NFL 2019 Team Guide

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The NFL is in its 100th year and the league will be celebrating its past stars as well as famous games. This season sees four games in London with two games at both Wembley Stadium and the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. That brings a total of 28 games played here since the first regular season matchup between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants took place at Wembley in 2007. The AFL and NFL merged in 1966, bringing forth the Super Bowl era so there have only been 53 Super Bowls to date, with Super Bowl LIV taking place in Miami on 2nd February 2020. Each team plays 16 regular season games in the hope of qualifying for the postseason play off games, here we look at the teams and break down the divisions for you.

NFC teams

The National Football Conference is comprised of 16 teams broken into four divisions: North, South, East and West. This began in 2002 when the NFL expanded and was realigned; the NFL sought to keep historical rivalries. Dallas, for example, is in the NFC East to preserve their competitions with Washington, New York and Philadelphia. For the NFC Play-offs, six teams make it from the NFC; each division winner and two “wild card” (best record of the remaining clubs). The winner of the NFC meets the AFC champ in the Super Bowl.

NFC North

The “Black and Blue” Division is known for its hard-hitting matchups. They play each other twice, as well as a game against each team from the AFC West this season and the NFC East. The remaining two games are against NFC teams from the other divisions that finished in the same place in the standings in 2018. For example, the third place NFC North of 2018 will play the third-place team from NFC South and West.

Chicago Bears

  • City: Chicago, Illinois
  • Stadium: Soldier Field, Chicago, capacity: 61,500
  • Star Players: Mitchell Trubisky (Quarterback), Khalil Mack (Linebacker), Roquan Smith (Linebacker), Allen Robinson (Wide Receiver).

Odds:The “Monsters of the Midway” known the last century for crushing defence led by names such as George, Butkus, Singletary, Dent, Urlacher and now Mack, exhilarating running backs like Nagurski, Grange, Gallimore, Sayers, and Payton and superior quarterback play from …   well, no one comes to mind. . . ever. 2019 is no exception has the Bears have a fierce defence, good running backs but substandard quarterback play. They are off to a strong start thanks to the defence and should be expected to finish near the top of the North and fight for the conference, just on the defence alone. The most storied rival for the Bears is Green Bay, and the two were featured as the league opening game this season.

Detroit Lions

  • City: Detroit, Michigan
  • Stadium: Ford Field, Detroit, capacity: 65,000
  • Star Players: Matthew Stafford (Quarterback), Kerryon Johnson (Running Back), Kenny Golladay (Wide Receiver),  Mike Daniels (Defensive Tackle)

Odds: Detroit’s franchise began in 1928 in Portsmouth, Ohio, it moved to Detroit in 1934. Rumour has it that the music scene was better. Well thank goodness Detroit has automobiles and music because for the last 50-60 years they have not had much of a football team. Although there is a resurgence this year under second-year coach Matt Patricia, the Lions are not expected to threaten the better lineups in the division. Matthew Stafford and Kenny Golladay are the ones to watch. The Lions have been featured on Thanksgiving Day annually. Initially, this was a gimmick, just to get people to go to Lions games.  Now, it is still a gimmick, just to get people to go to Lions games.

Green Bay Packers

  • City: Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Stadium: Lambeau Field capacity 81,441
  • Star Players: Aaron Rodgers (Quarterback), Aaron Jones (Running Back), Davante Adams (Wide Receiver), Preston Smith (Linebacker)

Odds: Green Bay began in 1919 and are the third oldest franchise in the NFL. It is the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team based in the United States. They play in the smallest of cities of any NFL team, but have the most titles in NFL History, 13. The Bears are second at 9.  Green Bay is coming off two down years, which led to the dismissal of longtime coach, Mike McCarthy. Matt LaFleur is now the head man and has installed a more ground and pound attack around Aaron Rodgers. The Cheeseheads are off to a strong start and with a healthy QB, Rodgers they should be near the top of the North challenging the Bears.

NFC East

The NFC East Features the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. They play each other twice, as well as a game against each team from the AFC East this season and the NFC North. The remaining two games are against NFC teams from the other divisions that finished in the same place in the standings in 2018. For example, the third place finisher from the NFC East of 2018 will play the third place team from NFC South and West. All of these teams have won a Super Bowl. No other division can say that.

