While I am not a big fan of Lamar Jackson, you can’t discount his play but can he lead the Ravens in a tough division? The defense should be good enough to compete but there are questions on offense that Jackson may not be able to elevate.
The 49ers have a solid squad and coaching staff but they have a huge decision to make at quarterback and that alone will dictate what happens with the 49ers. If Garropolo starts the season, the 49ers will compete better than they will with Trey Lance at the helm.
Originally I had Miami ranked over the 49ers and I still go back and forth with it and it could come down to who starts in San Francisco. For now, the 49ers get the nod but it is close.
The Titans took a couple of big hits this off-season and they didn’t do Ryan Tannehill many favors when they traded A.J. Brown. This is a run-first team that will succeed and fail on the legs of Derrick Henry and the limited mistakes that Tannehill makes. In all honesty, this ranking is a bit lower than I would have expected and they should climb as camps reveal more of the team they will be.
The Browns should be ranked a lot higher. They are coming off a disappointing season but have a stellar defense but they no longer have Baker Mayfield, traded to the Panthers, and they may not have Deshaun Watson who may be suspended much if not all of the season. If Watson doesn’t play, Jacoby Brissett will and that won’t help Cleveland.
I know, this is where you call me a homer but if I am putting what Miami could be up against the teams I have ranked beneath them it makes more sense. This year comes down to two factors, Mike McDaniel and Tua Tagovailoa. They made a lot of moves this off-season and on paper should be head and shoulders better than last season but they have to play the games. Training camp will tell us a lot but I think Miami is going to surprise and the teams below this spot have bigger questions. Miami has a strong defense and a capable backup at QB if needed.