Ok, we get it. We know the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs are the two standout names when it comes to picking Super Bowl contenders next season in the NFL.
We also know that after the two teams that competed in this year’s Super Bowl in Miami, that you will find the likes of the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams. As you can see from the list of odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook below.
But who are the teams that are still flying a little below the radar that could make a run at a Super Bowl appearance, especially given the positive moves that they have made during the off-season?
In this article, we are going to take a look at a few teams that could be ones to keep a close eye on next season as Super Bowl contenders. As well as ones where we think the growing hype, is not really justified.
Before we take a look at teams we feel will be contenders, let’s take a look at the organizations I think are pretenders, despite a reduction in their odds of late.
Super Bowl Pretenders
Dallas Cowboys (+2800)
The news that Dak Prescott (pictured) had re-signed with the Cowboys, saw their odds on Super Bowl success come in slightly but it is worth remembering that this was a 6-10 team last season, in a very weak division.
Other free agency signings have been solid and serviceable rather than spectacular. Dallas may post a better than 0.500 season, but I’m not even sure they are the best team in a weak NFC East even with those signings. There’s no way Prescott and a few free agent signings have transformed this team into a Super Bowl calibre team.
New England Patriots (+2800)
Making massive changes to your roster during free agency seldom pays off for teams. New England have spent a massive chunk of change ($159.6 million) on free agents in the hope of becoming relevant in the AFC East once again, but what did they achieve?
Cam Newton is back where he didn’t shine last season, they paid a huge amount for two tight ends (Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry) as well as massively overpaying for wide receiver Nelson Agholor. This looks like lots of different pieces to different jigsaws and the likelihood is that not many of them will fit.
New Orleans Saints (+2800)
How does letting a Hall of Fame quarterback retire or move on pan out? You only need to look at how the New England Patriots did last season without Tom Brady to see the effect that this has one a team.
Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston are not even close to being Drew Brees in quality and without their lynchpin quarterback, I think Sean Payton’s team is going to struggle in their division. In truth, I don’t think their other free agency moves make much difference to their chances here, and with little cap space left, they don’t have the cash to make significant upgrades.
Super Bowl Contenders
Arizona Cardinals (+4000)
The Cards were one win away from the playoffs last year. Since then they have added J.J.Watt (pictured) to have arguably the best 1-2 pass rush combo in the league, they have signed a top quality receive A.J. Green to work alongside DeAndre Hopkins and cornerback Malcolm Butler signing from the Titans was another shrewd move.
Of course, all these veterans signed short-term deals and injuries have been a problem, notably for Watt, but if they can have even a small impact on the Cards season, then that pushes them into Playoff contenders, even in the super-tough NFC West, which looks stacked with talent this season.
Cleveland Browns (+2200)
The Browns went 11-5 last season and that despite losing a number of key players, such Odell Beckham Jr and they were already playoff calibre. Since then I have loved the moves they have made in the off-season.
Safety John Johnson III is an inspired pick up and immediately improves their defense, as does Takkarist McKinley, who now will work opposite to Myles Garrett in what is a very dangerous pass rush. The Browns still have a few questions to answer, but I see them being the Ravens major challengers in the AFC North this season.
Tennessee Titans (+3300)
The Titans needed help on defense, especially on pass rush and they signed arguably one of the best available players for that role in Bud Dupree. Janoris Jenkins and Denico Autry are also both very solid signings and Josh Reynolds will fill in at slot receiver nicely, though could be used more expansively than that.
The Titans still need to address a couple of key areas. Tight End and cornerback are probably areas the team will look to address during the Draft, but this was a team that made the playoffs in both the past two seasons and needed a tweak, rather than major surgery to turn them into contenders. They may have just done that.