It is normal to see teams in the NFL with a flashy young quarterback and some cool offseason moves get a lot of hype going into a season and then not meet expectations. This could be due to the media overrating the team or the team just not getting to their full potential. There is an argument for this to be the case for several teams, but there are three in particular in my mind.
- Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings have had some fun pieces to watch over the past few years and have gotten a lot of hype to challenge Green Bay for the division crown. This may be due to the weak NFC North and NFC in general, or losses that the Packers have had this offseason. Either way, it may be time to slow down on the hype of the Vikings being a double-digit win team and playoff contenders. Kirk Cousins is not the type to elevate his team enough to win close games with playoff implications and the fun pieces like Justin Jefferson are not enough to make up for a lackluster secondary. At some of the biggest question marks on the Vikings roster, there is young talent that will need time to see what happens, and this may not be the year to have these high expectations for this team.
- Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers had a great offseason with some flashy moves to go along with it. They have some young stars in the making like Justin Herbert, who will be a great franchise quarterback. They traded for Khalil Mack and drafted guard Zion Johnson to an already pretty stout offensive line. The thing that people need to remember for the Chargers is that they are not only playing in an insanely talented AFC, but in a very competitive division in the AFC West. The entirety of this division had an incredible offseason and will be difficult teams to face, and the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes will not be going anywhere despite losing Tyreek Hill. The reason I think we need to temper our expectations for the Chargers is that the team is great, but they could still have a winning record and miss the playoffs because of their conference and tough division.
- New England Patriots
The Patriots made the playoffs last season, but got blown out by the Bills in Buffalo. The Bills own that division and I do not foresee the Patriots pulling off a win against them again this year. The Patriots have a servicable quarterback in Mac Jones but not the type of guy you see elevating his team above the Bills or any other extremely talented AFC team. The roster of the Patriots in general is quite a bit overrated, and has only seemed to be on the decline this offseason. They lost some of their stars and had a very questionable draft. Expecting this team to make a run in the playoffs just because it’s Bill Belichick and the Patriots is a false hope.