With the NFL regular season quickly approaching, multiple teams can surprise this year after putting together a solid offseason.
Knowing that, let’s jump into three teams that can exceed expectations this season.New Orleans Saints
It was an interesting offseason for the New Orleans Saints, to say the least. Sean Payton stepped away from coaching, leading to a promotion for Dennis Allen as the team’s new head coach. Before quarterback Jameis Winston went down with a season-ending injury last year, the Saints looked promising through seven games, with a 5-2 record. Winston is set to headline the position again, and he’ll have time to build chemistry with stud wideout Michael Thomas, who appears poised for a bounce-back campaign after dealing with injuries. With the signing of hometown kid Tyrann Mathieu, the Saints were also able to improve a secondary that was lacking. There’s much to like about the Saints, especially in a division where the only real threat appears to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Still, the Saints don’t need to win the division to have an impressive 2022-23 season; they just need to qualify for the playoffs. New Orleans is listed at +118 to make the postseason, and there’s a lot to like about those odds.Minnesota Vikings
With the Green Bay Packers typically dominating headlines in the NFC North, the Minnesota Vikings have quietly flown under the radar, yet there’s plenty to like about where this team is headed. The Vikings finished last season with an 8-9 record, which given the talent on this roster, feels like an underachieving season. A new perspective with head coach Kevin O’Connell taking over should help inject this club with some new life. There will always be question marks about whether or not Kirk Cousins can take a team to the promised lands, but O’Connell’s offensive mindset should help create new looks, especially for the likes of Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson. The Detroit Lions will likely take a step forward this season, but not much is expected from the Chicago Bears in the division. The Vikings are a sneaky team to consider at the FanDuel Sportsbook to win the Super Bowl, and there’s some definite value in that number at +4000.New York Jets
You can look towards the Vikings and Saints and think both teams have higher expectations this year than the New York Jets. The franchise is coming off a 4-13 campaign, so it’s not difficult for the Jets to see an improved season. Still, they made this list because we expect a significant jump in win total, not just one or two more wins. It’s hard to say if that jump will equate to them winning four or five extra games, but three more victories are undoubtedly attainable. Zach Wilson finished the year on a high note and avoided a major injury in the preseason, with significant steps forward expected from the sophomore quarterback. With more weapons added to the fold, such as Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson, the Jets’ offense should be much improved in 2022-23. In addition, the defense was another area they addressed and should be better than the 504 points allowed a year ago. The over 6.5 wins on the FanDuel Sportsbook is paying out at +140 for the Jets, and that’s a number that warrants consideration.