Post-Draft 2020 Win-Loss Predictions for Every NFL Team
Over the offseason, most NFL fans see improvements in their teams on paper. In reality, every club can't put together a winning season—no matter how good the depth charts look following the draft.
Injuries play a factor in the bottom-line result. In some cases, clubs with several new acquisitions require time to jell before they can take a big step in the win column. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are championship contenders.
As general managers take inventory of their rosters, let's look at the big picture across the league.
We'll analyze all 32 rosters and their 2020 opponents to come up with early win-loss projections. Which teams are set to make a leap in the standings? Who's headed for a nosedive? What can you expect from your club? Super Bowl odds are listed to provide another outlook.
Super Bowl Odds: +6000
The Arizona Cardinals are a must-see football team. Quarterback Kyler Murray has a new pass-catching target in DeAndre Hopkins, whom the team acquired from the Houston Texans. This one-two punch deserves a prime-time spotlight in the upcoming season.
The Cardinals used the transition tag on Kenyan Drake, though general manager Steve Keim wants to keep the running back on a long-term deal. The tailback logged three 100-yard games on the ground after the Miami Dolphins traded him in October.
Keim selected the most versatile defensive player in the draft. Isaiah Simmons lined up at linebacker, slot cornerback and safety for Clemson. Regardless of where he fits, the 6'4", 238-pounder can become a special asset.
Arizona signed linebacker Devon Kennard, who has registered seven sacks in consecutive terms. His pass-rushing ability can take some attention away from Chandler Jones on the opposite end.
On the flip side, Cardinals fans should be skeptical of play-caller Vance Joseph. As a head coach and defensive coordinator, he hasn't fielded a group that's ranked better than 13th in scoring. Last year, Arizona gave up the most yards.
The defense may be the Cardinals' Achilles' heel if Joseph doesn't tighten up the run (24th) and pass units (31st).
Super Bowl Odds: +6000
Over the last two years, the Atlanta Falcons have underachieved with a top-10 offense in yards.
The Falcons are coming off back-to-back 7-9 terms. Last season, Atlanta won six of its last eight contests. In those victories, the defense held opponents to 22 points or fewer. That's the key to the club's push for a better campaign.
The Falcons' decisions to sign running back Todd Gurley and acquire tight end Hayden Hurst from the Baltimore Ravens grabbed headlines. Yet Atlanta will miss out on the playoffs if the defense doesn't pick up where it left off.
The Falcons signed edge-rusher Dante Fowler Jr. and selected cornerback A.J. Terrell (first round) along with Marlon Davidson (second round) in the draft.
Davidson may play a rotational role on the defensive line while Terrell starts opposite Isaiah Oliver. The Falcons pass defense ranked 22nd last season. Their first-rounder needs to help the secondary right away, which will be a tough task, especially in a division with quarterbacks Drew Brees and Tom Brady.
The Falcons have a rough road schedule outside of the division—three of those five matchups are against playoff squads from last year. Atlanta will win some shootouts, though the defense seems hard to trust with a rookie projected to line up on the boundary.
Super Bowl Odds: +800
The Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson put the NFL on notice last season. The club went 14-2 with the league's MVP behind center.
The Ravens had a strong 2019 campaign because of a balanced roster that led the league in scoring and gave up the third-fewest points.
During the offseason, general manager Eric DeCosta added to the defense, signing Derek Wolfe and acquiring Calais Campbell from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The new defensive linemen recorded a combined 13.5 sacks in 2019.
The Ravens also drafted linebackers Patrick Queen (first round) and Malik Harrison (third round). The former is an athletic three-down defender, and the latter will bring a more physical component to the front seven.
DeCosta didn't forget to build around his quarterback. Jackson doesn't expect to run the ball "a lot" going forward. He won't have to supplement the ground attack with rookie tailback J.K. Dobbins joining the backfield. The signal-caller can also throw to first-year wideout Devin Duvernay—a speedy threat who can stretch defenses with yards after the catch.
The Ravens' additions on defense and young spark plugs on offense maintained the roster's balance. Baltimore will go through another season with few losses.
Super Bowl Odds: +2500
It's quarterback Josh Allen's time to shine.
The Buffalo Bills acquired wideout Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings. In 2019, he became a big-play pass-catcher, logging 17.9 yards per reception.
With Allen's big arm, he and Diggs should connect on several deep balls next season. John Brown, who posted career highs in receptions (72) and yards (1,060) last year, will likely become the No. 2 option. The pair should challenge opposing defenses with speed and crisp routes downfield.
After allowing the second-fewest points during the last term, the Bills defense will look even better. Buffalo signed defensive tackle Vernon Butler, edge-rusher Mario Addison, linebacker A.J. Klein and cornerback Josh Norman, who are all familiar with head coach Sean McDermott from their time with the Carolina Panthers.
Addison is an upgrade over defensive end Shaq Lawson, who departed for the Miami Dolphins during free agency. The former has registered at least nine sacks in each of the last four seasons. Butler is coming off his best year with 32 tackles, including seven for loss, and six sacks.
Norman comes along as an added bonus for a pass defense that allowed the second-fewest touchdowns. If he performs at a level close to how he played in his standout 2015 campaign (18 pass breakups and four interceptions with two returned for scores), the 32-year-old would lock down the starting job opposite of All-Pro cornerback Tre'Davious White.
Buffalo added a notable playmaker for the aerial attack. The defensive group will likely remain in the top five in points and yards allowed. The Bills have a prime opportunity to take the AFC East crown.
