Teams that play to their strengths in the NFL often find success. Going into NFL training camp in 2020, these are the biggest strengths for each team.
Arizona's offense saw big improvement last year with the hiring of Kliff Kingsbury and drafting of Kyler Murray, going from last in points in 2018 to 16th in 2019. They expect another big leap this year with the addition of star wideout DeAndre Hopkins, along with offensive line improvements.
Matt Ryan has aired it out with the best of them during his 12-year career, throwing for over 4,000 yards in nine consecutive seasons. The loss of tight end Austin Hooper does hurt, but Ryan has very capable weapons remaining in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, along with gifted receiving running back Todd Gurley.
Baltimore led the NFL in points last season on the strength of their running game, led by MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram. The team drafted running back J.K. Dobbins in the second round, which could add even more flash for a team that led the NFL in rushing yards and yards per carry last season.
Head coach Sean McDermott has built a strong defensive identity in his three years leading the Bills, and the team ranked second in points and third in yard allowed last year. They've lost some talent from the front seven in the offseason, but still have the makings of a strong unit in 2020.
The Panthers underwent massive changes in the offseason, from the coaching staff to the personnel. The offense will now by led by acclaimed offensive mind Joe Brady and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater has a reputation as an excellent game manager, and he has weapons to work with from running back Christian McCaffrey to the wideout trio of D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and Curtis Samuel.
The 2020 opt out of nose tackle Eddie Goldman certainly hurts the Bears, but their front seven remains the strength of their team. Akiem Hicks is returning from an injury-plagued season, and the linebackers got better in the offseason with Robert Quinn adding to Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, and Danny Trevathan.
No. 1 overall draft choice Joe Burrow enters a good situation with some excellent weapons in Cincinnati. A.J. Green is returning after missing all of 2019 due to an ankle injury, the team drafted Tee Higgins in the second round, and speedy Tyler Boyd and John Ross will also be back. The receiving options are a key strength for the rebuilding squad.
Cleveland's offensive weapons were the talk of the NFL heading into 2019, but things didn't work out for the offense. That same talent returns this year, led by Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt. The Browns also signed tight end Austin Hooper, giving developing quarterback Baker Mayfield one more weapon at his disposal.
There aren't many weaknesses to be found in the Dallas offense, which ranked sixth in points and first in yards during 2019. The team did lost some talent on the offensive line, but anchors Tyron Smith and Zack Martin are still around. Ezekiel Elliott remains an elite running back despite some regression last year, and the passing game has been terrific since Amari Cooper was added in 2018. Dak Prescott got one more weapon this offseason with first-round pick CeeDee Lamb, who will be the third wideout behind Cooper and Michael Gallup.
Courtland Sutton had a breakout sophomore season in 2019, and now he has much more help. The team went heavy on offense during the draft to help young quarterback Drew Lock, taking Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler, and Albert Okwuegbunam in the first four rounds. The team also saw promising development from 2019 first-round tight end Noah Fant last year.
Matthew Stafford played some of his best football when he was on the field last season, and that was due in large part to Detroit's receivers. Kenny Golladay is quickly becoming a star, and is well complemented by Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola. Second-year tight end T.J. Hockenson is also looking to build upon his rookie campaign.
While the Packers didn't do much to help Aaron Rodgers this offseason, he remains the face of the franchise. The ultra-efficient Rodgers has thrown a total of six interceptions over the last two seasons and threw for over 4,000 yards once again last year. The team also used their first-round pick on Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, who could be the team's future.
It's highly debatable whether Houston's wideouts are better than last year, but they are deeper. The team traded DeAndre Hopkins but had added Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb to Will Fuller and Kenny Stills. Deshaun Watson has more weapons than ever this year with the team also acquiring running back David Johnson.
The Colts have made impact additions on the defensive line in back-to-back offseasons, acquiring Justin Houston last year and DeForest Buckner in 2020. The defensive line is suddenly a strength, adding to an excellent linebacking corps led by Darius Leonard and Anthony Walker.
Much of the Jaguars roster has been in flux recently, but the defensive line remains a strong point. Yannick Ngakoue made offseason trade demands but remains in town, while Josh Allen is coming off a great rookie season and Taven Bryan is fast developing on the interior.
Chiefs GM Brett Veach did an excellent job bringing back most of the offense that has finished top six in points in three consecutive seasons. The big news was Patrick Mahomes' contract extension, but Veach was also able to retain Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson. The team also still has stars Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, and first-round rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is set to take over at running back.
