With the NFL Draft in the books, it is now time for the NFL teams to focus on the task at hand, and that is trying to win Super Bowl LII. There are so many different possible scenarios that could happen in the upcoming 2017 NFL season, and it is fun to see all the different possibilities that could come out of this football season. You have the all-around favorites, the potential contenders, the middle of the pack, and the lower tier teams as the four levels of where NFL teams are ranked going into next year. This is based off of scheduling, how your team performed last season, and what moves did you make to help your team via free agency, and the NFL Draft.
With that being said with training camps starting towards the end of July, there are several teams that are still currently looking for a piece that can help take their team to the next level. Every team walks into training camp with the aspiration of not only making the playoffs, but making it to the Super Bowl and winning it on the grandest stage of them all. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and very good game planning to be able to win a Super Bowl. Every team has a legitimate shot at the beginning of the year, but after the first few weeks into the year you can tell who are the Super Bowl contenders and who are the Super Bowl pretenders. That being said here are every NFL team's chance of winning Super Bowl LII.
32 Chicago Bears
It is safe to say that the Chicago Bears are in a rebuilding year as in the off-season they released Jay Cutler who was their franchise quarterback, only to sign Mike Glennon to a 3 year 45 million dollar contract, but then in the NFL Draft they traded three draft picks to move up one spot to take Mitch Trubisky out of North Carolina.
The Bears are clearly struggling at the moment due to the fact that they have no idea who their starting quarterback is yet, and the fact that whoever there starting quarterback is as Eddie Royal as their number one target, who is fast don't get me wrong, but is not a number one receiver maybe a number two at best. With that being said Chicago is going to struggle to put points on the board and their defense will struggle to keep the other team from putting points up on them.
31 Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams started terribly, and finished with a 4-12 record. Now with a new head coach, the future could be bright for the Rams. The Rams defense was tenth in the league in passing yards per game, and is going to need to be to be good again if they want to even look at a playoff spot this season.
Jared Goff is currently the number one guy for them at quarterback even though he played terrible last season due to the fact that he did not have any solid receivers around him besides Tavon Austin. Now this season add Robert Woods to the mix and the Rams offense should look a little bit better, but they are going to need the passing game to work in order to create gaps for Gurley to be able to run in.
30 Cleveland Browns
The Browns won only one game in the 2016 season, and they have no quarterback what could go possibly wrong for them in 2017. With the three first round selections that they drafted in Myles Garrett (DE), Jabrill Peppers (S), and David Njoku (TE) they have upgraded some positions hands down with this young talent, but they need a quarterback to lead them to winning some games.
Right now the number one quarterback for the Browns is Cody Kessler which by my estimates will not be the starting quarterback at the end of the year. The Browns did draft Deshone Kizer out of Notre Dame in the second round, but they also have Brock Osweiler still under contract. Either way there will be no dominant number one quarterback throughout the 2017 season and that is what is going to cause Cleveland to struggle.
29 Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings lost their franchise running back in Adrian Peterson, but replaced him in Latavaius Murray. Right now Teddy Bridgewater is still trying to recover from his knee surgery, and it has not looked good so far. The Vikings started off on a good note with Sam Bradford as their quarter back, but then the old Sam Bradford "Badford" came out and the Vikings finished 8-8. With Bridgewater being a potential to come back, but they have Bradford and Case Keenum on their depth chart which is not a promising sign for Vikings fans.
Especially with Adam Thielen, and Stefon Diggs as young and hungry receivers to have those two guys potentially throwing them the ball in 2017 is a bad sign. Yes, Bradford can throw for over 4,000 yards passing, but he can not lead a team into the playoffs. Look for the Vikings to struggle and to not be considered a threat in 2017.
28 New York Jets
The New York Jets will go through training camp with a quarterback controversy between recently signed Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, and last year's second round pick Christian Hackenberg. They also have only one top quality receiver in Eric Decker, and have added some talent in the draft both offensively and defensively. They drafted Jamal Adams sixth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, and on offense they drafted ArDarius Stewart the wide receiver from Alabama in the third round, and tight end Jordan Leggett in the fifth round.