Super Bowl Odds: +12500
On the collegiate level, head coach Matt Rhule turned around two programs, Temple and Baylor. He faces his biggest challenge with the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers lost leaders on both sides of the ball. The front office opted to part ways with quarterback Cam Newton. Linebacker Luke Kuechly retired. The defense also lost several starters via release or free agency, including Bruce Irvin, Mario Addison, Dontari Poe, Gerald McCoy, Vernon Butler, Eric Reid and James Bradberry.
Defensive coordinator Phil Snow has to mold a young group. The Panthers selected tackle Derrick Brown, edge-rusher Yetur Gross-Matos and safety Jeremy Chinn in the first two rounds of the 2020 draft. The front office picked up potential building blocks to replace a slew of veterans, though the players and system need to mesh for optimal results.
Teddy Bridgewater will take over for Newton behind center. He's familiar with offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who was an assistant on the New Orleans Saints staff in 2017 and 2018.
Bridgewater's rapport with Brady could help him get off to a quick start. He has a decent set of offensive weapons in running back Christian McCaffrey along with wideouts DJ Moore, Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel.
Carolina plays in a tough division. Bridgwater has to go up against some loaded offenses with quarterbacks Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Tom Brady at the forefront of those aerial attacks. Rhule and the Panthers will experience plenty of rough patches as they rebuild.
Super Bowl Odds: +5000
The Chicago Bears' confidence in quarterback Mitchell Trubisky seemed to fade after his disappointing 2019 season. The front office acquired Nick Foles from the Jacksonville Jaguars. According to general manager Ryan Pace, the team will have an "open competition" for the starting spot.
Foles spent a year under Matt Nagy when he was the Kansas City Chiefs' quarterbacks coach during the 2016 term. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was his position coach in 2013. New Bears quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo also has experience with Foles (Philadelphia Eagles in 2017, Jacksonville in 2019).
Because of his familiarity with the coaching staff, Foles has a chance to win the starting job, though he may not be a much better option than Trubisky. The Jaguars signed him to a four-year, $88 million deal, and the Super LII MVP lost his job to Gardner Minshew II, a 2019 sixth-rounder.
The Bears could start Trubisky for the sake of continuity. He'll have to improve on a season in which he threw for 3,138 yards and 17 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.
Chicago should have a strong defense. The group ranked in the top 10 in yards and points allowed even after defensive coordinator Vic Fangio became the head coach of the Denver Broncos. Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn will bring pressure off the edge with linebackers Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith covering the middle of the field.
Coming off Pro Bowl seasons, cornerback Kyle Fuller and safety Eddie Jackson pose threats to aerial attacks. Both have a tendency to force turnovers with a combined 28 interceptions in their careers.
Chicago must jump-start running back David Montgomery to give Trubisky or Foles help. The offensive line ranked 29th in run blocking for the previous term, per Football Outsiders. The Bears didn't add any notable veterans to the group during free agency, so they need improvements from the holdovers.
The Bears have quarterback questions and a shaky front line that raises major concerns. Regardless of who starts behind center, the offense may have another subpar campaign.
Super Bowl Odds: +10000
Cincinnati Bengals fans must exercise some patience. Don't expect quarterback Joe Burrow to light up defenses right away. As a rookie, he will go through growing pains—even with wideouts A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and rookie second-rounder Tee Higgins on the perimeter.
First and foremost, the Bengals need their offensive line to jell. Burrow won't flourish without reliable pass protection or a group that can clear lanes for the ball-carriers. According to Football Outsiders, the unit ranked 20th in pass protection and 26th in run blocking last year.
Left tackle Jonah Williams missed his entire rookie term with a shoulder injury that required surgery. His presence bodes well for Burrow. On the other hand, right tackle Bobby Hart allowed six sacks in 2019, per Pro Football Focus. Billy Price, a 2018 first-rounder, has been in and out of the starting lineup. Can Xavier Su'a-Filo claim a first-string role at guard?
In addition to concerns about the offensive line, running back Joe Mixon may hold out if he doesn't come to terms on a new deal with the team, per Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic. The Bengals have too many questions that involve Burrow's supporting cast to set a high bar as far as wins and losses.
Cincinnati has allowed at least 420 points in each of the last two seasons. Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo has to prove he can turn talent into a stout unit. The Bengals have the pieces for a better future, but they'll have to take baby steps first.
Super Bowl Odds: +3500
Every year, Baker Mayfield has had a new play-caller. That's not ideal for a young quarterback, though the front office made a solid hire in head coach Kevin Stefanski.
Last season, the Minnesota Vikings offense ranked eighth in scoring with a ground attack that racked up the sixth-most yards under Stefanski. He's going to bring his zone schemes to the Cleveland Browns. Tailbacks Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt could take some pressure off Mayfield as he picks up the system.
The Browns also selected high-potential prospects to fill roster voids and add depth.
Jedrick Wills Jr. (No. 10 overall pick) is going to slide into the left tackle spot opposite Jack Conklin, who signed with the team during free agency. Safety Grant Delpit (second-rounder) should earn a starting role alongside Karl Joseph. He's a ball hawk with eight interceptions as a collegian.
Rookie third-rounders Jordan Elliott and Jacob Phillips will have rotational roles at defensive tackle and linebacker.
The Browns have the players to make a jump in the standings for the upcoming campaign, though the coaching staff has to find out how to mesh the quality talent and scheme. More importantly, Mayfield must shake off a disappointing year.
A strong running game could help, but we don't know if Mayfield is the quarterback we saw during his rookie year, when he threw for 27 scores and 14 interceptions, or the one who threw for 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions while completing just 59.4 percent of his passes during the last term. That's a good reason to be bearish on the Browns.