Dallas Cowboys

  • City: Dallas, Texas
  • Stadium: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, capacity 80,000
  • Star Players: Dak Prescott (Quarterback), Ezekiel Elliott (Running Back), Amari Cooper (Wide receiver), Jaylon Smith (Linebacker)

Odds:“How ‘bout them Cowboys?!” “America’s team” began 2019 in turmoil when Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott held out their hands asking for more money before the season started. Elliott got rewarded, getting the largest running back contract. Prescott so far has gotten the  “go out and earn it” mantra from the Cowboys officials. Prescott has done just that. The Cowboys are poised to be a Super Bowl contender based on a great offensive line and a stellar running back in Elliott. Their owner, Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys in 1989 for 140 Million USD and oversaw three Super Bowl victories in the 90s. The team however is in a drought since then, when it comes to championships. The team, valued at over 4.2 Billion USD, seems to be a good return on investment!

New York Giants

  • City: New York, New York
  • Stadium: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, capacity 82,500
  • Star Players: Saquon Barkley (Running Back), Eli Manning (Quarterback), Daniel Jones (Quarterback)

Odds:The New York Giants have a rich history. Some NFL greats such as Y.A. Tittle, Frank Gifford, Sam Huff, Lawrence Taylor are legendary in Giant lore. Eli Manning has won two Super Bowls for the G-Men but is in the midst of passing the torch to Daniel Jones. Barkley has been fighting injury, which has dampened the spirits of the Giant faithful. Their first game ever played was against a bunch called the All New Britain in which they won 26-0. This year, they will not win many games 26-0, and their competitiveness depends on the health and the development of Daniel Jones.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • City: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Stadium: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA 69,696
  • Star Players: Carson Wentz (Quarterback), Zach Ertz (Tight End), Malcolm Jenkins (Safety)

Odds: Two seasons ago, The Eagles shocked the world with a trick play called “Philly Special” to top the Patriots in the Super Bowl. They wore masks of dogs as a rallying cry as they rode a high-powered offense.  2019, will likely be more of the same. They will challenge Dallas as the premier team in the league. The Eagles fans have the distinction of being the most loyal yet hostile in the NFL – they once booed Santa! They have sold out every game since 1999; that is a trend set to continue.

Washington Redskins

  • City: Washington, D.C.
  • Stadium: FEDEX Field, Landover, Maryland, capacity 79,000
  • Star Players: Chris Thompson (Running Back), Adrian Peterson (Running Back), Landon Collins (Safety)

Odds:Sometimes the relevance of a team can be determined by what is said about them. When the most interesting thing about the Redskins is the ongoing fight over the use of that nickname, it can be discerned that the on-field product is shoddy at best. The division is talented and tough and this Redskins team could struggle to compete.  There will be brighter days though, their loyal followers chant, “Hail to the Redskins! Hail Victory!”  Well, they can chant it at least, even if the wins do not show up on the table.

NFC South

The NFC South Features the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, and New Orleans Saints. They play each other twice, as well as a game against each team from the AFC South this season and the NFC West. The remaining two games are against NFC teams from the other divisions that finished in the same place in the standings in 2018. For example, the third-place finisher from the NFC South of 2018 will play the third place team from NFC North and East.

Atlanta Falcons

  • City: Atlanta, GA
  • Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, capacity 71,000
  • Star Players: Julio Jones (Wide Receiver), Matt Ryan (Quarterback) Adrian Clayborn (Defensive End)

Odds: Poor Atlanta. The Falcons are just a couple seasons removed from a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl over New England. Getting back to that spot seems as far away as ever for a team full of promise but just never quite got there. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are veterans in the sport, but their best chance of a Super Bowl win could be behind them.

Carolina Panthers

  • City: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Stadium: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, capacity 73,298
  • Star Players: Cam Newton (Quarterback), Christian McCaffrey (Running Back), Luke Kuechly (Linebacker), Gerald McCoy (Defensive Tackle)

Odds: Carolina, is in the middle of a renaissance. It was not long ago that Cam Newton was their saviour. His charisma was destined to take them to the promised land.  Injuries have taken their toll, Cam is not the Cam of 2015. He’s functional but not dynamic. McCaffrey is the dynamo now. He has a chance to have 1,000 yards rushing and receiving, something never seen in the same season. The defence can’t hold every team to 0, so a lot is expected of Christian.