Safe to say that the New York Jets have planned ahead as they have upgraded some spots that definitely needed an upgrade, but they are a couple years away from being playoff contenders again. They need to figure out who is going to be their franchise quarterback for the future, and who is going to help lead them to the promise land.
27 San Francisco 49ers
Kyle Shanahan will have his first heading coaching gig in San Francisco and has already started off to a hot start in my opinion. In his first draft he made two first round selections that included trading back one pick and getting two other picks to get the guy that they were originally going to draft at number two. The 49ers drafted defensive end Solomon Thomas from Stanford, and linebacker Reuben Foster from Alabama. Foster and Thomas were both projected number one at their respective position and the fact that San Francisco got them both is incredible.
With the 49ers gaining some young talent on the defensive side, it is time to focus up on making that offense better. Right now they have Brian Hoyer as "the guy", Carlos Hyde as their number one running back, and recently signed Pierre Garcon as their number one receiver. Needless to say that the 49ers have a good young team, but they will struggle this year in Shanahan's first season.
26 Los Angeles Chargers
I think that it is safe to say that the Chargers should have no excuses to why they can not make the playoffs, but due to past seasons unless Keenan Allen can stay healthy then the Chargers tend to struggle. In this year's NFL Draft they selected wide receiver Mike Williams out of Clemson with the seventh overall pick. Williams is a big wide receiver who can help replace Allen if he does get injured this season.
With Melvin Gordon having a breakout season, and the Chargers drafting Forest Lamp there is no reason why their run game should be an issue this season. Their defense got some good depth picks in RayShawn Jenkins (Safety) out of the University of Miami, and Desmond King (Safety) out of Iowa. The Chargers moving out of San Diego to Los Angeles could bring some good vibes for a team that definitely needs to get back into the playoff hunt, especially with first year coach Anthony Lynn.
25 Philadelphia Eagles
In Carson Wentz's first season he led to Eagles to a 7-9 record, and finished last in the NFC East. The Eagles passing game was a struggle last season, as they were 24th in the NFL in Passing Yards Per Game. So what did the Eagles do, they signed Alshon Jeffery, and Torrey Smith to help improve that passing game. On the positive side they were 11th in Rushing Yards Per Game, and they can look to improve fully on offense with their two big wide receiver signings.
The defensive side of the football for the Eagles was good, but not really good. They were 13th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 15th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game. Philadelphia looks to be a couple years away from being contenders for the Super Bowl, but unfortunately this season is not their year.
24 Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars are looking to bounce back after their rough 2016 season, and try to turn it around in 2017. They have made some great acquisitions so far both offensively and defensively. On the offensive side they have added Branden Albert, Dede Westbrook, and Leonard Fournette. While on the defensive side they added A.J. Bouye, Calais Campbell, and Barry Church.
With that being said it looks like the Jaguars are looking a whole lot better than they were a year ago. First year coach Doug Marrone looks to have a good solid group of guys around him, and they could definitely make some noise in the AFC South in the upcoming 2017 season. Not saying they are absolutely going to be able to contend with certain teams, but the Jaguars look like they are on their way to becoming a team to be reckoned with in the next couple of years.
23 Washington Redskins
The Redskins coming off of a rare 8-7-1 season, and could be on the down swing in the next couple of seasons. Washington is finding out if Kirk Cousins is the guy that they want leading a franchise for the foreseeable future, and they are looking to definitely upgrade their defense from a year ago. They finished 24th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 25th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game, which is not where you want to be especially if you want to be a playoff team.
Washington lost their two top receivers from a year ago in DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. I think Washington will go as far as their running game takes them, and if it is anything like a year ago it will not be very far. They ranked 21st in Rushing Yards Per Game, and that is going to need a big improvement if they are going to make the playoffs.
22 Buffalo Bills
The Rex Ryan Era in Buffalo is officially over and they are looking to start fresh with new head coach Sean McDermott. So far Buffalo has lost one of its starting cornerbacks from 2016 in Stephon Gilmore, but in the draft they got Tre'Davious White out of LSU with the 27th overall pick. White looks to come out of LSU and make an impact on the Buffalo Bills' Defense who were 29th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 6th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game.