Super Bowl Odds: +1300
The Dallas Cowboys haven't come to a long-term agreement with quarterback Dak Prescott in what seems like a never-ending line of negotiations. The front office used the franchise tag to keep its signal-caller on the books for at least another season.
If and when Prescott returns, he will have a stacked offensive personnel group. The Cowboys selected rookie wideout CeeDee Lamb in the first round of the draft. He'll join Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Ezekiel Elliott. Center Travis Frederick retired, but Joe Looney, 2019 third-rounder Connor McGovern or rookie Tyler Biadasz could fill the position.
Under Mike McCarthy, the Cowboys should put up a lot of points. He comes to Dallas with a 125-77-2 record as a head coach and deserves some credit for molding a young Aaron Rodgers. Prescott could experience significant growth under his new skipper's tutelage.
Dallas allowed cornerback Byron Jones to walk in free agency and selected his potential replacement in Trevon Diggs on Day 2 of the draft. On the front line, Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe can supplement the pocket pressure and bolster the run defense.
The Cowboys are built to outscore teams. Cooper, Gallup, Lamb and Elliott will feast on opponents—enough to compensate for any lapses on defense.
Super Bowl Odds: +5000
The Denver Broncos have a big question mark: Will quarterback Drew Lock elevate his game?
In 2019, Lock threw for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns against three interceptions with a 64.1 percent completion rate in five starts. He showed flashes, though one month is a small sample size.
The Broncos made a concerted effort to surround Lock with quality talent. The front office signed interior offensive lineman Graham Glasgow, a four-year starter for the Detroit Lions. Running back Melvin Gordon III joined the club in free agency. He'll form a solid duo with Phillip Lindsay. Team brass double dipped at wide receiver during the draft, taking Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler in the first two rounds.
Lock just needs to distribute the ball like an NBA point guard to move the offense. He's already familiar with wideout Courtland Sutton and tight end Noah Fant. Jeudy and Hamler bring a lot more speed to the Broncos aerial attack.
Head coach Vic Fangio fielded a top-10 scoring defense last season. Team brass acquired A.J. Bouye and tackle Jurrell Casey in separate trades. The former will man the boundary, while the latter attempts to push the pocket and add to his 51 career sacks.
On paper, Denver has a much-improved squad. However, the club will take on a brutal home schedule, facing four playoff squads from last year and the resurgent Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Tom Brady. The Broncos' record won't fully reflect the strides made during the offseason because of that tough slate, but they'll finish in the black.
Super Bowl Odds: +6000
Ownership made a statement about the job statuses of general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Mike Patricia late in the 2019 term. Team brass will go into the season under pressure to win and push for a playoff spot.
Coming off an injury-marred 2019 campaign, quarterback Matthew Stafford will look to bounce back strong. He has the playmakers to threaten defenses deep and can simply hand off to bludgeon defensive lines.
Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola and T.J. Hockenson make up a solid pass-catching group. Rookie second-rounder D'Andre Swift will join Kerryon Johnson for a one-two combo in the backfield.
Stafford may have to rely on the ground attack more than usual. The Lions lost interior lineman Graham Glasgow. The front office rolled the dice on a five-year, $45 million deal for tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who has started 20 games in four seasons. If he struggles, the pass protection could be shaky on the right side.
If Detroit has to lean on a ball-control offense to minimize pocket pressure on Stafford, the defense will need to perform a lot better than last year's group that ranked 26th in scoring and gave up the second-most yards.
Detroit selected Jeff Okudah with the No. 3 overall pick. He's a quality cornerback with great footwork. The Ohio State product will be tested because of the Lions' questionable pass rush. The club released Devon Kennard, who logged seven sacks last season.
Without a consistent pass-rusher to team up with defensive end Trey Flowers, the defense may surrender a lot of points. And Quinn and Patricia could be on the way out.
Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl Odds: +1600
The Green Bay Packers' draft class raised some eyebrows. General manager Brian Gutekunst passed on a strong wide receiver class and selected quarterback Jordan Love (first round) and running back A.J. Dillon (second round), who will join Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams in the backfield. The front office used three sixth-round picks on offensive linemen.
According to Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Packers will transition to a run-heavy offensive attack, which explains the Dillon pick. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, however, needs more than one reliable pass-catcher.
The Packers signed wideout Devin Funchess, who has more than 44 catches in just one of his five seasons. He missed all but one game because of a broken collarbone in 2019.
Even though Rodgers is going into his age-37 term, the two-time All-Pro can still perform at a high level with quality perimeter weapons. Wideout Davante Adams can't uplift the aerial attack alone.
During the last campaign, the Packers defense made strides, specifically in the pass rush. Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith combined for 25.5 sacks. The unit ranked ninth in points allowed. Green Bay, however, listed 18th in yards allowed and 23rd against the run.
As the Packers reportedly move toward a ball-control offense, Rodgers, who's still one of the best quarterbacks in the league, could have less of an impact on games. Jones, Williams and Dillon could form a solid trio, but Green Bay would be taking a risk with a run-heavy attack in a league with an increasing number of spread offenses.
Without an elite defense, the Packers could struggle to close deficits or build leads if the offense is more methodical than explosive. Green Bay will take a step back.
Super Bowl Odds: +5500
The Houston Texans traded star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals. That decision may have an adverse impact on quarterback Deshaun Watson. The tandem connected on 25 touchdown passes over the last three seasons.
Watson has a decent wide receiver corps that features Randall Cobb, Will Fuller V and Brandin Cooks, but the latter two have struggled with durability.
Through four terms, Fuller has missed 22 contests—logging fewer than 50 catches for each campaign. Cooks has suffered at least five concussions in his career. He recorded just 42 receptions for 583 yards and two touchdowns through 14 contests last season.
