3 Most Improved Teams in the NFL
While bookmakers do pay attention to what goes on during the offseason when assessing the odds for each team to win the Super Bowl it is often not looked at as thoroughly as a team’s performance form the prior season. Despite the odds, here is a group of three teams that have made a ton of improvements during the offseason and could significantly change the future odds come the start of the season.
Last season, the Tennessee Titans offense looked rough, and it didn’t help that QB Jake Locker ended up getting injured. Though, it may not have mattered. You see, all the blame for the Titans offensive woes and Locker’s injury can be placed squarely on the shoulders of the Titans offensive line. They consistently failed to protect Locker and are the reason that RB Chris Johnson had one of his most disappointing seasons since turning pro.
The Titans have potent offensive weapons, but they will remain useless unless the O-Line can hold off defenders long enough for them to make plays. The Titans have thankfully made some huge moves during the offseason to strengthen the O-line, like picking up left guard Andy Levitre from the free agency and drafting right guard Chance Warmack who has been impressing coaches since practices have started.
With the revitalized O-line and the addition of a new target for Locker, in Justin Hunter, Tennessee should be a significantly better team in 2013-14 than they were last season.
No offense to Andy Reid, but the Philadelphia Eagles needed a fresh pair of eyes on the field. Those eyes came in the form of Chip Kelly, who is expected to bring his fast-paced, collegiate-style of football offense into the NFL. That was going to be a problem, though, considering last season the Eagles defense couldn’t keep the offense off the field long enough to rest to run a fast paced game and the O-line couldn’t protect either of the QBs (Michael Vick and Nick Foles were sacked for a combined 48 times last season).
That was why Kelly used the free agency to revitalize the defense, picking up safety Patrick Chung, cornerback Cary Williams and nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga. Then during the draft they focused on offense adding offensive tackle Lane Johnson to protect the QB and picking up tight end Zach Ertz who is also a great blocker. Kelly also added depth in the QB position, which the Eagles needed considering Vick is injury prone and Foles is still surrounded by question marks.
No team in the entire NFL did more than the Miami Dolphins in an attempt to drastically improve their situation from this year to last year. First, with Ryan Tannehill being considered as the future of the Miami Dolphins, they finally picked up some targets for him to throw the ball to. They grabbed Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson and resigned their leading receiver in 2012, Brian Hartline.
The Dolphins also made the bold move of allowing some veterans to walk at the end of the season in RB Reggie Bush and LT Jake Long, who the Dolphins decided to cut ties with and replace before they completely broke down physically on the team, which is coming any season now. The Dolphins replaced Bush with the deadly duo of Lamar Miller and rookie Mike Gillislee. They seem to be planning on replacing Long with Jonathan Martin, who played much of last season when Long went down with an injury. Martin is not as explosive as Long but after the experience should be able to get the job done.
The Dolphins are truly a completely revitalized team and should look a lot better than they did last year.