would certainly help out a passing attack that has potential.
The major fixes needed for the offense to fully function are to get consistent quarterback play and to get the offensive line to protect better. If either of these areas is a problem for San Francisco, the season will be a struggle.
New head coach John Fox needs to finalize who his starting quarterback should be...and it should be Kyle Orton.
Tim Tebow is simply not ready to handle a starting role. Orton, the former Purdue QB, had a fine 2010, throwing for more than 3,600 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was the lone bright spot in what was a dismal year in the Rocky Mountains.
Not much will change in this go-around.
On the defensive side, all eyes will be on No. 2 overall pick Von Miller.
Colt McCoy has emerged as the main man in Cleveland, but the resources around him have not yet been truly defined.
The main weak points on this club are at wide receiver, secondary and defensive line. Through both the draft in April as well as the past two weeks, the Browns have addressed those areas.
Players signed recently include defensive ends Derreck Robinson and Jayme Mitchell and defensive tackles Brodrick Bunkley and Brandon Jackson, as well as safety Usama Young.
The pieces are young but emerging. Just like last year, the Browns will miss the playoffs but certainly won't be a pushover.
The Redskins should start decorating the basement of the NFC East, because that's where they'll be residing for 2011.
That said, Washington has done a fine job this offseason by making high-quality, low-priced transactions. In comes running back Tim Hightower to go along with defensive linemen Stephen Bowen and Barry Cofield. Staying put is Santana Moss, who can provide any help he can to supposed starting quarterback John Beck.
Unfortunately for Mike Shanahan and his brass, there are just too many holes to plug on this sinking ship.
It's hard to get hopes up in Buffalo. These next few sentences won't do any bit to help that.
The addition of veteran linebacker Nick Barnett was countered with the loss of leading tackler Paul Posluszny, who signed with the Jaguars.
Head coach Chan Gailey specializes in offense, but he doesn't have enough tools to operate with success. Bringing in the versatile Brad Smith doesn't solve the problem.
The odds of Tennessee creating a miracle and making the Super Bowl would have been far worse had not veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck been signed to play in Nashville.
Hasselbeck will be a stable force behind center while rookie Jack Locker learns the pro game. Running back Chris Johnson is still the focal point on the Titans offense.
The defense took a hit by losing top sack specialist Jason Babin, as the Titans have many more questions than answers.
It's tough enough to get adjusted to the NFL after having four months to prepare. It's even harder when you have just six weeks of preparation.
That's what No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton is going to have to endure under center with the Panthers.
That said, expect improvement over the course of this season from the team and especially Newton, who'll have help with the re-signed DeAngelo Williams and Charles Johnson.
However, there's still a long way to go.
It's been an offseason to forget in the Queen City.
Let's list the damages.
* Cedric Benson, who last year rushed for 1,111 yards, was arrested on July 17 for a misdemeanor charge of assault.
* An unhappy Carson Palmer, the QB the team drafted No. 1 overall in 2003, has vowed never to play for the franchise again.
* Chad Ochocinco, the team's leading pass receiver, was dealt last week to the New England Patriots.