Sunday, December 10, 2023
HomeUncategorizedSix NFL teams that could be surprising in 2022 — good and...

Six NFL teams that could be surprising in 2022 — good and bad

During the two weeks of preseason, things began to take shape in the NFL — positive for some, ominous for others.

Every year, it seems that several teams come out of nowhere and force themselves into relevance. Meanwhile, it’s not uncommon for leaders to slip and fall short of expectations.

This year’s data is no exception. Many in the league already believe that teams like the Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles have a chance to make strides following offseason big-name acquisitions. At the same time, there is some concern that the departure of Tyrek Hill, along with the simultaneous advancement of AFC West rivals, could threaten the Kansas City Chiefs’ six-year dominance.

years seem to offer some surprises. Some smart moves and a few strokes of luck put a squad or two on the track for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021. At the same time, misfortune could end up derailing an intended competitor.

Here are three teams that looked like they had a chance to be a surprise threat, and three others that were destined to be a surprise disappointment.

MORE: Which NFL playoff teams will be back on the court and which won’t? Ranking of all 14 teams looking ahead to 2022

Preseason winners, losers : KaVontae Turpin, Isaiah could be the best among rookies

NFL team could make Surprise surge of people

Carolina Panthers

Matt Rhule needs the worst possible way for this to happen while the 2018 No. 1 pick in the Cleveland Browns Baker Mayfield was as good as he was at Carolina after taking Deshaun Watson. Mayfield always had a chip on his back, but his drive seemed as strong as ever. He’s going to prove the Browns wrong, and now that he’s healthy, he can help the team compete.


In addition to boosting quarterback confidence and decision-making, he could bring the edge the Panthers need. Carolina certainly has the offensive weapons (Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, Robbie Anderson, Trace Marshall Jr.), but the team needs to stay healthy and have the right coaches to give them a chance. With the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints each starting at quarterback and navigating uncertain territory at the head coaching position (Atlanta’s Arthur Smith is still finding his way into his second year, former defensive coordinator Dennis Allen replaces Sean Payton in New Orleans), and the door is wide open for Carolina to chase wild-card bids after three straight double-digit loss seasons.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Things couldn’t have been worse than last year’s dysfunctional 3-14 campaign under Urban Meyer. After hiring Doug Pederson as head coach and focusing on building a more complete team through free agency and the draft this offseason, Jacksonville’s prospects for a dramatic leap look good.

Pederson and quarterbacks coach Mike McCoy should be good for 2021 No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence, who had 12 touchdowns, 17 interceptions last season The game often looks lost. The upgraded line should also help with quarterback comfort. As members of the AFC South — the Titans are somewhat restructured, the Colts are still trying to put it all together, and the Texans seem destined to be one of the top picks in the 2023 draft — the Jaguars The future is bright.

Elandon Roberts #52 Miami Dolphins (R) with teammates at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL August 20, 2022 Nik Needham celebrates with teammate Nik Needham during the first quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Miami Dolphins

After the controversial end of the Brian Flores era, Dolphins officials went the route of a young, creative offensive coordinator, naming former San Francisco 49ers assistant offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as the lead coach. The Dolphins are hoping Kyle Shanahan’s right-hand man can save Tua Tagovaloa’s career and develop the quarterback into what they consider a top-five 2020 draft pick.

McDaniel runs a quarterback-friendly system, and the investment in Tagovailoa’s supporting cast should also make life easier for young quarterbacks. If the Dolphins can run a productive offense that matches an already gifted defense, Miami could be in trouble in the final stretch of the season. Of course, the Dolphins do have two formidable AFC East opponents (the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots) to worry about. But New England’s dubious offense could lead to Mike Jones’ trouble in Year 2, preparing the Dolphins for this unexpected contender’s candidacy.

Possibly disappointing NFL team

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady’s strange absence from training camp , but that wasn’t the most worrying factor in Tampa Bay’s preseason. That would be the disintegration of the offensive line. After the offseason departures of guards Ali Marpet (retired) and Alex Cappa (free agency), and a string of injuries to Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen, starting offensive linebacker Aaron Stinnie and all-pro offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs, the Buccaneers should is on red alert. Brady, who turned 45 earlier this month, is known for his quick shots and pocket presence, but the patchwork of lines means he could find himself under the most pressure he’s had in quite some time, while at the Super Bowl. One more run in the middle could prove impossible for Tampa Bay.

Green Bay Packers

Packers resolve long-standing uncertainty about union with Aaron Rodgers, but lose No. 1 after making their quarterback the NFL’s highest-paid player Targets Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantlin. The overhaul and young receiving unit have largely been underwhelming this preseason, even drawing public criticism from Rodgers.

The Packers dominated three regular seasons under Matt LaFleur (39-10 and won the division each year) but every postseason There are shortages. But with a lack of proven and trustworthy targets, they could be drawn into some offensive fights. A lack of continuity and cohesion in this year’s potential growing pains could be costly, especially late in the season and in the playoffs, as Rodgers and company have spent the past 12 seasons trying in vain to get back into the Super Bowl.

Tennessee Titans

Did the Titans’ best shot in the Super Bowl slip through their fingers in last winter’s divisional loss to Cincinnati? It must be so. Gone are Ryan Tannehill’s best offensive weapon in wide receiver AJ Brown. Another leading perimeter player, Julio Jones, also left this offseason. Salary cap restrictions make it difficult for the Titans to reload. With main guard Derrick Henry back, but missing nine games last season after breaking his foot, it’s hard not to wonder when all the mileage he’s logging will catch up to him.

After two straight AFC South titles and three straight playoff appearances, the Titans must prepare for progress in Jacksonville and Indianapolis. It’s been a long season, but it feels like the Titans’ window of opportunity may be closing.

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Jones on Twitter @ByMikeJones.

This article originally Appearing in USA TODAY: NFL surprise teams: Can Dolphins, Panthers challenge the odds in 2022?



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Featured NEWS