1. Kansas City Chiefs
They are primed for another Super Bowl run and as long as QB Patrick Mahomes is healthy, they will be for many years.
2. Las Vegas Raiders
The current regime is starting to see their plan come to fruition and it should result in a playoff appearance.
3. Denver Broncos
A solid off-season saw them surround their young quarterback with more weapons and solidified a sound defensive unit.
4. Los Angeles Chargers
Playing second fiddle in LA will start to take its toll on the franchise, but it helps being in a brand new stadium you didn’t have to pay for.
Head Coach: Andy Reid
Key Position: Defense
There aren’t many weak areas on this team. This isn’t to say that the defense is all bad, but there were moments that they could hinder what they were trying to accomplish. Things turned around for them just before Thanksgiving last season and they didn’t look back. If Chris Jones, Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu all remain healthy, this unit will be in great shape. Those three were instrumental in the franchise winning their second Super Bowl.
Key Acquisitions: DE Taco Charlton (Miami Dolphins), CB Antonio Hamilton (New York Giants), OL Daniel Kilgore (Miami Dolphins), OG Kelechi Osemele (New York Jets), OL Mike Remmers (New York Giants), S Tedric Thompson (Seattle Seahawks)
Key Rookies: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LB Willie Gay Jr., CB L’Jarius Sneed
Head Coach: Jon Gruden
Key Position: Defense
It was an improved unit from the 2018 version last year. That’s not to say that there isn’t room for improvement this season. Injuries affected this group with S Jonathan Abram only playing one game last year. The former first round pick should get plenty of opportunities to showcase his skills this season. Bringing in former Rams LB Cory Littleton should greatly improve the pass coverage and DT Maliek Collins is an underrated pass rusher who came from Dallas. This will be an important year for the franchise with a new home city and stadium. Missing the playoffs is not an option.
Key Acquisitions: WR Nelson Agholor (Philadelphia Eagles), RB Devontae Booker (Denver Broncos), DT Maliek Collins (Dallas Cowboys), S Jeff Heath (Dallas Cowboys), WR Zay Jones (Buffalo Bills), LB Nick Kwiatkoski (Chicago Bears), LB Cory Littleton (Los Angeles Rams), DE Carl Nassib (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), TE Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys)
Key Rookies: WR Henry Ruggs III, CB Damon Arnette, WR Bryan Edwards, CB Amik Robertson
Head Coach: Vic Fangio
Key Position: Quarterback
This is Drew Lock’s team and the former 2nd round pick looked good in his rookie season. He likely would have been the starter right out of camp had he not been injured. Denver used their first two picks in the draft this year on wide receivers and that proved to everyone that they believe Lock can get them back to the playoffs. A lot depends on if the running game can get better and it should with the addition of Melvin Gordon from the Chargers. Noah Fant and Courtland Sutton were the best options in the passing game last season and should only get better with Jerry Jeudy in the fold. Lock has the skill set to succeed and he now has plenty of options to work with.
Key Acquisitions: CB A.J. Bouye (Jacksonville Jaguars), DT Jurrell Casey (Tennessee Titans), OG Graham Glasgow (Detroit Lions), RB Melvin Gordon III, (Los Angeles Chargers), P Sam Martin (Detroit Lions), TE Nick Vannett (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Key Rookies: WR Jerry Jeudy, WR KJ Hamler, CB Michael Ojemudia, C Lloyd Cushenberry III, DL McTelvin Agim
Head Coach: Anthony Lynn
Key Position: Running Back
Their head coach was a running back in the NFL. So it goes without saying that this should be a strength for this team. It was a disappointment last year and that partly had to do with the holdout of Melvin Gordon who is no longer here. When he did return he wasn’t close to being ready, but he was a former first round pick and had to get touches. Austin Ekeler is better suited for the passing game and in short stints as a runner. But he will be the primary back with Justin Jackson and rookie Joshua Kelley in reserve. This position needs to be better with a rookie quarterback waiting in the wings.
Key Acquisitions: OT Bryan Bulaga (Green Bay Packers), CB Chris Harris Jr., (Denver Broncos), DT Linval Joseph (Minnesota Vikings), OG Trai Turner (Carolina Panthers), LB Nick Vigil (Cincinnati Bengals)
Key Rookies: QB Justin Herbert, LB Kenneth Murray Jr., RB Joshua Kelley, WR Joe Reed