The draft is a few weeks away and that means the league is going through another major checkpoint out of season. The first wave of free agencies is over and there are plenty of quality free agents available for the second post-draft wave. As of now, several teams have made major inroads to build, rebuild, or in the case of the Patriots, better rebuild.
In an all-scientific power ranking using technology developed by esteemed professor John Frink, the Los Angeles Rams are one of the top contenders. What a shock, a site dedicated to LA Football teams has an LA football team in its top 5, way to go Professor Frink! In the name of fairness, chargers are NOT a top 5 candidate because they are chargers. While the data looks fishy, the Rams are one of the top 5 teams in this very early league snapshot.
5. New England Patriots
Until Bill Belichick retires to his Thanos-style cabin and hands the reins to Josh McDaniels or his son, the Patriots are still in the top five. Yes, last year has been a down year because several top defensive players have pulled out of the season and Tom brady did what most people do in their prime and went to Florida.
But, Belichick, like Chuck Norris, is not sleeping, he is waiting. His bet with Cam Newton didn’t go as hoped, but he’s backing it up this time with a better line and more targets with a ton of help on defense. Yes, the Bills and Dolphins look better on paper and they could end up being better, but if Cam Newton can give the Pats anything at the quarterback, they’re back in business.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
At this point, it might seem like heresy to have the chefs rated below two, but it’s worth mentioning that the Super Bowl hangover is a real thing and worth watching out for. Chiefs addressed their Super Bowl Achilles heel by signing Joe thuney, Austin blythe, and Kyle Long to fix their offensive line but their defense is always a concern.
The Bucs have figured out how to beat them by generating PI flags and their race defense leaves something to be desired. The Bucs’ defense also seemed to figure out how to disrupt the pace of the Chiefs and it’s entirely possible that the league has more success slowing down the Chiefs. Patrick mahomes It’s always great, there’s no question about it, but he’s also had a lot of near-crashes with injuries and maybe that catches up with him this season. Hopefully not, but it’s not inconceivable that the Chiefs would take a step back.
3. Los Angeles Rams
Yes, the Rams being ranked ahead of the Chiefs feel the LAFB bias (fair), but this start to the offseason isn’t completely far-fetched. The Rams’ defense is going through a bit of flow with another new coordinator and a few pieces missing, but they shouldn’t run out of time.
Offensively, their ceiling was lowered due to inconsistent QB play. They rectified this by exchanging for Matthew stafford which should be the perfect Jaeger for Sean McVay. The offense is about to take a huge leap forward BUT the offensive line has a lot of question marks just like special teams. They will probably write help on the line as well as consolidate the linebacker place. They have a new special teams coach but do not yet have a reliable returner. Their depth is also a bit thinner than it should be, so they can’t afford injury virus infestation. That said, if all the systems are working, this team should be dangerous.
2. Buffalo Bills
It seems odd to rank the Bills this high because Success has a restraining order against them, but this Bills team deserves it. Josh Allen and this offense is high octane in a lasting way. They kept their offensive coordinator Brian Daboll after he looked at available jobs and realized he would be the litter pick next year. Defensively, they kept Matt milano that they couldn’t afford to lose and although they still need help because the Chiefs ignored them, they still have the flexibility to do so. They have all the pieces needed to run a race and if the chefs have to go a year short, Bills could be the biggest beneficiary.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s still early days, but given that the reigning champions fired all 22 starters and inexplicably haven’t lost any of their coordinators, they deserve to be favorites. Tom Brady is apparently Lestat if he was a walker for a day and will play football 10 years after the apocalypse. The offense is expected to buzz again and the defense has improved over the year.
They haven’t added anyone over 18 yet, but they haven’t had to. Maybe they don’t have the same breaks they took a year ago because no one else does, but besides being an immortal vampire, Brady is the real version of Domino, so can -be that luck is not going anywhere anytime soon.
While the Bucs remain healthy, they are the favorites heading into the season, especially as their division worsens and only a handful of NFC teams see a major improvement. So there is once again the strong possibility that America will have to see Tom Brady covered in confetti for an eighth time because time is a flat circle and the universe is a cruel master.
Again, this is a totally scientific and far too early take on the situation in the league at this point. Everything is in motion between now and when the Super Bowl is played at SoFi in 2022, so not all complaints will be heard. But you can still leave them in the comments below or on Twitter, @LAFBNetwork.