NFL 2022: 5 division winners in the most trouble
No league has more turnover on an annual basis than the NFL, putting these five division winners from 2021 at risk of their standing this season.
5. Green Bay Packers
The Packers are the favorites in the NFC North and rightfully so, but they aren’t without a threat in the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have a new head coach in Kevin O’Connell and a bevy of talent around quarterback Kirk Cousins in receivers Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, and running back Dalvin Cook. Meanwhile, Green Bay has a thin receiving corps and one wonders if Aaron Rodgers can carry this group as he approaches 40 years old.
4. Dallas Cowboys
Dallas won the NFC East last year, but it’s arguable the Philadelphia Eagles had the best offseason of any team in football. The Eagles were aggressive in adding talent on both sides of the ball including receiver A.J. Brown, corner James Bradberry, defensive tackle Jordan Davis and linebacker Nakobi Dean. The Cowboys still have the best quarterback in the division with Dak Prescott, but the gap in the East has closed.
3. Cincinnati Bengals
Nobody came from the abyss to become a contender more than the Bengals did last season, but now they need to stay at the top. The AFC North is loaded with challengers, mainly the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. While Cincinnati should have staying power considering Joe Burrow is under center, Baltimore is going to be much healthier and this Browns have considerable talent on both offense and defense. It’ll be a tough chore winning the AFC North again.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are the best team on this list, but they easily could have claimed the top spot. Kansas City lost star receiver Tyreek Hill this offseason along with safety Tyrann Mathieu, albeit replacing them with a 10-deep rookie class, and free agents in receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster, and safety Eric Reid. Will that be enough to hold off the deepest division we’ve seen in years? Time will tell.
1. Tennessee Titans
Tennessee was the top seed in the AFC last year, and yet it finds itself atop the list. The Indianapolis Colts were a quality team last year and they loaded up with quarterback Matt Ryan, corner Stephon Gilmore and others. The Titans, meanwhile lost receiver A.J. Brown in a trade and are hoping veteran Robert Woods and rookie Treylon Burks fill the void. It’ll be a challenging year to repeat for Tennessee.