In the deal that sent Hopkins to the Cardinals, the Texans added running back David Johnson. He hasn't been able to match his 2016 All-Pro numbers—2,118 yards and 20 touchdowns from scrimmage.
Johnson missed all but one game during the 2017 term because of a wrist injury that required surgery. He also had back and ankle ailments in 2019. The Texans hope he will turn back the clock.
Houston has to develop a pass-rusher to help Whitney Mercilus push the pocket. Defensive end J.J. Watt changes the complexion of the defense on run and passing downs. Yet the three-time Defensive Player of the Year has suited up for more than eight games in a season just once since 2016.
Watson will pull a rabbit out of his helmet for a couple of extra wins, though he will have to overcompensate for a defense that doesn't look much better than last year's group, which ranked 19th in scoring and gave up the fifth-most yards.
Super Bowl Odds: +2500
Quarterback Philip Rivers goes for one more rodeo with the Indianapolis Colts. He's familiar with head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni from their San Diego and Los Angeles Chargers days. The 38-year-old has a chance to put together a solid campaign.
Rivers will line up behind an offensive line that remains intact from the last term, returning all five starters. The Colts added two offensive playmakers in the second round, wideout Michael Pittman Jr. and running back Jonathan Taylor.
For the first time in a while, the Colts may have a solid No. 2 wide receiver to complement T.Y. Hilton. At 6'4", 223 pounds, Pittman can provide immediate help in the red zone. Taylor must correct his ball-security issues, but he'll share the workload with Marlon Mack, who can handle the bell-cow running back role if necessary.
Last year, Rivers threw several head-scratching interceptions—20 in total. He could experience a sharper decline in the upcoming term.
Indianapolis may need to take the ball out of Rivers' hands and ask more of its ground attack. The defense will have to put forth strong performances with consistency as well.
The Colts acquired a massive upgrade for their defensive line. DeForest Buckner has 38.0 tackles for a loss and 28.5 sacks through four seasons. He'll bolster the interior run defense and pass rush.
On the back end, aside from Kenny Moore II, the secondary doesn't look impressive. Rock Ya-Sin has to show some growth. Xavier Rhodes needs to rebound after his struggles with the Minnesota Vikings. Malik Hooker has missed 14 games in three seasons.
With Rivers potentially on the decline and a mediocre pass defense, the Colts will hover around the .500 mark.
Super Bowl Odds: +25000
The 2020 Jacksonville Jaguars could become the 2019 Cincinnati Bengals—say hello to Trevor Lawrence in 2021 if he declares for the draft.
Jacksonville will turn the reins over to quarterback Gardner Minshew II for the upcoming season. In 2019, he flashed some potential but went flat in December, throwing for fewer than 202 yards in four of five contests and completing less than 60 percent of his passes in three outings.
According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the Jaguars have made "zero movement" on a trade to ship running back Leonard Fournette out of Jacksonville. Assuming he's moved at some point, Minshew will lose a key playmaker. The 23-year-old will probably need to air it out to DJ Chark Jr., Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley and rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. in a predictable offense.
Expect the Jaguars to part ways with disgruntled edge-rusher Yannick Ngakoue in the near future. If that's the case, the defense would move forward without two of its top three pass-rushers from last season. Team brass traded Calais Campbell to the Baltimore Ravens in March. Rookie edge-rusher K'Lavon Chaisson is 20 years old and probably needs time to develop before he makes a significant impact.
For the Jaguars, a pass-heavy offense with a relatively inexperienced quarterback coupled with a defense that's not as potent in the pass rush will make for a disaster.
Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl Odds: +400
The Kansas City Chiefs could repeat as champions. On HBO's The Shop, quarterback Patrick Mahomes acknowledged he didn't learn how to read defenses until "halfway through last year." That spells trouble for the rest of the league.
Mahomes didn't lose any notable weapons on offense. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce will be his primary targets. Wideout Sammy Watkins restructured his contract, per Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports.
In fact, Kansas City added a dual-threat playmaker to the offense. On Day 1 of the draft, the front office selected Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who will join Damien Williams, DeAndre Washington and Darwin Thompson in the backfield.
Because of Mahomes' rise to stardom and the Chiefs' offensive fireworks, the defense doesn't receive enough credit. Under play-caller Steve Spagnuolo, the unit ranked seventh in scoring last year.
Kansas City lost cornerback Kendall Fuller to Washington via free agency. However, if team brass strikes a new agreement with tackle Chris Jones, the defense could have another solid campaign.
Aside from Jones' contract situation, the Chiefs don't have any pressing roster issues. If they stay healthy, watch out for this club to emerge as the heavy Super Bowl LV favorite.
Las Vegas Raiders
Super Bowl Odds: +3000
The Las Vegas Raiders moved Christmas up eight months for quarterback Derek Carr. The Silver and Black offense should make significant strides in the next campaign.
Rookie wideout Henry Ruggs III can extend plays after the catch with his 4.27-second 40-yard dash speed. At 6'3", 212 pounds, fellow first-year wide receiver Bryan Edwards uses physicality and size to win battles for contested targets.
Head coach Jon Gruden will also have a human joystick in Lynn Bowden Jr. In 2019, the Kentucky product ran for 1,468 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also had 114 catches for 1,303 yards and six touchdowns through three collegiate terms. The coaching staff can line him up in multiple spots to keep defenses in suspense.
The front office invested heavily in the defense during free agency, signing defensive end Carl Nassib, tackle Maliek Collins, safety Damarious Randall and linebackers Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski.
