In the NFL, surprise teams emerge every season. Predicting them can be a challenge, but if you look closely, the signs are there. Today, we’re highlighting five teams that are being overlooked.
Some are projected to be top draft picks, while others are contenders that have been forgotten in discussions about the league’s best. Without a doubt, the season promises to be thrilling, and as you explore information about the NFL, you can as well venture into casino gaming if you find yourself in any of the legal online casino states while you wait for the season to kick off.
For almost two decades, the Steelers have been a consistent force in the NFL, with a track record of finishing .500 or better for 19 straight seasons. Under Mike Tomlin’s leadership, they’ve won at least nine games in all but three of his 16 seasons as head coach.
Despite being tagged with the worst odds to win the AFC North, their tough competition against the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens is largely the reason. However, if the Steelers can rely on quarterback Kenny Pickett to deliver consistently great play, they’re primed to surprise fans and critics alike.
Pickett was the second-ranked quarterback with a 90.1 PFF grade from Week 12 through the end of the season, a promising sign for the Steelers’ upcoming season.
The Packers were close to securing a playoff spot last season and boast a solid team, except for a major question mark at quarterback. Though it’s uncertain how Jordan Love will perform, it’s worth mentioning that the Packers were still in the running for the playoffs.
If Love can even rank as one of the top 16 starting quarterbacks in the league, the Packers have the potential to compete in the NFC North.
The Saints are predicted to emerge as front-runners in the NFC South division, which is one of the weaker ones in football. However, if quarterback Derek Carr can offer an upgrade, there’s a good chance they could host a playoff game in January.
The team has a strong supporting cast, particularly talented wide receiver Chris Olave, who ranked third among rookies and 16th among all receivers with an 82.9 PFF receiving grade. If Carr shows up with the kind of skills he displayed with the Raiders from 2019 to 2021, then the Saints may even contend in the NFC late in January.
The Buffalo Bills may not be getting as much attention in the AFC currently, but with their impressive quarterback-wide receiver duo of Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs, they are a team to watch out for. Despite narrowly missing out on a win against the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2021 playoffs, many seem to have forgotten about their potential.
With Allen consistently earning top grades and the Bills’ incredible talent on the field, they are primed to be serious contenders in the AFC once again in 2023. So don’t overlook the Bills just yet – they have what it takes to hoist that Lombardi Trophy.
Matthew Stafford’s performance in 2023 is crucial for the Rams’ success, with the quarterback coming off his worst-graded season since 2015. However, just a year ago, Stafford had his career-best 86.1 PFF grade as the team marched toward the Super Bowl.
Despite having a shallow roster, the team can produce a solid offense by relying on stars like Cooper Kupp, who was the highest-graded receiver in the NFL in 2022. Meanwhile, on defense, Aaron Donald remains unstoppable, with no season dipping below a sub-90.0 PFF grade.
It’s a big if, but if they can maintain their health, the team can hit closer to the seven-seed in the NFC instead of hunting for top-five draft picks.