With many high-level players swapping jerseys, players opting out from playing entirely, and many others recovering from injury on top of the uncertainty currently surrounding the NFL landscape, this will be an interesting season to say the least. In this article, we break down which teams who are most inclined to improve season over season.
Team: Cincinnati Bengals
2019 Record: 2-14
With a win record of 2-14, the Cincinnati Bengals were the worst team in the entire NFL in 2019. The Bengals were struck with many injuries throughout the season and failed to recover. Despite these injuries, the Bengals lacked star talent outside of their receiving corps. This was a setback in late game scenarios as the Bengals lost x games by single digits. Without a leader on the team to take them over the edge, they weren’t able to secure a 4th quarter go ahead score and ultimately lost those games as a result. With a new fresh look in Cincinnati and #1 Overall draft pick, Joe Burrow under center, the Bengals have more energy and a revitalized spirit for the game. We expect the Bengals to grow as a team, but with still being very young, we don’t expect them to climb up too high, especially with the Ravens being the biggest threat to their success in the AFC North. With only a 2-14 record in the previous season, there is only growth in store for the rebuilding Bengals.
Team: Detroit Lions
2019 Record: 3-12-1
The 2019 Season was a disappointing one for the Lions as they lost Matt Stafford to injury for the second half of the season. In the first 8 games that Stafford did play, the Lions managed a mediocre 3-4-1 record. During the second half of the season that Stafford was out, the Lions were brutally awful and lost their last 8 last games of the season. The Lions are a completely different team without Stafford under center and this is something management has worked on to improve on as Stafford cannot be their whole offensive regime. The Lions have slowly added weapons to their offense like Kerryon Johnson who will help provide much needed relief for Stafford as long as they can also remain healthy. Staying healthy is the name of the game for the Lions and this year with a longer offseason, the Lions should be ready to take 2020 head on with a vengeance.
Team: Dallas Cowboys
2019 Record: 8-8
The Cowboys fell just short of making it to the playoffs to rival Philadelphia by 1 game. The Eagles outplayed the Cowboys down the final stretch of the season to secure the NFC East division title. The Cowboys and Eagles both underperformed in the 2019 season, but the Cowboys were the bigger disappointment. With Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot, and Amari Cooper, the Cowboys were destined for a promising 2019 season but came short. With Dak placed under a one year deal, Dak is looking to prove himself this year to secure a larger contract entering the 2021 season. With Zeke in his prime, the star in Cooper, and rising stars in players like Michael Gallup, Dak and the Cowboys should have no problem taking over the top position in the NFC East.
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
2019 Record: 8-8
Our second team from the AFC North appearing in this list is the Pittsburgh Steelers. In direct competition with their division, the Baltimore Ravens are still the team to beat and will still continue to dominate their fellow division opponents. But thankfully for the Steelers, only 2 of their 16 games are against the Ravens. The Steelers have a favorable schedule this season with many games against teams who did not make the playoffs last season. The Steelers fell just short in 2019 playing without top quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the majority of the season. With Ben Roethlisberger back in the lineup paired with Juju Smith-Shuster and a healthy James Conner, the Steelers have a legitimate chance of securing the number 5 seed in the AFC Wild Card. In addition to getting their offense back on track, the Steelers will also have their first full season with Minkah Fitzpatrick who was electrifying in the latter half of the season he spent with the Steelers after being traded by the Miami Dolphins. The Steelers should improve in 2020 season with players returning from injury and having a full lineup again.
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