Training camp is set to begin for most NFL Football teams in the next week or so, and with it will come the hopes and expectations of Super Bowl glory for the fans of every team. However, regardless of exciting drafts and big-name free agent signings, the dreams of many NFL teams are largely worthless considering their poor performances and weak rosters. Here are 5 teams with strong rosters that I foresee having a legitimate shot at winning Super Bowl XLVIII next season:
5. New York Giants – Beyond the fact that playing a Super Bowl in their home stadium would be ideal, the Giants are the mysterious team that keeps winning titles when no one expects them to. Built behind a powerful defensive line and quarterback Eli Manning, who simply makes the necessary plays when the team needs him to, the Giants have routinely emerged as contenders with strong playoff runs. With Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks out wide, this team can move the football too. The team often grows hot and cold throughout the season, but when they get hot in time for the NFL playoffs, look out superslot!
4. Houston Texans – The Texans have immense talent all over the field. Offensively, Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, and Owen Daniels ensure that the team scores points. Defensively, the team has a monstrous defensive end pass-rusher in J.J. Watt, and has added veteran safety Ed Reed, who brings game changing abilities and championship-winning leadership from his Super Bowl victory with the Baltimore Ravens. Last year, the Texans had a bright year but stuttered in the playoffs. I expect them to be a stronger force this year.
3. San Francisco 49ers – Last year’s Super Bowl runners-ups are loaded with talent. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is a beast and so are several members on the defense, including Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, and Ahmad Brooks. The team has brought in several veterans this year including Nnamdi Asomugha, Glenn Dorsey, and Anquan Boldin. Additionally, Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, and Frank Gore provide serious weapons offensively. With Kaepernick’s dynamic ability to run and pass, the 49ers have the chance to establish dominance in the NFC and contend for next year’s Super Bowl.
2. Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers. He is simply too good. Yes, the team has seen the departure of Greg Jennings, Charles Woodson, and Donald Driver, but expect Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, and James Jones to take over comfortably. Additionally, draftees Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin are hoping to add a spark to the Packers’ running game, and this team might become a force offensively that can manage the clock and score points. With Clay Matthews shouldering the workload on the defense, alongside B.J. Raji and Tramon Williams, the Packers should continue their strong run in this decade.
1. Denver Broncos – The is Peyton Manning’s last stand, and he’s been given all the tools to make a championship run to cap off a remarkable career. Damaryius Thomas and Eric Decker proved they are great receivers last year with 1,000 seasons, and the team even brought in Wes Welker, a fantastic slot receiver formerly of the New England Patriots. Last year, the Broncos defense let in fewer points than anyone in the AFC, and they even added cornerback Dominique Rodger-Cromartie to boost their secondary now. In a weak AFC, the Broncos are the clear favorites to get to Super Bowl XLVIII and potentially win it!