The bright side for Buffalo is that they were number one in Rushing Yards Per Game, and they have LeSean McCoy to thank for that. They can only improve on the offensive side of the ball, but they are going to need Tyrod Taylor to be better than he was down the stretch last season. Buffalo definitely has the talent to potentially be a playoff team, but a Super Bowl contender sounds like a stretch at the moment.
21 Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals had one season that they wish that they could regret in 2016. Their defense was 20th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 11th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game, which puts them in the middle of the pack. While the offense was also in the middle of the pack as they were 13th in Rushing Yards Per Game, and 15th in Passing Yards Per Game, but they were 24th in Points Per Game which is not a place where you want to be if you want to be a contender.
They did lose A.J. Green in Week 12 which was a big loss for them, but they have to be able to put points up on the board consistently which they did not do a season ago. I am not sold on their top two draft picks of John Ross (Washington), and Joe Mixon (Oklahoma), and I feel that they could have done way better drafting, but the Bengals will be in the mix in the AFC North for a while.
20 Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are hoping that Ryan Tannehill will be okay for week 1, but it is tough to judge so far after he sprained his ACL and his MCL in week 14. There was no surgery that was required, but they still hope that he will be 100 percent to start off the season. Miami didn't necessarily get better this off-season because they added some guys, and got rid of some guys. There was not a huge impact signing that Miami made that caught anybody's eyes.
Miami will look to improve on the defensive side of the ball as they were 30th in the NFL in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 15th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game. They finished 10-6 a season ago, with an okay defense is there any way that they have a chance to repeat that success from last season, probably not. Look for Miami to be good offensively and to still struggle on the defensive end.
19 Denver Broncos
One of the teams that I strongly believed was going to draft their next future quarterback did not in the 2017 NFL Draft. Instead with their first round pick they decided to add some depth in their offensive line with Garett Bolles the offensive tackle from the University of Utah. Denver definitely needed to draft a quarterback, or to sign one this offseason due to the fact that I don't believe that either Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch are the answer for the future. They did draft Chad Kelly out of Ole Miss with the Mr. Irrelevant pick in this year's draft, but it doesn't look like he is the answer either.
On the positive side for Denver their defense finished 1st in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game, but they also finished 28th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game. With big time playmakers in Von Miller, Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr. and company Denver can make some noise because of their defense, but they will struggle on the offensive side of the ball due to the fact of not having a quality quarterback.
18 Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions had one of the worst running games in 2016, and finished 30th in Rushing Yards Per Game. Yet, they still managed to finish with a 9-7 record, and made the playoffs. How did they do that you might say? Well Matthew Stafford helped the Lions with 8 fourth quarter comeback victories throughout the 2016 regular season which is the most in a single season in NFL History.
Detroit was more than lucky last year when it came to last season, but does lightning strike twice in 2017, probably not. The Lions do need to improve their running game if they want to be anywhere close to relevant in 2017. Without a consistent running game it will be hard for Matthew Stafford to be anywhere as good as he was in 2016. Look for the Lions to be a factor in the NFC only if they can improve their running game, which it doesn't look like will happen since they still don't have a solid all-around running back.
17 Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are looking to move forward into 2017 with a possibility of making the playoffs, and they have made some moves that could definitely help them, they added Brandon Carr, Tony Jefferson, Danny Woodhead all through free agency, and in the NFL Draft they added Marlon Humphrey (CB) from Alabama, Tyus Bower (OLB) from Houston, Chris Wormley (DT) from Michigan, and Tim Williams (DE) from Alabama. All these adds on the defensive side of the ball is going to help the Ravens become a serious force not only in the AFC North, but in the AFC as well.
Joe Flacco does not have the quality talent at receivers as he is used to, but he is known for making it work. Look for Baltimore's defense to improve from 9th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 5th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game to help lead the charge for Baltimore potentially making the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
16 Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals finished 7-8-1 in 2016, and were a couple of bounces going there way from being a playoff team. They lost five games by a total of seven points or fewer, and had the tie against Seattle where both teams missed potential game winning field goals in overtime. The Cardinals offense and defense were fairly good a season ago, and the numbers speak for themselves.
