3 NFL teams that have what it takes to finish first in their division

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 6: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks and NFC throws against the AFC in the fourth quarter of the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl at Allegiant Stadium on February 6, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Three NFL teams improved so much during the offseason that they have a legitimate shot at going from bottom to first in their division.

One of the most difficult tasks in professional sports is going from bottom place in a division to first place in a single off-season. However you want to put it, it’s incredibly difficult to go from worst to first or zero to hero in 6-8 months by drastically improving the roster, coaching staff and culture. This is especially true in the NFL, where the “any Sunday” concept is rife, but teams at the bottom of the run typically go years—sometimes decades—without moving up the ranks. The hope that comes from a big surprise win can only mean so much and is often more devastating than the usual crap in the long run.

However, given the historic and hectic nature of this 2022 NFL offseason, there are three teams that have made solid improvements that could well make it from basement to belfry.

The Denver Broncos

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the NFL in the last 10 or 12 years, it’s that this league is nothing more than a boat race about finding the quarterback who can take your team to the promised land. This off-season, the Denver Broncos at last got her guy.

In a trade with the Seattle Seahawks, the Broncos acquired Russell Wilson for a few players and some significant draft capital. Seattle received two first-round picks, two second-round picks, one 2022 fifth-round pick, quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, and veteran defensive end Shelby Harris.

Whether or not the Broncos got Wilson — a nine-time Pro Bowl pick — far too cheaply isn’t the focus here. Rather, we’re debating whether Denver can move from last place in the AFC West in 2021 to first place in 2022, and the answer is a resounding yes.

Ever since Hall of Famer inductee Peyton Manning completed his four-year tenure with Denver in 2015, the Broncos have sat at the bottom of the AFC West totem pole and are constantly searching for him her guy. They’ve stayed competitive by maintaining strong defense and doing a good job of drafting additional prospects year after year, but the Broncos have swung and missed quarterbacks in the years since.

Since Manning’s departure Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler, Case Keenan, Joe Flacco, Drew Lock, Brandon Allen, Jeff Driskel, Brett Rypien, Phillip Lindsay* (running back), Kendall Hinton* (wide receiver) and Teddy Bridgewater have all Snapshots taken in Denver.

Wilson’s arrival marks a complete revival of the Broncos’ offense. He will be surrounded by a highly talented receiving corps in Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and Jerry Jeudy, and a strong backcourt commanded by Javonte Williams and veteran Melvin Gordon. While the running backs have proven efficient last season regardless of the situation, this will mark the first time this receiving corps has teamed up with a Pro Bowl quarterback with a wonder arm.

Finally, the Broncos’ defense is expected to continue to thrive in 2022. Depending on which stats you look at, Denver’s defense was certainly a top-ten unit last season, and arguably closer to the top 5 overall. That success was largely due to the performance of the defensive secondary team, led by stars Pat Surtain II and Justin Simmons. Their efforts will be complemented this season by an increased passing rush that will see a – hopefully – healthy Bradley Chubb stacked with Randy Gregory (from Dallas) and rookie Nik Bonitto.

It will be a tall order to take down six-time reigning division champions the Kansas City Chiefs, the Los Angeles Chargers, who have threatened the throne for years, and the Las Vegas Raiders, who have made a splash in the free hand of every organization in the league , but given the reinforcements in Denver and the energy they’ll deliver, it’s totally possible.

https://fansided.com/2022/07/12/3-nfl-teams-worst-first-division/ 3 NFL teams that have what it takes to finish first in their division

John Verrall

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