The second level of the unit will likely show the biggest improvement with two linebackers who can cover short and intermediate areas on passing downs. Up front, the Raiders need more from Clelin Ferrell in the pass rush. The Clemson product logged 4.5 sacks and just 15 quarterback pressures last year. Opposing teams may game-plan for Maxx Crosby after his 10-sack rookie campaign.
On the back end, the Raiders have two question marks.
Safety Johnathan Abram is an unknown. He suffered a torn rotator cuff and labrum in the 2019 season opener. The 23-year-old may have some missteps because of his inexperience. Lamarcus Joyner struggled in coverage as a slot defender through the previous term, logging just three pass breakups.
The coaching staff may have to rely on Damon Arnette to start opposite of Trayvon Mullen on the boundary, which will be risky with an abbreviated offseason program because of restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Expect the Raiders offense to show some flashes, though Gruden must prove his play-calling can carry the team through second halves. Carr should take more shots downfield to open up the offense as well. Defensively, Las Vegas will still give up points with some lapses on the back end.
Los Angeles Chargers
Super Bowl Odds: +4500
The Los Angeles Chargers are a tough team to project. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor is slated to start, but the front office selected Justin Herbert with the sixth overall pick. If the veteran signal-caller struggles, he will face pressure.
Taylor's experience and familiarity with head coach Anthony Lynn should serve him well. Perhaps the lead skipper dusts off some of the concepts he used when working as an offensive coordinator in Buffalo.
In today's NFL, more clubs have embraced mobile signal-callers, which bodes well for Taylor. He'll also have a strong pass-catching group that includes running back Austin Ekeler, tight end Hunter Henry and wideouts Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
The Chargers have the personnel to wear down defenses on the ground as well.
Los Angeles made splashy moves to improve its offensive line. Team brass signed right tackle Bryan Bulaga and acquired five-time Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner from the Carolina Panthers.
Taylor doesn't have to lead a top-10 offense to help this team win. In a low-scoring battle, he can rely on his defense, which gave up the sixth-fewest yards last year. The front office added cornerback Chris Harris Jr., defensive tackle Linval Joseph and rookie linebacker Kenneth Murray to a solid group.
If the Chargers offense looks a bit stagnant, we'll likely see Herbert at some point. In that scenario, Los Angeles would miss out on a playoff berth but move forward with the future at the position.
The Chargers have a tough out-of-division road schedule. They'll face the Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Los Angeles Rams
Super Bowl Odds: +3000
The Los Angeles Rams lost key players on both sides of the ball. The team released running back Todd Gurley and linebacker Clay Matthews. The front office traded wideout Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans. Defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. signed with the Atlanta Falcons during free agency.
In 2019, Gurley recorded a career-low 857 rushing yards. Despite his limited volume in certain matchups, he finished scoring drives with 12 touchdowns on the ground. The Rams will have to rely on rookie second-rounder Cam Akers, Malcolm Brown, John Kelly and Darrell Henderson Jr. out of the backfield. No running back on the roster has more than 69 carries in a term on the pro level.
The Rams must figure out a way to generate pocket pressure without Fowler and Matthews, who logged a combined 19.5 sacks last season. Team brass signed Leonard Floyd, whose production for the Chicago Bears didn't match his draft pedigree (No. 9 overall pick in 2016). The edge-rusher's sack numbers have declined every year since his rookie campaign.
Head coach Sean McVay said Josh Reynolds can fill the starting role in place of Cooks. In 2018, the 6'3" 196-pounder caught 29 passes for 402 yards and five touchdowns. He didn't play as much last year, but in glimpses, he has flashed potential.
The Rams, however, will miss Cooks' speed on the perimeter. Secondly, Reynolds has a shaky 50.8 percent catch rate for his career. Second-rounder Van Jefferson could get a fair number of targets in his rookie campaign.
In his third season as the full-time starter, quarterback Jared Goff struggled, throwing for 22 touchdowns with 16 interceptions. Los Angeles also fielded the 26th-ranked ground attack. The Rams don't have an established ball-carrier, and the defense lost key components of the pass rush not named Aaron Donald.
Los Angeles will fall below the .500 mark.
Super Bowl Odds: +10000
Progress isn't always linear. The Miami Dolphins finished 5-11 last year and filled holes on both sides of the ball during free agency and the draft. However, Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't provide enough upside for the offensive attack.
Fitzpatrick hasn't thrown for more than 20 touchdowns in a single season since the 2015 campaign. He's completed 60.3 percent of his passes for his career. The 37-year-old is a solid backup. The Dolphins need Tua Tagovailoa in order to reach new heights on offense.
In November, Tagovailoa underwent hip surgery. He'll have time to fully recover. The Dolphins shouldn't rush him back to action and risk further injury.
The coaching staff will have a good look at a revamped offensive line in the meantime. Rookie first-rounder Austin Jackson should eventually start at tackle. Ereck Flowers will likely slide into the left guard spot. Ted Karras will probably man the pivot. If Fitzpatrick takes too many hits, team brass can tweak the front line again before Tagovailoa takes the field.
Miami surrendered the most points and ranked 30th in yards allowed during the last term. This year, Xavien Howard and Byron Jones will pair as arguably the best cornerback tandem in the league. Teams could struggle to throw against this secondary.
On the flip side, the Dolphins have several pass-rushers with untapped potential within the front seven. Shaq Lawson, Charles Harris and Taco Charlton were all first-round picks. Yet none them have recorded more than 6.5 sacks in a season.
The Dolphins' distant future looks far better than their outlook for next season.
Super Bowl Odds: +2800
The Minnesota Vikings offense will look different since play-caller Kevin Stefanski became the Cleveland Browns' head coach. Gary Kubiak will also transition from an adviser role to offensive coordinator. Under his leadership, the zone-blocking sceme should remain intact.