On offense they finished 10th in Passing Yards Per Game, and 18th in Rushing Yards Per Game, while on defense they finished 9th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 4th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game. Those are fairly good numbers for a team that did not make the playoffs a year ago. Arizona has made some moves that I think will benefit them this season by adding Jarvis Jones (LB) from the Steelers, Antoine Bethea (S) from the 49ers while adding Hasson Reddick (LB) from Temple and Budda Baker (S) from the University of Washington. The Cardinals will be a threat to make the playoffs, but they need more targets for Carson Palmer, who's name is not Larry Fitzgerald.
15 Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck is looking to help bring the Colts back to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. In Luck's five year career he has already been sacked 156 times, which is way too much for a franchise quarterback to be getting sacked like that. The Offensive Line has to be ten times better, as they have struggled throughout Luck's whole career.
The Colts on the other hand did not play all that bad a season ago, as they finished 8-8 and they lost five out of their eight games by eight points or fewer. Indianapolis finished 27th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 25th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game, so it is safe to say that they need to improve on the defensive side of the ball. They have signed former Patriots Jabaal Sheard and Barkevious Mingo, former New York Giant Jonathan Hankins, and they drafted Malik Hooker (S) out of "The" Ohio State and Quincy Wilson (CB) out of the University of Florida. They have added some talent on defense and should be a threat as long as the defense as a whole can perform to their potential.
14 New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints in my opinion has had one of the better offseasons due to free agent signings, and draft picks. They drafted Marshon Lattimore (CB) out of "The" Ohio State University, Ryan Ramczyk (OT) out of the University of Wisconsin, and Marcus Williams (FS) out of the University of Utah. In free agent signings, they acquired Ted Ginn Jr. (WR) from Carolina, Alex Okafor (LB) from Arizona, and the biggest signing for the Saints is none other than running back Adrian Peterson.
The signing of Adrian Peterson is one of the biggest names that New Orleans has brought in since they signed none other than Drew Brees. The Saints last season were the best passing team last year as they averaged 317.1 Passing Yards Per Game which was ranked 1st in the NFL. On the defensive side of the ball 14th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 32nd in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game. Safe to say if New Orleans can clean up on the defensive end then they will be a serious threat in the NFC in 2017.
13 Tennessee Titans
I strongly believe that if Marcus Mariota did not get hurt in Week 16 against the Jaguars that they would have made the playoffs last season. The Titans were one of the surprises from 2016, and they look like they will be able to continue to improve in 2017. The Titans had two first round picks and they selected Corey Davis (WR) with the fifth overall pick out of Western Michigan and Adoree' Jackson (CB) with the 18th overall pick out of USC.
Tennessee a year ago finished 30th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 2nd in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game. They needed to add depth to their pass defense and they have by signing Logan Ryan from New England and Johnathan Cyprien from Jacksonville. If they can improve their passing defense, then I strongly believe with Mariota, and their two headed monster backfield of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry that the Titans will make the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The biggest surprise in my opinion from this offseason was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They were inches away from making the playoffs last season which would have been the first time since 2007. The Buccaneers by the numbers did not stick out in any shape or form last season, but they did what they had to do to win. Their offense ranked 24th in Rushing Yards Per Game, and 16th in Passing Yards Per Game, and on the defensive side of the ball they ranked 22nd in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 22nd in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game.
The numbers show that they were an average team, but they did finish 9-7 last season, and were very very close to being a playoff team. Tampa Bay has added DeSean Jackson (WR) from Washington via free agency, and O.J. Howard (TE) out of the University of Alabama with the 18th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Winston is poised to have a big breakout season with all of these weapons, and look for him to help lead the Buccaneers to a potential playoff appearance in 2017.
11 Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have their defense to thank for helping them make the post season in 2016. Their defense finished 7th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 8th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game. To go along with the point of thanking their defense their offense meanwhile ranked 25th in Rushing Yards Per Game, and 10th in Passing Yards Per Game. The rushing attack for the Seahawks a year ago, was none existent to say the least, and they hope that it can change in 2017 with the signing of Eddie Lacy this off season.
Seattle has also made some solid under the radar moves this offseason by signing Perrish Cox (CB), (OG) Oday Aboushi, (OG) Luke Joeckel, and (DE) Dion Jordan. These four signings will help the Seahawks quietly due to the fact that they are quality talents at their positions. Russell Wilson will be solid for the Seahawks this year, but if they want to be legitimate Super Bowl Contenders in 2017, they have to make sure that they have an effective running game.