New Orleans Saints

  • City:  New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, capacity 72,003
  • Star Players: Drew Brees (Quarterback), Teddy Bridgewater (Quarterback), Alvin Kamara (Running Back), Michael Thomas (Wide Receiver)

Odds:New Orleans was a controversial non-penalty from being in the Super Bowl last year. Their hopes this season hit a slight roadblock when Brees got injured. Journeyman Teddy Bridgewater is now the Captain of the ship, negotiating the waters for at least a month or two. Their ability to keep the ball in the hands of Kamara and Thomas is critical. Coach Sean Payton is in his 13th year, and if the Saints get back to the NFC Championship, it will be his best.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • City:  Tampa, Florida
  • Stadium: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, capacity 65,618
  • Star Players: Jameis Winston (Quarterback), Ronald Jones (Running Back), Chris Godwin (Wide Receiver), Vita Vea (Defensive Tackle) Mike Evans (Wide Receiver)

Odds: Make-or-break, in more ways than one, that’s how to sum up the Buccaneers. Is Jameis Winston the long-term answer? This is his last chance as his contract is up. Bruce Arians is back coaching after his stint at Arizona. He will bring an offensive-minded approach to the Bucs, which last year was simply at times plain offensive. They are clearly looking up at the Saints and Panthers in the division.

NFC West

The NFC West Features the Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks. They play each other twice, as well as a game against each team from the AFC North this season and the NFC South. The remaining two games are against NFC teams from the other divisions that finished in the same place in the standings in 2018. For example, the third-place finisher from the NFC West of 2018 will play the third place team from NFC North and East.

Arizona Cardinals

  • City: Phoenix, Arizona
  • Stadium: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ, capacity 63,400
  • Star Players: Kyler Murray (Quarterback), David Johnson (Running Back) Larry Fitzgerald (Wide Receiver), Patrick Peterson (Cornerback)

Odds: Arizona Cardinals, one of the oldest franchises in all the NFL, also are very well travelled. They began as the Chicago Cardinals, then the St. Louis Cardinals, before moving to the desert of Arizona. Wins, much like water in the desert is scarce for this franchise as of late. To shake things up, Arizona decided to get an unsuccessful college coach to run their team. Kliff Klingsbury was dreadful at Texas Tech, so why not promote him to the NFL? Brilliant. Or not. Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray is in his hands now. Future hall of fame player Larry Fitzgerald is also still around. This will be a year devoid of water and wins in the desert.

Los Angeles Rams

  • City: Los Angeles, California
  • Stadium: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (moving to SoFi stadium in 2020) LA, capacity 77,500
  • Star Players: Todd Gurley (Running Back), Jared Goff (Quarterback), Aaron Donald (Defensive Tackle) Greg Zuerlein (Kicker), Jalen Ramsey (Cornerback)

Odds: The 2018 Season Super Bowl Runner-up, The Rams rapid ascent can be attributed to Sean McVay, who’s coaching record in two years is 24-8. Getting back to the play-offs and the Super Bowl will depend upon the health of Gurley. His decline at the end of 2018 and lack of use in the Super Bowl hurt their chances. 2019 has seen more of the same up and down for him. Goff will need to carry more of the load in Los Angeles immediately, if they want to win a Superbowl before they move to a new stadium next year.

San Francisco 49ers

City: San Francisco, California

Stadium: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California, capacity 68,500

Star Players: Jimmy Garoppolo (Quarterback), George Kittle (Tight End), Nick Bosa (Defensive End), Richard Sherman (Cornerback)

Odds: This should be the year of a 49ers resurgence. Just like the gold rush of 1849, prospecting should be abundant in San Fran. Whether the season will be of value or fool’s gold will depend highly upon Garoppolo, who needs to prove he is fully recovered from last season’s devastating injury. Kittle was a revelation last year and will need to continue his dominance to help the offence. Defensively, the 49ers added Bosa and Kwon Alexander in hopes of creating havoc.