The Vikings traded wideout Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills after he racked up at least 1,021 receiving yards in back-to-back seasons. Rookie first-rounder Justin Jefferson will attempt to replace the five-year veteran on the perimeter.
In 2019, Minnesota logged the fourth-most carries and ranked 30th in pass attempts. Opposing teams should expect a heavy dose of running backs Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison going forward.
The Vikings could still re-sign defensive end Everson Griffen, who is a free agent. The 32-year-old didn't count out a possible return to Minnesota. For now, the coaching staff can expand Ifeadi Odenigbo's role after his seven-sack campaign.
Minnesota didn't retain Mackensie Alexander and released Xavier Rhodes. In an attempt to replace them, general manager Rick Spielman triple dipped at cornerback during the draft, selecting Jeff Gladney (first round), Cameron Dantzler (third round) and Harrison Hand (fifth round).
While Hand should earn a role on special teams, Gladney and Dantzler could experience growing pains in coverage.
Nonetheless, under Kubiak, the Vikings will have a ball-control offense that keeps the defense off the field for long stretches. Minnesota is going to win a lot of low-scoring affairs with a methodical approach.
New England Patriots
Super Bowl Odds: +2500
The New England Patriots are a wild card going into the next campaign. We've watched them consistently compete for a playoff spot for nearly two decades. They won 11 consecutive AFC East titles and logged double-digit regular-season wins for 17 straight campaigns.
Is quarterback Tom Brady's departure the end of this dynasty?
In 2008, Brady tore his ACL. Matt Cassel took over and led New England to an 11-5 finish without a playoff berth. With head coach Bill Belichick on the sideline, the Patriots are still a viable opponent, but they won't win many games.
Jarrett Stidham seems like the next man up, per The Athletic's Jeff Howe. He's going into his second season at 23 years old. That's a little different than Cassel, who filled in for Brady during his age-26 term as a four-year veteran.
Julian Edelman will turn 34 in May. N'Keal Harry is unproven. He started his 2019 rookie campaign on injured reserve (ankle) and logged 12 catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns through seven outings. Mohamed Sanu Sr. underwent ankle surgery during the offseason. Because of knee, ankle and shoulder injuries, Marqise Lee has played just six games over the last two campaigns.
If Stidham starts in Week 1, the Patriots will be headed for a rough ride. He's thrown only four regular-season passes and lacks the experience to elevate a mediocre pass-catching group.
In 2019, the Patriots defense stifled its opponents when the offense struggled to score points. New England lost several players on that side of the ball during the offseason, including Danny Shelton, Elandon Roberts, Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy and Duron Harmon.
Keep in mind, New England only has $1.7 million in cap space, per Over the Cap, which will hinder its ability to add quality roster help. Don't be surprised if the front office makes a few cuts before training camp.
While it sounds shocking, the Patriots will fall out of the playoff picture early. Stidham can use this season as a learning experience. Following the Belichick-Brady split, New England will take a huge step back.
New Orleans Saints
Super Bowl Odds: +1300
Quarterback Drew Brees may have a final run at a second title in 2020. Though he chose to play another season, the 41-year-old laid the groundwork for his media career, signing with NBC Sports.
For now, Brees can still guide the New Orleans Saints to another playoff berth. Since 2017, he's led the league in completion percentage every year while throwing for at least 23 touchdowns in each campaign.
The Saints added some help on offense, signing wideout Emmanuel Sanders, who could serve as the No. 2 pass-catching option behind Michael Thomas. Tight end Jared Cook developed a solid rapport with Brees, hauling in 43 receptions for 705 yards and nine touchdowns last season.
More importantly, the Saints have continuity and depth across the offensive line. In 2021, rookie first-rounder Cesar Ruiz will likely take over for right guard Larry Warford, who has one year left on his deal.
Edge-rusher Marcus Davenport must take another step in his development, justifying why the Saints moved up for him in the first round of the 2018 draft. He's logged 10.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss through 26 outings. Beyond that, the Saints don't have big question marks on defense.
New Orleans could log its fourth consecutive double-digit win season.
New York Giants
Super Bowl Odds: +5000
The New York Giants have a new coaching staff in place under first-year lead skipper Joe Judge. Quarterback Daniel Jones will take play calls from former Dallas Cowboys head coach and new Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
First and foremost, Jones needs better pass protection. The Giants hope No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas can upgrade the team's blocking on the perimeter. At left tackle, Nate Solder has struggled to keep the pocket clean, allowing 11 sacks in 2019, per Pro Football Focus.
The Giants should feed tailback Saquon Barkley the football at every turn, but the line ranked 25th in run blocking last season, per Football Outsiders. That unit must improve to provide space for the third-year ball-carrier to gash opposing defenses.
The front office solidified the boundaries of the secondary, signing James Bradberry, who will line up opposite DeAndre Baker. Xavier McKinney can take over the safety spot alongside Jabrill Peppers.
The Giants don't have a consistent pass-rusher, though. According to ESPN's Field Yates, the club used its unrestricted free-agent tender on Markus Golden, who has until July 22 to sign with another team. If he doesn't, the 29-year-old will stay in New York.
In 2019, Golden led the Giants with 10 sacks. Because of his production, he could have suitors between now and the tender deadline. Without a strong threat at the line of scrimmage on the books for next season, the defensive backs may have to cover pass-catchers for extended periods.
Big Blue will show slight improvement, but shaky pocket protection and a questionable pass rush are major concerns.
New York Jets
Super Bowl Odds: +10000
To push for a playoff spot, the New York Jets need more out of quarterback Sam Darnold. Through two seasons, he's thrown for 36 touchdowns against 28 interceptions with a 59.9 percent completion rate.
