Year after year, the NFL season brings plenty of surprises. Part of the reason for that is that preseason prognostications and projections are often incorrect. That allows teams to fly under the radar and surprise the rest of the league the way teams like the Jaguars, Seahawks, and Giants did last season. But who figures to be the overlooked teams in 2024 that end up making a lot of noise?
It’s an important question to answer, especially for fans who want to place bets on an underdog. Obviously, finding the right sportsbook is the first step. But after you take a closer look at the top betting sites and find one that you like, here are five NFL teams that are being overlooked and are worth watching closely during the 2024 season.
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The Falcons are an easy team to overlook because there is so much uncertainty with quarterback Desmond Ridder. He started four games during his rookie season in 2022 and had mixed results, which is to be expected. However, the Falcons have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and added some potential difference-makers to their defense during the offseason. That should allow Atlanta to run the ball effectively and avoid getting into shootouts. That should make things a little easier for Ridder, helping the Falcons to surprise some people in 2024.
Granted, the Lions are favored to win the NFC North this year after narrowly missing out on the playoffs in 2022. But people still aren’t taking them seriously as a contender at the top of the NFC. But with the way Jared Goff played last season, he looks like the quarterback who led the Rams to the Super Bowl early in his career. Goff figures to have a better set of skill players around him than he did a year ago. If Dan Campbell can continue to make progress with Detroit’s defense and make the Lions at least average on that side of the ball, there is no reason why Detroit can’t be one of the elite teams in the NFC this season.
It’s a little hard to take Denver seriously after a 5-12 record in 2022. But the Broncos are a great candidate to improve their win total by five or more games in 2024. The Broncos had a top-five defense last season, allowing 17 points or less nine times. They should be strong on that side of the ball again this season. Denver just needs Russell Wilson to have a bounce-back season. He wasn’t a good fit in Nathaniel Hackett’s offense last season. However, with Sean Payton the coach in Denver, Wilson has a chance to get back to being a Pro-Bowl-caliber quarterback and turn Denver’s fortunes around.
Los Angeles Rams
Just two seasons removed from winning the Super Bowl, the Rams are being overlooked by most folks heading into 2024. However, Los Angeles was devastated by injuries last season, making it hard for the Rams to defend their title. Key players from their championship team like Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and Aaron Donald are still around. While the roster isn’t perfect, with a little more luck health-wise, the Rams can be a playoff contender in 2024.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s easy to overlook the Buccaneers now that Tom Brady has retired. But Tampa still has one of the best receiving duos in the NFL with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The Bucs also have a top-notch secondary and arguably the best set of linebackers in the league. Tampa’s defense should be good enough to keep the Bucs in games, putting them in a position to make some noise in a wide-open NFC South.