NFL's Most Intriguing Teams in 2019
With the middle of summer in full swing, it’s easy to get lulled to sleep. But have no fear, because…FOOTBALL IS ALMOST HERE!
This NFL season is especially memorable, as it’s the 100-year anniversary of the league being founded. All 32 teams are vying for the chance to take home the Lombardi Trophy at seasons end. While some teams have had a quiet offseason, others have made more noise.
Take a look at the most intriguing teams heading into the 2019 season:
After coming off an embarrassing 0-16 season in 2017, the Browns rebounded to finish the 2018 season with a 7-8-1 record. Plenty of factors influenced this swift turnaround, including the firing of head coach Hue Jackson and the improvement of the offense, led by Baker Mayfield. Young talent took a step up for the team, especially on the defensive side with Myles Garrett, who had a Pro Bowl year with 13.5 sacks.
This season is filled with intrigue for the Browns, as they retooled their roster and are now regarded as one of the most talented teams in the league. Leading the team is an inexperienced coach in Freddie Kitchens, who served as their offensive coordinator for most of last season. Adding players such as Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, and Sheldon Richardson to a team already budding with talent should create plenty of excitement for a Browns fanbase looking to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
The Raiders hired a familiar face in 2018, signing former head coach Jon Gruden to a 10-year, $100 million contract to lead the Silver and Black to prominence. What resulted in Year 1 was a disastrous 4-12 season for the team, and they finished among the league’s worst in many defensive categories, including finishing last in points allowed per game. Derek Carr has been regressing since his 2016 season, and 2018 season left a lot to be desired with only 19 touchdown passes.
2019 looks to be a rebounding year for the Raiders, as their team became a lot more intriguing with the offseason additions of Antonio Brown and Vontaze Burfict, who are going to be able to showcase their personalities to the audience of Hard Knocks. Add in Gruden’s intense coaching style, and there’s sure to be plenty to keep fans entertained throughout the preseason. With their move to Las Vegas happening in 2020, the Raiders will look to leave Oakland in style with a playoff appearance.
Things weren’t so sunny in Arizona for the Cardinals in 2018, as they finished with last in the NFC West with a 3-13 record. Head coach Steve Wilks was fired after only one season at the helm, and there wasn’t much offensive firepower on a team that finished last in points scored, passing yards per game, and rushing yards per game. Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen struggled mightily at times, and only threw for 11 touchdowns compared to 14 interceptions.
This season marks a new era for Arizona, as they have a first time NFL coach in Kliff Kingsbury and a new signal caller in quarterback Kyler Murray, who they chose with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. Plenty of intrigue will surround this duo, as they look to bring their Big-12 style offensive philosophy to the NFL. With veterans on the team such as Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson, and Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals will look to return to relevance in 2019.
New York Giants
It’s easy to argue that no team had more of a disappointing season than the New York Football Giants. Filled with offensive talent such as Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley, the Giants inconsistencies led the team en route to a 5-11 record in the NFC East. Surprisingly, Eli Manning had one of his best statistical years, passing for over 4,000 yards with 21 touchdowns. Now, skepticism is more prevalent than ever under head coach Pat Shurmur.
This upcoming season hopes to be a fresh start for Shurmur and the Giants. Gone are franchise caliber players such as Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins; in their place are newcomers Golden Tate and Antoine Bethea. Their most intriguing move came when they shocked the football world by choosing Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick, creating more offseason buzz around the team. Jones is presumed to be the heir to the quarterback throne once Manning retires, and the Giants should be (for better or worse) one of the most interesting teams in 2019.
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