Gang Green upgraded its offensive line and added a wide receiver in the first two rounds to surround Darnold with a stronger supporting cast. Despite the promising acquisitions, results may come gradually rather than immediately.
Rookie wideout Denzel Mims has the physical tools to become an explosive playmaker. He's 6'3", 207 pounds and ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash. However, the Baylor product isn't the most skilled route-runner. That could lower his ceiling as a contributor next season.
General manager Joe Douglas is "hopeful" concerning Quincy Enunwa's chance to rejoin the team. The wideout missed all but one game because of spinal stenosis in the last term, and his status remains uncertain.
Breshad Perriman had a strong finish to the 2019 campaign, logging 25 receptions for 506 yards and five touchdowns in December. Yet the 26-year-old has yet to produce consistently through a full 16-game slate.
With those uncertainties at wideout, Darnold may have to lean on Jamison Crowder as his top target.
The Jets will have at least three new starters on the offensive line if George Fant beatus out Chuma Edoga opposite Mekhi Becton. Connor McGovern is slated to start at the pivot. Left guard Greg Van Roten would be the fourth new first-stringer, pending his offseason battle with Alex Lewis. This unit will need time to jell before it's a stout group.
Since 2017, head coach Adam Gase's ground attacks have ranked 18th or worse in yards. It's also fair to question if running back Le'Veon Bell will bounce back after a subpar first year in New York, as he averaged a career-low 3.2 yards per carry.
Without a doubt, safety Jamal Adams is the best player in the secondary. He can't elevate the pass defense alone, though. The Jets need two of their cornerbacks to step into big roles. Pierre Desir will hope to find a home in New York after the Indianapolis Colts released him in March. Rookie fifth-rounder Bryce Hall is coming off ankle surgery.
Gase has to mold this offense into a well-oiled machine, but that's going to take some time with several new components at wideout and on the offensive line. The secondary is still a work in progress, specifically on the boundaries.
Super Bowl Odds: +2000
In 2019, the Philadelphia Eagles limped to the finish line. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson missed all but three contests because of a core-muscle ailment that required surgery. Alshon Jeffery went down with a Lisfranc injury in Week 14.
On Day 1 of the draft, the Eagles selected an explosive perimeter threat in wideout Jalen Reagor, which made sense with Jeffery on the mend and Jackson going into his age-34 term. The front office added Jalen Hurts in the second round.
Reagor will provide the speed this offense needed during the last campaign. Hurts won't have much impact unless Wentz is unavailable.
In his second season, running back Miles Sanders should continue to build toward stardom after leading all rookies in yards from scrimmage (1,327) last year. At left tackle, Andre Dillard will take over for Jason Peters, which is the only area of uncertainty for the offense because of the new starter's inexperience (four starts).
The Eagles improved in the trenches and on the back end of the defense. Tackle Javon Hargrave will give this front line more push on the inside, while cornerback Darius Slay has the ability to lock down his side of the field.
If Jalen Mills' transition from cornerback to safety doesn't pan out, Will Parks can step into a bigger role.
On paper, Philadelphia looks solid on both sides of the ball with minor concerns that the front office can clean up with veteran signings. Of course, Wentz has to stay healthy to keep the Eagles in playoff contention.
Super Bowl Odds: +2800
The Pittsburgh Steelers offense struggled last season. In Week 2, Ben Roethlisberger suffered an elbow injury that landed him on injured reserve. Devlin Hodges, an undrafted rookie out of Samford, and Mason Rudolph shared duties behind center.
The offense ranked 27th in scoring and 30th in yards after ranking in the top 10 in both categories since 2014.
Assuming Roethlisberger is healthy, he will upgrade the offensive attack. Wideouts JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Diontae Johnson should be more productive with the 16-year veteran.
In 2018, Roethlisberger showed he could still sling the football, throwing for a league-leading 5,129 passing yards and a career-high 34 touchdowns.
While Roethlisberger sat out, the Steelers defense jelled, finishing in the top five in yards and points allowed.
General manager Kevin Colbert acquired safety Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Miami Dolphins in September. The young defensive back put together an All-Pro year, logging 69 tackles, nine pass breakups and five interceptions. Inside linebacker Devin Bush recorded 109 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four pass breakups, two interceptions, a sack and a touchdown in a strong rookie campaign.
More importantly, the Steelers pass rush continues to rack up sacks under defensive coordinator Keith Butler. The group led the league with 54 in 2019.
With Roethlisberger back, the Steelers have one of the most balanced rosters in the NFL.
San Francisco 49ers
Super Bowl Odds: +800
Last year, the San Francisco 49ers came within a quarter of a Super Bowl title, giving up 21 points to the Kansas City Chiefs in the final frame. This team lost key players such as wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. But that won't lead to a significant drop in the standings.
General manager John Lynch found potential replacements for Sanders and Buckner on Day 1 of the draft, selecting defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and wideout Brandon Aiyuk.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could have a solid pass-catching group featuring Aiyuk, tight end George Kittle and wideout Deebo Samuel. He'll also have a loaded backfield with Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Jeff Wilson Jr. and Jerick McKinnon, who's on track to return after multiple knee injuries.
Kinlaw will join Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead and Dee Ford on a stout defensive line. Over the last two years, the South Carolina product recorded 10 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. He'll fit in and produce solid numbers with a top-notch supporting cast around him.
The 49ers' consistent push toward the pocket helps the secondary. With cornerback Richard Sherman coming off his fifth Pro Bowl season, the pass defense still has a proven leader at the top of his game.
