While nearly every NFL team begins each season believing they can reach the Super Bowl if things work out in their favor, some teams will inevitably fall short of expectations. That’s just the nature of the beast. While we can’t know for sure until the games are played, here are our predictions for the five NFL teams that will be the biggest disappointments in 2020.
The Bills believe their time has finally come. Tom Brady has left New England, making the AFC East wide open. Meanwhile, the Buffalo defense is one of the best in football, giving the Bills the inside track at finally unseating the Patriots at the top of the division.
However, they’ll still need Josh Allen to take a step forward in 2020, and that’s far from a given. Plus, the Patriots have a chance to keep their crown if Cam Newton is healthy. Also, don’t sleep on the Dolphins, who finished 2019 strong and have a much-improved roster around former Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
New York Jets
Along those same lines, the Jets think they can also benefit from Brady leaving New England. On top of that, Gang Green fans think that Sam Darnold is the second coming of Joe Namath. The problem with Darnold is that he still hasn’t outgrown the turnover issues he had at USC. Darnold isn’t good enough to overcome his frequent interceptions.
Perhaps more importantly, the supporting cast around Darnold is underwhelming, especially with lingering questions about the offensive line. Regardless of what they think, the Jets still aren’t ready to compete for the AFC East crown. The train wreck that is the Adam Gase era will continue in 2020.
Yes, the Titans deserve credit for reaching the AFC Championship Game last season. But a couple of playoff wins doesn’t suddenly make them one of the elite teams in the AFC. The Titans are still an average team with an average (and now overpaid) quarterback with a running game that can dominate at times.
The Titans may think they have arrived after last year’s playoff run. However, they are still a team that will struggle just to get to 10 wins and return to the playoffs.
Green Bay Packers
Last year, the Packers may have been the least impressive 13-3 team in NFL history. They had Aaron Rodgers and a good pass rush, but the rest of the roster was rather average. Surely, things will start to catch up with them in 2020.
Naturally, 13 wins and a trip to the NFC Championship Game has raised expectations, setting the Packers up for a massive letdown.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With Tom Brady in the fold, the Buccaneers will instantly become Super Bowl contenders, right? Well, not so fast. Yes, Brady can still play and has a ridiculous set of receivers around him. But the Bucs led the league in passing last year and it didn’t do them any good. The Tampa Bay defense allowed 28 points per game last year and needs to make massive improvements.
The same is true for a lackluster rushing attack and offensive line. In short, the Bucs still have a lot to fix and Brady can’t solve every problem. There’s also the issue of sharing a division with Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, meaning things won’t come as easy to the Bucs as they think.