Dalvin Cook, Vikings
Sep 24, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball during the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Home » Blog » 5 NFL teams who could surprise in 2022

5 NFL teams who could surprise in 2022

With the preseason almost over, we dive into five teams that could be pleasant surprises in the 2022 NFL season.

5. Detroit Lions

The Lions aren’t winning the Super Bowl any time soon, but there’s some talent in Motown to be excited about. The offensive line is terrific, the receivers are solid if rookie Jameson Williams can become what his potential suggests, tight end T.J. Hockenson is Pro Bowl-caliber, and the defense is improving behind No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson and rookie linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez. Don’t sleep on Detroit playing meaningful games come December.


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4. Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore is only this low on the list, because it’s hard to argue the Ravens playing deep into January would be a huge surprise. However, this is a team that went 8-9 last season and finished last in the AFC North, mostly because of an unbelievable crush of injuries. The Ravens, though, are loaded defensively and have former MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson at the helm, giving Baltimore a real chance to take a good fight to the Cincinnati Bengals for the division.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars have picked No. 1 overall each of the past two years, but they made serious waves in free agency this March and, most importantly, hired a real head coach this offseason with Doug Pederson taking over. In the AFC South, Jacksonville is a consensus third-place pick behind the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans. But if second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence breaks out and Jacksonville gets a few breaks, perhaps it fights for the division.


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2. Minnesota Vikings

With first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell taking over for the defensive-minded Mike Zimmer, the Vikings‘ offense should be significantly improved. The big question in Minnesota is whether the Vikings can find some defense after watching the unit lay dormant in 2021. There are stars to build around such as edge rusher Danielle Hunter, linebacker Eric Kendricks and safety Harrison Smith. Although the question is, is the supporting cast enough to reach the postseason?

1. New Orleans Saints

The Saints aren’t being talked about much as an NFC contender, and fair enough. Dennis Allen is now the head coach and Jameis Winston is the quarterback. Not an elite combination. However, Winston looked terrific last year with 14 touchdowns against three interceptions before going down with a torn ACL in October. If that Winston shows up, he’s surrounded by an excellent array of receivers, a dynamic running back, a solid offensive line and one of the best defenses in football.

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