By: Joe Cardoso
Summer has begun! The NBA and NHL crowned their champions, MLB is hitting its stride as well as the MLS. With all that going on, we have minicamps and OTA’s taking place all over the NFL. While no Super Bowl is won in June running around in shorts and tee shirts, it’s never too early to talk pigskin and which teams are primed to make a run. Once training camps kick off, unfortunately, we will have the typical tragic season-ending injuries, and things get thrown off wack. But until that time there are ten teams I am all in on for the 2019 season, and reasons why I like what they have done and can do.
- Cleveland Browns:
YES, I know games are not won on paper and the history of the Browns would say I’m crazy. Well, these are not the Kevin Mack, Bernie Kosar Browns or the Tim Couch Browns. With a brash young head coach and a QB who is not afraid of the spotlight. This team is my favorite to win the AFC North they have one of my favorite things a defense that will travel and an upgrade over Greg Williams leading them. Lots of shiny new toys for Baker Mayfield to share the ball with.
- San Franciso 49ers: Kyle Shanahan didn’t get the chance to unload quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on the rest of the NFL, so they will make up for the lost time. Jimmy G has plenty of talent on offense with Marquise Goodwin, Tevin Coleman, Jordan Mattews, and rookie wideout Jalen Hurd. Drafting the other Bosa brother Nick adds so much depth to the front seven they will make life a living hell for quarterbacks and offensive coordinators. Dee Ford is a beast on the defensive line and will help improve the run defense. I thought last year would be the leap for them. I guess I was a year off.
- Indianapolis Colts: It was great as an NFL fan to see Andrew Luck back on the football field, and the results for his team was a return to the playoffs. This team is dripping with depth and young talent at almost every position and a boatload of cash to spend. Moves like making Kenny Moore the highest paid slot corner in the league have kept the core stable. While the rest of the AFC South has it’s GM, new QB drama the Colts have only added here and there. I will put this offensive line up against anyone in the NFL in terms of pass blocking. While some teams would have made huge splashes on players, they stood their ground and grabbed value like Justin Houston and Devin Funchess both on short deals. Luck being ON the field is vital but you have to like this old school plan they have cooking in Indy.
- Philadelphia Eagles: Let’s check the names. Nelson Agholar, Alshon Jeffrey, DeSean Jackson, and Zach Ertz. Carson Wentz just landed a nice salary bump now the hard part which is for Wentz to stay healthy and make plays. Two years from a super bowl win and they still go 8-9 men deep on the front 7. With the spread, offense craze its essential to not just have new bodies but playmakers on the field and bench.
- Carolina Panthers:
Fun fact HEALTH is essential in the NFL to perform at a high level. That being said armed with a new throwing motion Cam Newton looks to reclaim his Superman title. On the other side of the ball, the Panthers make a move to a 3-4 and add Gerald McCoy, Bruce Irvin, and Brian Burns. McCoy still has a lot of football left in him and good locker room guy. You add Short and Poe this is what 3-4 dreams are made of. The way Newton lives to shut up haters and prove us all wrong will be motivated to show out. We will all get to know the crop of young secondary players. Carolina has plenty of names to learn. Can Christian McCaffrey hold up with the load they give him? And can we see Curtis Samuels on the field more? And it’s time to let DJ Moore loose. Greg Olsen as well needs to stay healthy and produce.
These are the top half of top 10 teams I will be back next week with teams 6-10. Let’s keep the chat going and share you’re teams and players for the upcoming season. With GM’s getting fired AFTER the draft, and contract battles the NFL never stops, and that is why we love it. Hang in there NFL fans training camps are on the way, we can make it together. For more NFL talk and content follow us @NutsAndBoltsSP and me @JoeCardoso301