10 Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers in 2017 will look to bounce back from one of the worst Super Bowl hangover seasons in the past 15 seasons in the NFL. Carolina was not the same in which we saw from 2015, and it showed especially due to the loss of Josh Norman. It showed in 2016 as they ranked 29th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game, but they were ranked 6th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game. The Panthers did not have a legitimate number one corner back and it hurt their chances of going back to the playoffs last season.
Now in 2017 they have added talent that should help Carolina go back into the postseason. In free agency they added (OT) Matt Kalil, (SS) Mike Adams, and they brought back (OLB) Julius Peppers and (CB) Captain Munnerlyn. In the NFL Draft they added Christian McCaffrey (RB) out of Stanford, and Curtis Samuel (WR/RB) out of "The" Ohio State University. Needless to say Newton has some more talent from the draft, and the defense added some veterans that can help make a difference in 2017.
9 Houston Texans
The Houston Texans definitely need a quarterback after how bad Brock Osweiler played a season ago. Osweiler played so bad that they traded him this offseason to the Cleveland Browns to go along with a 2018 second round pick, and a 2017 sixth round pick for a 2017 fourth round pick. Houston has talent at the wide receiver position, but they need someone to be able to throw them the ball.
With the 12th overall selection in the NFL Draft they selected Heisman Winner Deshaun Watson out of Clemson University. It is safe to say that Houston traded up to get Watson to be the future quarterback for the Texans. The playmaker can help Houston's offense now as they look to be a legitimate threat in the AFC in 2017. Houston does not have to worry about their defense performing due to the fact that they seem to be top ten in every category year after year. With J.J. Watt coming back from injury, look for the Texans' defense to be better than ever.
8 New York Giants
The New York Giants made the playoffs last season, and instantly got embarrassed by the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round. During the regular season they were ranked 4th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 23rd in Passing Yards Per Game. New York's defense was a huge reason that they were in the playoffs a year ago, and the Giants' have improved the offense so far this off season. With the signings of D.J. Fluker, and Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall, to go along with (TE) Evan Engram that they drafted in the first round, gives Eli some help on offense.
Thinking about the duo of Brandon Marshall and Odell Beckham Jr. is a scary thought for all defenses to think about. I strongly believe that the Giants' fourth round selection in Wayne Gallman Jr. (RB) will be their best option at a legitimate running game. A season ago the Giants were 29th in Rushing Yards Per Game due to the fact that they didn't have a physical running back, Gallman Jr. is 215 pounds of pure physicalness and will be a huge part of the running game for the Giants if they want to be a legitimate threat in the NFC.
7 Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City's defense in 2016 was not what we are accustomed to seeing. The Chiefs' ranked 26th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 18th in Passing Yards Allowed. I was not a fan of their first round pick; they selected Patrick Mahomes II (QB) out of Texas Tech. I like Mahomes as a player don't get me wrong, I just think Kansas City could have gotten something of more value with the tenth overall pick.
On the board at the time Kansas City was on the clock Marshon Lattimore (CB), Malik Hooker (S), Jonathan Allen (DE), and many more talented players on the defensive side of the ball. Instead they went for a quarterback, which makes no sense to myself due to the fact that they have Alex Smith still under contract until the 2019 season. I could be overlooking this scenario, but if Kansas City wants to be contenders this year they have to improve on defense, and they have to make sure they don't have a quarterback controversy going on the whole year.
6 Oakland Raiders
The Raiders made some serious noise a year ago as they were 12-4 in 2016, and if they had a healthy Derek Carr in the playoffs we could be talking about a different Oakland Raiders team. Oakland was 6th in Rushing Yards Per Game, and 13th in Passing Yards Per Game. They lost Latavius Murray to the Minnesota Vikings, but they convinced Marshawn Lynch to come out of his one year retirement to come join his hometown team.