The talent on the Raiders offense continues to improve. After breakout seasons from Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller last year, the team drafted wideouts Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards in the first three rounds in 2020. Derek Carr has more to work with than he has in years.
The Chargers roster still has a lot of strengths despite relatively modest expectations following the departure of quarterback Philip Rivers. The defensive backfield is one area that has improved in the offseason, adding long-time Bronco Chris Harris Jr. to stars Casey Hayward, Desmond King, and Derwin James.
The Rams offense regressed last year, but the receivers weren't the issue. The wideout tandem of Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods is one of the best in the game, and tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett are similarly near the top of their craft. The loss of Brandin Cooks could be offset by second-round pick Van Jefferson, along with incumbent Josh Reynolds.
It's unclear when Tua Tagovailoa will get his first opportunity, but he has capable weapons to work with when he does get his chance. DeVante Parker finally delivered on his potential last year with 1,202 yards receiving and nine touchdowns, and Preston Williams will excellent in his rookie season before suffering a knee injury. Albert Wilson has also shown capable when healthy.
Minnesota became a run-heavy offense last year and for good reason. Dalvin Cook had a breakout season with his health finally cooperating, and rookie Alexander Mattison also proved capable. The running back duo should continue to get plenty of work with Gary Kubiak calling plays this year.
The changes in New England have been rampant this offseason, including a series of major opt outs to start training camp. Despite safety Patrick Chung's opt out, the Patriots secondary remains their biggest strength of reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, hte McCourty twins, and second-round pick Kyle Dugger.
Not only does New Orleans have the most accurate quarterback in the history of football in Drew Brees, but their depth couldn't possibly be much better. Jameis Winston led the NFL in passing yards last year, and will now take a year to learn from Brees and head coach Sean Payton. The versatile Taysom Hill adds a change of a pace, slotting in at third on the depth chart.
Saquon Barkley regressed in his sophomore season due to an ankle injury, but he still had more than 1,400 yards from scrimmage in 13 games. That followed up a rookie season in which he led the NFL in that category. The Giants added some depth this offseason by signing veteran Dion Lewis.
Le'Veon Bell had a disappointing first season in New York, averaging only 3.2 yards per carry. An improved offensive line should go a long way in turning that performance around, and the Jets signed future Hall of Famer Frank Gore to help. Fourth-round pick Lamical Perine can also provide a change of pace.
Philadelphia's recent Super Bowl winner was built on a strong defensive line, and it remains strong with the addition of Javon Hargrave. Joining Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Derek Barnett, the Eagles have a top front four, and the depth also remains strong with Josh Sweat and Malik Jackson, among others.
The Steelers have the makings of another elite defense in 2020, adding to their storybook past. The team has elite players at all three levels, led by Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt, and Minkah Fitzpatrick, and were able to finish fifth in points allowed last season despite a lackluster offense.
The loss of DeForest Buckner could be felt by the 49ers defensive line this year, but they still have elite talent. Nick Bosa was everything the team could have hoped for in his rookie season, and Arik Armstead also had a breakout 2019 season. Dee Ford added 6.5 sacks in 11 regular season games, and the team used a first-round pick on defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw to help replace Buckner.
Seattle gave up a huge package to acquired star safety Jamal Adams, but the former Jet completes their secondary. Cornerbacks Shaquill Griffin and Tre Flowers have quickly become an excellent tandem, and 2019 second-round pick Marquise Blair is set to see more playing time this year. The Seahawks secondary doesn't quite rival what the team had during their Super Bowl runs in 2013 and 2014, but they hope to get there soon.
The Bucs were the story of the offseason due to the addition of Tom Brady, and his receiving weapons could make him look young again. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin had elite production last year, and the tight end group is arguably the deepest in football with the addition of Rob Gronkowski, joining O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate.
Derrick Henry became a truly elite back last season, leading the NFL in rushing yard and touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. The team also now has a potential change of pace, with the addition of third-round rookie Darrynton Evans.
Washington has a long way to go as they rebuild, but their pass rush looks set. They've spent a first-round pick on a pass rusher in four consecutive years, with an impressive group that includes Jonathan Allen, Da'Ron Payne, Montez Sweat, and now Chase Young. That doesn't even mention Matt Ioannidis and veteran Ryan Kerrigan. If Washington can get off to leads this season, opposing offenses could be in trouble.
Seth Trachtman is a fantasy sports expert and diehard Kansas City Chiefs fan still hoping for a Super Bowl win during his lifetime. He doesn't often Tweet, but when he does, you can find him on Twitter @sethroto.