NFL Week 1: 5 teams that need wins the most
For the purpose of clarity, nobody needs to win Week 1. Let’s not go crazy. The idea is which teams would gain the most, either in the standings or from a morale standpoint. Let’s get it.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers are trying to reboot everything with a new head coach in Bruce Arians. Arians came out of retirement to take the job, hoping to resurrect Jameis Winston and get the program back on track. Sunday sees the San Francisco 49ers come to town. While the Niners are respectable, this is a winnable game for Tampa Bay. If the Buccaneers are going to fight for a playoff spot, these are the kinds of games they need to win.
4. New York Jets
The Jets, similar to the Bucs, went through an overhaul this offseason. Adam Gase is in as head coach, while the team went out and added Ryan Kalil and Kelechi Osemele to the offensive line, Jamison Crowder to the receiving corps and Le’Veon Bell to the backfield. In short, the Jets have more than enough talent to score some points. Their first test is the Buffalo Bills, a fellow AFC East participant. If New York loses at home to Josh Allen and the Bills, the fans in Gotham will be grumbling.
3. Cleveland Browns
This one is obvious. The Browns have been the most ballyhooed team this offseason, with people believing Cleveland is putting a contender on the field. However, the Browns haven’t won a playoff game since 1994 and a division since 1989. If they were to be upset in Week 1 at home against the Tennessee Titans, the whispers will turn to screams about the team being a paper tiger.
2. Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota was the most disappointing team in football last season. After going 13-3 and reaching the NFC Championship Game in 2017, the Vikings added Kirk Cousins and missed the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record. Minnesota opens the season with a home date against the Atlanta Falcons before traveling to Lambeau Field for a date with the Green Bay Packers. Lose on Sunday, and it could easily be 0-2.
1. Oakland Raiders
No-brainer for the top spot. After all the nonsense the Raiders have dealt with throughout their Antonio Brown melodrama, they need to come out on Monday Night Football — at home, no less — and beat the Denver Broncos. A win would go miles for a fanbase that has been beaten down by the antics and with the knowledge of a 2020 relocation. If this thing starts badly, it could really go downhill quickly.