It’s still the NFL offseason, which means optimism is running high with almost every team. Patriots fans are getting ready for another deep playoff run, and for some reason, Browns fans are too. However, for every game a team wins, another team loses. Here are some teams that probably won’t quite reach the lofty expectations set for them.
If there’s one rumor that I’ve seen going around this offseason, its that the Bears are the next Philadelphia Eagles, and you can see why someone might think that. Quarterback Mitch Trubinsky is the 2nd overall pick of the 2017 draft, coming off a disappointing rookie season where John Fox let him throw the ball 5 times a game. New Head Coach, Matt Nagy is an offensive minded coach coming out of the Andy Reid coaching tree. Plus the Bears made a number of moves in the offseason trying to give Trubinsky more weapons, like overpaying tight-end Trey Burton on a 4 year 32 million dollar deal. They also signed speedy slot receiver Taylor Gabriel and Allen Robinson (remember when he had 14 touchdowns that year, the Bears did). Plus running back Jordan Howard is expected to take another step forward, after working on his receiving game this offseason, behind an improved offensive line. Their’s a lot of reason to be excited for this team, but no one should really expect them to win Super Bowl.
First their division is much harder than the Eagles had to deal with last year, with the Cowboys and Redskins struggling and the Giants absolutely falling apart. Don’t expect Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers back, Minnesota with Kirk Cousins and the Lions with a run game to be so easy to beat. Plus don’t expect this offensive to be the most explosive anyones ever seen, Trey Burton does not deserve that much money after padding his stats by stealing Zach Ertz’s touchdowns. Allen Hurns had 14 touchdowns in 2015 but had 0 last year. This team will most definitely improve in 2018, but don’t expect them to make a deep playoff run for another couple of years.
Their’s a lot of hype for the Texans this year to make a splash with quarterback Deshaun Watson coming back after absolutely LIGHTING IT UP last year after replacing Tom Savage in the lineup. He was electric. He was like Russel Wilson on crack. Then he tore his ACL in practice and the Texans went back to sucking. But now he’s back and him and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins are expected to be one of the better QB-WR duos in the league. The defense is also improved with newly signed safety, Tyrann Mathieu and 3-time defensive player of the year JJ Watt returning to the lineup from injury. And watch out for edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney to have a career year with free agency coming up. But lets not go too crazy with how far we expect this team to go.
Although the AFC South isn’t as competitive as the NFC North, the Jaguars have finally turned into the contender we’ve all been waiting for them to be, and the Titans are looking to improve this year under the guidance of new head coach, Mike Vrabel. Plus the Texans have one of the worst offensive lines in the league, and have to face Sacksonville twice a year, its not crazy to think that one hard hit to Watson and were back to watching the Tom Savage show. And JJ Watt’s back but his injury history is EXTENSIVE I’m surprised he’s not in a wheel chair already, and while were talking about injuries, theres a reason the Cardinals cut Mathieu. Expect this team to make a lot of big plays, but this teams a couple of injuries away from the AFC South basement.
I know, I know it hurts me too, Owen, but let’s get realistic. Hue Jackson is still the coach of the Browns, and you could give that guy Tom Brady and he’d find a way to lose. The Browns have vastly improved this offseason with new GM John Dorsey running things. The Browns got wide receiver Josh Gordon back last tear, and traded for Jarvis Landry in the offseason, and draft pick Antonio Calloway was seen as a possible 1st round pick before getting suspended numerous times. Plus 1st overall pick, Baker Mayfield gives plenty of reasons to be excited about (even though they should picked Sam Darnold). The defense is a lot better than most people realize with a deep secondary with players like Damarious Randall and Jabrill Peppers, and an even deeper front 7, with stud and former Patriot Jamie Collins, tackling machine Joe Schobert, and Myles Garrett. Bottom line though, this team isn’t going to win more than a couple games until they fire Hue Jackson.
Throwing a bunch of money at aging veterans like Jordy Nelson and Doug Martin might win you a couple extra games now, but is a recipe for disaster after that. Also, Jordy Nelson is NOT an upgrade over Michael Crabtree. Jon Gruden is going to run this team into the ground, and they better hope Derek Carr feels like hanging around during and after rebuilding from this. They reached on Kolton Miller based on his athleticism hoping they can develop him under former Seahawks line coach Tom Cable, even though the Seahawks tried that for years, and he couldn’t develop a single player they drafted. The defense looks like Swiss cheese, and new defensive coordinator Paul Guenther isn’t exactly the epitome of a defensive genius. What I will say though I’m excited about with the Raiders though, is putting them in Las Vegas is going to be disastrous and will provide some of the best sports entertainment we’ve seen in a while.
San Francisco 49ers – There are few trains as hyped as Jimmy G’s and for good reason, but he still doesn’t have a number one receiver, and Jerrick McKinnon looks more like a change of pace back than lead back. The Richard Sherman signing might seem exciting but he’s on the wrong side of 30 coming off of an Achilles injury. “But Keelan, the Niners were 5-0 with Jimmy last year”, yeah but teams had literally no way to game plan for him because no one had seen the Niners offense with Jimmy G yet, its like when Trae Young would score 50 points then a team would plan for him and he’d score 7, we need to see how Garoppolo plays with the defenses preparing for him.
Dallas Cowboys- Ezekiel Elliot being back, behind a deep offensive line is exciting, but the Cowboys have no proven receivers on the roster, and Dak Prescott hasn’t shown he can create looks for his receivers consistently, especially after losing safety blanket at tight end, Jason Witten. The defense has a lot of big names, but once you get past DeMarcus Lawrence, and Sean Lee, theres not a whole lot of depth.
Photo: Yahoo Sports