San Francisco may have a tougher road to the division title because of the Arizona Cardinals' improved roster and, specifically, wideout DeAndre Hopkins. Nevertheless, this Super Bowl-contending squad has high-potential rookies and three-quarters of its strong defensive line intact.
Super Bowl Odds: +1500
While quarterback Russell Wilson plays for the Seattle Seahawks, give this team the benefit of the doubt.
The Seahawks don't have a losing season with Wilson under center. Since 2012, they've won at least 10 games in seven out of eight terms.
Wilson will have a strong tight end group, featuring Greg Olsen, Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister. Olsen can play on every down and brings a wealth of experience as a 13-year veteran. The latter two flashed during the last term, combining for 64 catches, 611 yards and seven touchdowns.
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer plans to move wideout DK Metcalf around to tap further into his potential. The Ole Miss product registered 58 receptions for 900 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019. He could push the passing attack to a new level with his big-play ability.
Seattle has one major area of concern: its pass rush. The Seahawks signed Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa and then selected two defensive ends in the draft, Darrell Taylor (second round) and Alton Robinson (fifth round). In a cumulative effort, that group should be able to give the front line a boost on passing downs.
Even if the Seahawks fail to generate a consistent pass rush, Wilson is the perfect mask for a leaky defense.
Last season, the unit ranked in the bottom third in points and yards allowed, yet Seattle still finished 11-5.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Super Bowl Odds: +1200
Tom Brady is in town, which means expectations are on the rise.
Before Brady arrived, the Buccaneers had the top aerial attack with quarterback Jameis Winston (33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions) behind center in 2019. The six-time Super Bowl champion brings efficiency to the huddle. He hasn't thrown more than 14 interceptions in a single season for his career.
Don't expect Brady to make uncharacteristic mistakes with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate in the huddle. Head coach Bruce Arians can roll out two- or three-tight end sets to take advantage of mismatches or rely on his pair of Pro Bowl wideouts to win their matchups on the perimeter.
The Buccaneers selected right tackle Tristan Wirfs with the 13th pick in the draft. He'll likely start at right tackle to solidify the line. Brady will then have time to distribute the ball to the plethora of pass-catchers.
Tampa Bay retained notable defenders within its front seven. Jason Pierre-Paul signed a new two-year deal. Ndamukong Suh is set to return on a one-year pact. The team franchise-tagged Shaquil Barrett, who led the league in sacks (19.5) last season.
The veterans up front could help a young secondary, though Sean Murphy-Bunting, Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis are more than capable of developing into a solid group. The trio of cornerbacks, who are all younger than 24 years old, combined for 44 pass breakups and six interceptions in 2019.
Believe in the hype. The Buccaneers are playoff-bound with Brady and all his playmakers ready to tear defenses apart.
Super Bowl Odds: +3000
We'll find out if quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a fluke 2019 season. Perhaps he landed in the perfect spot for the second chapter in his playing career.
The Tennessee Titans rewarded Tannehill for his Comeback Player of the Year performance, signing him to a four-term, $118 million contract. He'll look to build his rapport with wideout A.J. Brown, who recorded 52 receptions for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns as the team's top pass-catcher last year.
General manager Jon Robinson selected Isaiah Wilson in the first round of the draft. He could be Jack Conklin's replacement at right tackle and a solid pass protector for Tannehill.
The Titans haven't come to an agreement on a long-term deal with running back Derrick Henry. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the 2019 rushing champion signed his franchise tender and continues to work with the team on an extension.
Tennessee picked tailback Darrynton Evans in the third round of the draft. The Appalachian State product has the pass-catching skills to complement Henry out of the backfield. He caught 39 passes for 319 yards and six touchdowns as a collegian.
For at least another year, the Titans offense should ascend with Tannehill, Henry and Brown on the books.
The front office dealt Jurrell Casey, but Jeffery Simmons can fill the veteran's spot on the interior as an every-down defender. The Titans added rookie cornerback Kristian Fulton to the secondary. He's a quality press-man defender who's capable of strengthening the pass defense, which ranked 24th last season.
The Titans have continuity on offense with a splash of youth on both sides of the ball. They have the personnel to take the AFC South crown in 2020.
Super Bowl Odds: +15000
Based on the Washington Redskins' recent draft acquisitions, quarterback Dwayne Haskins will have dynamic playmakers capable of moving the ball for big gains on the ground and through the air.
Washington selected Antonio Gibson (third round) and Antonio Gandy-Golden (fourth round) this year.
According to Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan, the coaching staff plans to use Gibson in the backfield with another running back in 21 personnel. The Memphis product averaged 19.3 yards per catch as a big-play threat last year. Expect the coaching staff to draw up quick pitch-and-catch designs to build Haskins' confidence and move the chains.
As a small-school prospect out of Liberty, Gandy-Golden may need time to develop, but he has the potential to track down the deep ball. At 6'4", 223 pounds, the wideout can also become a factor in the red-zone offense.
In the meantime, Haskins' collegiate teammate Terry McLaurin will likely dominate the pass targets. The Redskins also have tailbacks Derrius Guice, Adrian Peterson and Bryce Love, which enables the coaching staff to go run-heavy until the quarterback feels comfortable within the offense.
As a head coach with a defensive background, Ron Rivera should be able to optimize the talent within the front seven. Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Montez Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan and Chase Young could wreak havoc on the pocket.
In 2019, the Redskins ranked 10th in sacks with 46. Now, with Young in the mix, the defense could kick into overdrive on quarterback pressures.
Until Haskins finds his groove, the ground attack and defensive front will provide the keys to victory. The 22-year-old could blossom later in the season, though he may struggle through September and October.