As we wind down to the beginning of a new football season, fans and analysts everywhere are studying every team closely as they make their adjustments. Every year, there are teams that breakout and become a new force in the league, sometimes for just the season, and occasionally, a new franchise era begins. With so much happening during this offseason, the speculation has been immense. Here are two teams to keep an eye on this year, as they could be leading up to a huge breakout season.
The Buffalo Bills
Looking over their roster, you can see that the Bills certainly have everything it takes to be a breakout success this year. The team seems to always be in need of more wideouts, and this was addressed to some degree with two picks in the fourth and sixth round. Defensively, they are solid and with the recent acquisition of defensive end A.J.Espena, they are on track to have one of the best defenses in the league again. With Tom Brady now out of the division, and Bills quarterback Josh Allen playing well, The Bills will certainly enter next season with favorable odds in the NFL betting markets.
Last season saw quarterback Josh Allen really start to get in the groove with his team. Running back Devin Singletary had a very productive season and surprised everyone with his quick decision making while running routes, and his overall playmaking ability. Zach Moss will also come into play as the newly-drafted running back as well. With the recent addition of Stefon Diggs, there is a true number one target that Allen can go to every time if needed. In the tight end position, rookie Dawson Knox really surprised everyone and came up with 400 yards and 2 touchdowns for the year. Overall, last season was the first time in a while that the Bills looked like a cohesive unit.
Some analysts would say that the Bills already had a breakout season last year, but they haven’t truly reached their potential and barely made it to the playoffs via wildcard again. All in all, the team had a lot of promise and they could certainly show that they are a formidable team this season. It’s already been said that the Bills face the fifth toughest schedule this upcoming season, meaning there will certainly be some bumps in the road if they’re going to try to take over the AFC East. Even still, analysts are giving the Bills better odds to win their division as the days go by. This should be an exciting season for the team and the die-hard fans are certainly hoping for another playoff appearance at the very least.
The Las Vegas Raiders
If you’re paying attention, It’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement surrounding the Raiders. Most of the league may be distracted with all of the news happening elsewhere, but all it will take is one spark for the bandwagons to start filling up in Las Vegas. For the first time in a while, it feels like the Raiders could truly be building up to a big season going into 2020. With the change of scenery comes a new beginning, a new chance, and with some adjustments to the squad, there are some rookie players bringing in some different energy than what we’ve been used to. The best days of the Raiders may very well be ahead.
The Raider’s offense has been built around the three-time Pro-Bowler quarterback, Derek Carr. He has really come into his own and grown into a solid quarterback, but one that needed more offensive weapons around him. It seems like this offseason they have addressed this and added a lot more to their offensive squad. In the first three rounds of the draft, the Raiders added three new wide receivers that will be able to work with Carr. Selected number twelve overall was the six foot tall receiver from Alabama, Henry Ruggs III. His presence should fill a huge gap that the Raiders had in their playmaking abilities and he could be the breakout receiver that they have been looking for. In the third round of the draft, wide receivers Lynn Bowden Jr. and Bryan Edwards were also selected.
Last season we saw incredible performances from the rookies, running back Josh Jacobs and tight end Darren Waller. It looks like the overall team is incredibly well stacked heading into the new season. If everything goes their way, they could certainly be a breakout team in 2020. The Raiders share the AFC West division with the current Super Bowl Champs, the Kansas City Chiefs, so it won’t be the easiest division to win, but they will have a lot of wild card opportunities if they can keep strong momentum into the later portion of the season. Oakland is known for being a tough market, and being able to move to a new city that is excited to be hosting an NFL team could be the big change that the Raiders need.