On the defensive side of the ball a season ago, they had guys like Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin, Reggie Nelson, and company were a huge part of the Raiders' 12-4 season last year. They ranked 24th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 23rd in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game. The numbers don't show how great the defense was a year ago, but with the draft pick of Gareon Conley (CB) out of "The" Ohio State University is a upgrade at the corner back position and should be a helpful selection for the Raiders in 2017. Look for Oakland to perform at the level they did last year, and then some for 2017 as they look to bring home the Lombardi Trophy.
5 Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons young defense got hot at the right time last season, and it helped lead the Falcons to a Super Bowl appearance even though they blew a 25 point lead. Nonetheless the Falcons are poised to have another amazing season, due to the fact that they did not lose any key players that were apart of their run to the Super Bowl a year ago. Matt Ryan is the reigning MVP and still has the same targets that he had from a year ago. Julio Jones is a top five receiver in all of football, and will continue to show his dominance in 2017.
The Falcons selected Takkarist McKinley (DE) out of UCLA with their first round selection, and he is a great fit for this defense. In the regular season the Falcons ranked 17th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 28th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game. Atlanta is considered a big time threat still in the NFC, but with that big Super Bowl loss a year ago, we just might see a different Atlanta team in 2017.
4 Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off of a AFC title game loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, but they still are a dominant threat in the NFL for the upcoming 2017 season. Their defense ranked 16th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 13th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game. The Steelers also added some depth in the draft in T.J. Watt (LB) out of Wisconsin, and Cameron Sutton (CB) out of Tennessee, and they are looking like the defense will help lead the Steelers to a potential Super Bowl appearance.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Steelers have what is known as the "Killer B's" in Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown. Those three individuals are a big-time trio that is a nightmare for all defenses. With those three on the field at the same time, you will have no idea who is getting the ball at any given moment which makes them a hard team to game plan for. With that being said I see Pittsburgh as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
3 Dallas Cowboys
Dallas is coming off of one of its best seasons in franchise history, as the rookie duo of Ezekiel Elliott, and Dak Prescott led the Dallas Cowboys to be the number one seed in the NFC. The Cowboys on offense were ranked 23rd in Passing Yards Per Game, and 2nd in Rushing Yards Per Game. While on defense they were ranked 1st in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 26th in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game.
Dallas was one of the best teams in the NFL a season ago, and will look to continue their success into 2017. The Cowboys selected Taco Charlton (DE) out of Michigan with the 28th overall pick, and they have lost some key players on defense from a year ago. With a depleted secondary after losing Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr, J.J. Wilcox, and Barry Church the Cowboys have to look to make their secondary better if they want to be able to succeed to the level they did in 2016, and potentially pass that level.
2 Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL since 2009, and they have made the playoffs in every single season from 2009-2016. Aaron Rodgers has been one of the elite quarterbacks since he gained the starting quarterback nod in 2008, and it showed last season. The Green Bay offense 20th in Rushing Yards Per Game, and 7th in Passing Yards Per Game. Their offense helped them make an NFC Championship appearance, but their defense let them down big time.
Their defense in the regular season ranked 31st in Passing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 8th in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game. The Packers' pass defense was abysmal in 2016, and that was a big target of acquisitions that they were to focus on in the off season. In the NFL Draft the Packers selected Kevin King (CB) out of the University of Washington, and Josh Jones (S) out of NC State. This depth for their secondary can help the Packers take their chance of being able to potentially be Super Bowl Champions in 2017.
1 New England Patriots
The reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots are the odds on favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champions. The Patriots were already lethal on offense, but with the additions of Mike Gillislee (RB) from Buffalo, Dwayne Allen (TE) from Indianapolis and Brandin Cooks (WR) from New Orleans makes the Patriots offense ten times better than it was a year ago when they won Super Bowl LI.
On the defensive side of the ball, they lost Chris Long, Jabaal Sheard, Barkevious Mingo, Logan Ryan on defense, but they did add Kony Ealy, and Stephon Gillmore to go along with the re-signing of Donta' Hightower means that their defense pretty much stayed the same talent wise or gotten better depending on how you feel about certain players. Nonetheless the Patriots on defense were 3rd in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game, and 12th Passing Yards Allowed Per Game. The Patriots' defense was fantastic last year, and if they want to repeat as Super Bowl champions they are going to need their defense to play up to their potential.
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