Seattle Seahawks

  • City: Seattle, Washington
  • Stadium: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, capacity 67,000
  • Star Players: Russell Wilson (Quarterback), Will Dissly (Tight End), Bobby Wagner (Linebacker), Tyler Lockett (Wide Receiver)

Odds: Seattle backed up the money wagon at Russell Wilson’s front door prior to the season’s start. Knowing he is under contract until 2024 may hamstring future purchases but does allow the team to focus their efforts around the man many say is the second most dynamic quarterback in the NFL. He is not just a solo act; the defence needs to get back to the form of years past to provide a playoff push for the Seahawks.

AFC teams

The American Football Conference is comprised of 16 teams broken into four divisions: North, South, East and West. This began in 2002 when the NFL expanded and was realigned; the NFL sought to keep historical rivalries. Miami, for example, is in the AFC East to preserve their competitions with New England, Buffalo and New York. For the AFC Play-offs, six teams make it from the AFC; each division winner and two “wild card” (best record of the remaining clubs). The winner of the NFC meets the AFC champ in the Super Bowl.

AFC North

The AFC North Features the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. They play each other twice, as well as a game against each team from the AFC East this season and the NFC West. The remaining two games are against AFC teams from the other divisions that finished in the same place in the standings in 2018. For example, the third-place finisher from the AFC North of 2018 will play the third-place team from AFC South and West.

Baltimore Ravens

  • City: Baltimore, Maryland
  • Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, capacity 71,008
  • Star Players: Lamar Jackson (Quarterback), Marquise Brown (Wide Receiver), Earl Thomas (Safety), Justin Tucker (Kicker)

Odds: The Ravens were flying low, but “suddenly there came a tapping” in the form of Lamar Jackson. Jackson is as unique a player as the NFL has seen in decades. He leads a charge that is only seen every couple of decades. He cannot do this alone. If he does, it will be “Darkness there and nothing more.” With the addition, of Brown, and running back Mark Ingram, Jackson will have opposing teams yelling “Nevermore!”

Cincinnati Bengals

  • City: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Stadium: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, capacity 65,515
  • Star Players: Andy Dalton (Quarterback), Joe Mixon (Running back), Tyler Boyd (Wide Receiver) AJ Green (Wide Receiver)

Odds: Cincinnati has seen bleak times. With new head coach Zac Taylor at the helm, more of the same is inevitable. The Bengals haven’t been in a Super Bowl for over 30 years. That does not look to change this season. The team is bereft of depth on both sides of the ball. AJ Green has not played yet this season, which doesn’t help. They do play Miami later on in the season, which is a Loser Bowl waiting to happen and may decide which team gets first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Cleveland Browns

  • City: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Stadium: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, capacity 67,895
  • Star Players: Baker Mayfield (Quarterback), Odell Beckham, Jr. (Wide Receiver) Nick Chubb (Running Back) Myles Garrett (Defensive End)

Odds: As a professional sports city, Cleveland is pretty snake bit. The Indians haven’t won a title since 1948, The Browns, 1964. Thank goodness the return of LeBron James netted the Cavaliers a Championship. The Browns do have many reasons to expect big things. Maybe not 2019, but soon. They have a brash quarterback in Mayfield. The wide receiver corps was bolstered when they traded for Beckham Jr., who can bend defences and make the running game better for Chubb. A big wild card for 2019 is unproven rookie coach Freddie Kitchens. He may have to will his team to win in spite of him.

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • City: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Stadium: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, capacity 65,050
  • Star Players: Ben Roethlisberger (Quarterback), James Conner (Running Back) JuJu Smith-Schuster (Wide Receiver), TJ Watt (Linebacker)

Odds: Gone is Le’veon Bell. Antonio Brown? Also jettisoned. Ben Roethlisberger out for the year with injury. Replacements Mason Rudolph, Conner and Smith-Schuster must now be prominent stars and not just competent backups. The “Steel Curtain” defence will need to carry the load for the franchise while the offence gets its sea legs. They are hoping first round draft pick Devin Bush Jr. is better than just one bird in the hand. The Steelers are one of the most successful franchises during the Super Bowl era, which is good because the first 40 years of existence were certainly not!

AFC East

The AFC East Features the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and New York Jets. They play each other twice, as well as a game against each team from the NFC East this season and the AFC North. The remaining two games are against AFC teams from the other divisions that finished in the same place in the standings in 2018. For example, the third-place finisher from the AFC East of 2018 will play the third place team from AFC South and West.

