Football is still the most popular sport in the US and is picking up traction around the globe in terms of its fanbase. While the pandemic continues to make its presence felt, the 2020 season is still scheduled to get underway on September 10th. This will be the 101st season of NFL football and fans will be betting on who could be in the Super Bowl come year end. Already, Indiana sports betting sites have the Kansas City Chiefs, who won last year at 6/1, as favorites, with other teams also being in with a shout.
Of course, what happens in terms of changes to playing personnel in each NFL team will have a big impact on who reaches the big game. Free agency is now in full swing and this has seen some interesting moves already. But which teams look most likely to benefit from this activity and make a bid for glory when the season begins?
When you start to think about which teams have improved most through free agency deals, the Dolphins score highly. The headline-grabbing deal they struck was with 2018 Pro Bowler Byron Jones at cornerback. He will improve them in that position no end and is also versatile enough to add depth to the team overall. The Dolphins further beefed up their defense with the additions of linebacker Kyle Van Noy and defensive end Shaq Lawson. They will bring sheer athleticism and creative playmaking to the team which was missed last year. When you also think they have three first round draft picks, they are emerging as a team many are watching intently.
The Eagles did pretty well last year and topped the NFC East standings when the regular year ended. Although they did not go on to the Super Bowl after that, many think they could do so in 2020 –
especially after their free agency deals. The real coup for them has been signing up the top cornerback on the market, Darius Slay, on a $50m contract. Having Slay on the team will certainly beef up their defense and stop the league’s best receivers having success against them. In addition, Javon Hargrave has also arrived to improve their defensive line. Hargrave has the experience, speed and pace to really give the Eagles more in that spot. If both these have big seasons, then the Eagles could fly.
With Tom Brady moving on from the Patriots, the AFC East could be wide open in the 2020 season. The Bills were the next best team in that division last year and this has led to many people backing them as early favorites to not only finish top, but to enjoy a Super Bowl run. The signing of former Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs is a highly ambitious move and he will really help in what was a weak position for them. If Diggs strikes up a good partnership with QB Josh Allen, then it should be quite the season for them. On top of adding more firepower, they have also improved their defense with Quinton Jefferson and Vernon Butler coming in. They will give the team lots of experience and steel to call on.
One of the biggest offseason moves to date has been top-class wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins being traded to the Cardinals. Hopkins is an awesome player who scored 31 touchdowns in just three seasons. At only 27, he is at the peak of his powers and his signing has led many to seriously consider the Cardinals for the Super Bowl in 2020. As with other sides who have improved enough to emerge as early favorites, they have also beefed up in defense. Jordan Phillips has come in from the Bills where he recorded 9.5 sacks in 2019. He will no doubt shore up their run defense and make them much tougher to play against. They will have to find a way past the San Francisco 49ers, however, who have just reached a Super Bowl themselves.
Free agency deals have made an impact
While the teams who did well last year like the Chiefs, the Ravens and the 49ers are naturally expected to taste success again in 2020, the teams above have also emerged as early Super Bowl candidates in light of the players who have arrived there during free agency. With more deals sure to come and the draft also on the horizon, it will be interesting to see just who is still being tipped for the top prize come the first game of the season.