Buffalo Bills

  • City: Buffalo, New York
  • Stadium: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  • Star Players: Josh Allen (Quarterback) Mitch Morse (Center), Micah Hyde (Safety), Ed Oliver (Defensive Tackle)

Odds: Sean McDermott is a third-year skipper. They invested heavily in Allen last year and if this franchise is ever to challenge the Patriots—it will take more offence. The defence is one of the best, but games aren’t won 3-0 in today’s NFL. The Bills went to four consecutive Super Bowls in the 90s. So far, the only team to do that. They lost them all, which is a feat also.

Miami Dolphins

  • City: Miami, Florida
  • Stadium: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, capacity 76,100
  • Star Players: (Space intentionally left blank)

Odds: Hmmm. What is to say?  The team is rebuilding and traded away their only semblance of good players. The Dolphins are the only franchise to complete a season (1972) undefeated and untied. Now, they are trying to be one of only three teams to go winless. The surviving 1972 team pops champagne every year once all teams have lost a game. Next season, this Dolphins team may pop champagne when they finally win again.

New England Patriots

  • City: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Stadium: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, capacity 68,756
  • Star Players: Tom Brady (Quarterback), Sony Michel (Running back), Dont’a Hightower (Linebacker), Julian Edelman (Wide Receiver)

Odds: As classless to the NFL is Miami at this time, the cream of the NFL resides in New England. The Patriots are going on almost 20 years of sustained dominance, Bill Belichick has over 220 wins in his 20 seasons as head coach. Sure, they have had scandals. But for every Deflategate or massage parlour or videotape controversy, there has been Tom Brady winning Super Bowls. The G.O.A.T. has his sights set on back to back Championships and three out of four. Who is out there to stop them? The list of candidates is short.

New York Jets

  • City: New York, New York
  • Stadium: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, capacity 82,500
  • Star Players: Le’Veon Bell (Running Back), Sam Darnold (Quarterback), C.J. Mosley (Linebacker), Kelechi Osemele (Guard)

Odds: It has been nearly seven years since the infamous “Butt Fumble”. Still, this is the most interesting thing about the J-E-T-S Jets in recent memory. Sam Darnold is working his way back to fitness after a bout of mononucleosis. It is unlikely that this team will be challenging the Patriots this season. They may challenge their fans’ patience but that is about it.

AFC South

The AFC South features the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans. They play each other twice, as well as a game against each team from the AFC West this season and the NFC South. The remaining two games are against AFC teams from the other divisions that finished in the same place in the standings in 2018. For example, the third-place finisher from the AFC South of 2018 will play the third place team from the AFC East and North.

Houston Texans

  • City: Houston, Texas
  • Stadium: NRG Stadium, Houston, capacity 71,995
  • Star Players: JJ Watt (Defensive End), Deshaun Watson (Quarterback), Will Fuller V (Wide Receiver), DeAndre Hopkins (Wide Receiver)

Odds: The Texans have dynamic playmakers in Watson and Hopkins and Fuller complements that speed and precision. Lamar Miller is out for the season which puts a lot of pressure on Duke Johnson to carry the load. Defensive talk starts and ends with JJ Watt. His running partner Jadeveon Clowney was traded to Seattle. That may clip championship defence talks but winning this mediocre division should be for the taking.

Indianapolis Colts

  • City: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Stadium: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, capacity 67,000
  • Star Players:  Jacoby Brissett (Quarterback), Marlon Mack (Running Back), Quenton Nelson (Guard), T.Y. Hilton (Wide Receiver)

Odds: Indianapolis fans got a shock in preseason when Quarterback Andrew Luck retired. They were taking their jerseys off mid-game. Jacoby Brissett is no Andrew Luck, but with a little luck, they will challenge the Texans. A case for all four teams in this division could be made. The Colts will need star efforts from Hilton and Mack to carry the loss of Luck.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • City: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Stadium: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, capacity 67,814
  • Star Players: Leonard Fournette (Running back), Gardner Minshew (Quarterback), Nick Foles (Quarterback)

Odds: Nick Foles was signed to replace Blake Bortles. That experiment lasted about 30 minutes as Foles got hurt in Game 1. Minshew and his moustache has filled in since. Minshew was an unheralded rookie. This is a team that had Super Bowl aspirations just a couple years ago. They had the Patriots beat but lost. If they can get a run of good results together, the Jags could compete, but they are a little declawed.

Tennessee Titans

  • City: Nashville, Tennessee
  • Stadium: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, capacity 69,143
  • Star Players: Marcus Mariota (Quarterback), Derrick Henry (Running Back), Cameron Wake (Defensive End), Delanie Walker (Tight End)

Odds: If the Titans were a country song, it would be “My Girlfriend left me because she said I was boring.” This team is pretty unexciting. Corey Davis was supposed to be electrifying, meh! Derrick Henry is solid, Marcus Mariota is ok, and Walker is one of the best at the position. The sum of all parts though does not equal up. But hey, let’s keep the AFC South theme going. When all teams are just ‘OK’, why not the Titans?

AFC West

The AFC West features the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders. They play each other twice, as well as a game against each team from the NFC North this season and the AFC South. The remaining two games are against AFC teams from the other divisions that finished in the same place in the standings in 2018. For example, the third place AFC West team of 2018 will play the third-place team from AFC North and East.

Denver Broncos

  • City: Denver, Colorado
  • Stadium: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, capacity, 76,125
  • Star Players: Joe Flacco (Quarterback), Phillip Lindsay (Running Back), Von Miller (Linebacker), Bradley Chubb (Linebacker)

Odds: The Broncos are not that far removed from a Super Bowl win with Peyton Manning. His retirement though has not helped this team. Defense may win championships, but it is not the only thing. The Mile-High City always has mile high expectations, but those need to be tempered a bit. A lot, maybe! Lindsay came out of nowhere last year to be a star. but the Broncos will need more than that to stay out of the mile-high cellar in the West.

Kansas City Chiefs

  • City: Kansas City, Missouri
  • Stadium: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, capacity 78,097
  • Star Players: Patrick Mahomes, (Quarterback), Tyreek Hill, (Wide Receiver), LeSean McCoy (Running Back), Frank Clark (Defensive End)

Odds: If any team will dethrone the Patriots, it will probably be the Chiefs. Andy Reid has built a juggernaut offence around gunslinger Mahomes. Reid did the same with Philly a decade ago only to see one Super Bowl appearance. The Chiefs last year saw their defence let them down. Upgrades throughout the organization have sought to correct it. All Dynasties end at some time. The biggest question is: are the Chiefs the heir to the throne in the AFC?

Los Angeles Chargers

  • City: Los Angeles, California
  • Stadium: Dignity Health Sports Park (last season) Carson, capacity 30,000
  • Star Players: Philip Rivers (Quarterback), Melvin Gordon (Running Back), Joey Bosa (Defensive End), Keenan Allen (Wide Receiver)

Odds: Perennial bridesmaids, the Chargers are hoping this is the year they wear white. The Chiefs are the class of the division, the Chargers are the sassy younger sister looking for their match. Gordon held out looking for more money, and when it was not there, he came back. Rivers is the aged veteran hoping to not join Dan Marino in the short list of great quarterbacks never to win the Super Bowl.

Oakland Raiders

  • City: Oakland, California
  • Stadium: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (last season) capacity 46,847
  • Star Players: Derek Carr (Quarterback), Josh Jacobs (Running back), Tyrell Williams (Wide Receiver)

Odds: The Raiders are moving to Las Vegas next year. They’ve not had the best of fortunes recently. Let’s go back a year. They trade Khalil Mack to the Bears because they thought it would give them a better draft pick, then they trade for Antonio Brown (we know how that worked out). After they release Brown they go get Vontaze Burfict, who is now suspended for the season for a nasty hit on Colts’ Jack Doyle! The Raiders may be a fighting crew, but they are a middling group in a tough division. They will hope for better luck when they move to Vegas!

The 54th instalment of the Super Bowl will be down in Miami. J-Lo and Shakira are the halftime acts. 32 teams begin the season with aspirations although really only 12 or so have serious hopes. The drama will reach a fever pitch when the final two teams take to the Super Bowl stage in February but only one will hoist aloft the Lombardi Trophy and be called NFL Champions.

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