2024 NFL Super Bowl LIX Odds: Each Team’s Biggest Question Mark After the NFL Draft

By Scott Kacsmar

The NFL completed the 2024 draft over the weekend, leaving just the schedule release in May before we get to training camps in July. The race to the next championship will be on soon, but we wanted to check in on the state of each team’s Super Bowl LIX odds following a historic draft.

What is each team’s biggest question mark after the NFL draft? We break it down below with a look at where their odds stood a week into free agency in March and where they are today after the draft.

Teams are listed in descending order for current Super Bowl LIX odds. All odds are via FanDuel.

1. San Francisco 49ers: Will They Overcome Complacency?

Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +500

Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +550

By virtue of playing in the NFC, the 49ers are still slight favorites to win Super Bowl LIX as it is the lesser conference. But the NFC also has a long history of building up the latest flash in the pan and sending them to the Super Bowl. Only the 2013-14 Seahawks have gone to back-to-back Super Bowls in the NFC since 1999.

How many cracks can Kyle Shanahan’s team get at a ring before better options emerge? He got there in 2019 with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback, then the 49ers have been in the last three NFC Championship Games and are still ringless thanks to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.

Last year we questioned if Brock Purdy was the real deal or a Mr. Irrelevant fluke, and you have to agree he proved his legitimacy. The team didn’t trade Brandon Aiyuk yet, but free agency and the draft probably did not change things enough to expect the team to be stronger than it was last year.

We also know the 49ers were very close to losing at home in the playoffs to both the Packers and Lions, who could be entering this season with more confidence (and talent).

It’s hard to keep climbing back to the top after you fall short every year. The 1990-93 Bills did it better than anyone after losing four straight Super Bowls, but in the end, they never achieved their goal.

The 49ers have enough young talent to think this won’t be the end of the run, but windows like this don’t stay open for long in the NFL.

2. Kansas City Chiefs: The Best Is Yet to Come?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +650
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +600

When teams repeat as champions, they usually have to take a different path in that second year. We already saw this with the Chiefs in 2022-23. The 2022 Chiefs had the No. 1 offense with Patrick Mahomes winning his second MVP, and the defense was young and below average. But they did enough to make it work for a ring after trading away Tyreek Hill.

Last year, the offense fell to its lowest level in the Mahomes era as they struggled with dropped passes from the wide receivers. However, they survived this by the defense becoming the best unit of the Mahomes era. After benching Kadarius Toney late in the year, the offense cut down on its mistakes, the defense remained elite, and the Chiefs survived in overtime for another Super Bowl.

What do they have for an encore as they attempt to pull off an unprecedented three-peat of Super Bowl wins? What if the 2024 Chiefs are a juggernaut that’s elite on offense and defense, something we have yet to see from an Andy Reid team in Kansas City?

The defense will likely regress a little after losing corner L’Jarius Sneed (Titans), but Chris Jones is back, most of the starters are there, and they still have coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

The offense clearly has a lot of room to improve, and they can do it after bringing in Hollywood Brown in free agency and drafting the fastest wideout in the NFL draft (Xavier Worthy). They also might have picked up their left tackle for the next decade in the second round in BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia.

The Chiefs have the best player in the game in Mahomes. We’ve seen them win a Super Bowl with a mediocre defense (2019), a below-average defense (2022), and a great defense (2023).

Let’s see if 2024 can be their super team. Their version of the 1978 Steelers or 1989 49ers.

3. Baltimore Ravens: Will Derrick Henry Run Out of Gas in the Playoffs?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +900
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +950

The Ravens made a very interesting decision to bring running back Derrick Henry in as their new workhorse after Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins departed for the Chargers. Henry has led the NFL in carries in 4-of-5 seasons since 2019, but he is 30 years old and coming off a career-low 4.2 yards per carry.

But we know the Ravens have the offensive scheme for running the ball well, Lamar Jackson will help Henry in this regard, and it could be a very tough offense to stop from producing long drives and putting games away.

But can it sustain itself through the playoffs where the Ravens have annually flopped in the Jackson era? The Ravens have scored their season low in points with Jackson at quarterback in all four of his postseason appearances, including the 17-10 loss at home in the AFC Championship Game last year.

It’s not like Henry has been dominant in the playoffs as of late. His last big game was in 2019 against the Ravens when the Titans upset them in the divisional round. You really have to question if he can handle another full season plus a postseason of being the lead back and still do it effectively. He’ll turn 31 in January too.

A move like this could have been deadly for the Ravens a few years ago, but now, it almost feels counterproductive in allowing them to get better at throwing the ball and finding ways to come back in games.

But if you’re a bad run defense and it’s early in the season, good luck stopping this duo in the backfield.

4 (Tie). Buffalo Bills: Is Josh Allen’s New Receiving Corps Good Enough?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +1200
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +1300

The Bills have won the AFC East the last four years, but they’ll try to do it again this year without Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis. They did draft Keon Coleman in the top of the second round, but we’ll see if they regret letting the Chiefs take the speedster Xavier Worthy from Texas when they traded the No. 28 pick to their bitter rivals.

Buffalo had a chance to give Josh Allen a different type of receiver with pure speed in Worthy, or they could have opted for someone like Ladd McConkey (Georgia), who could have been a deluxe version of Cole Beasley, who was the other receiver Allen used to have a good connection with years ago in Buffalo.

There will be more pressure on Allen to deliver without Diggs this year. He’s a far better quarterback than he was in 2019 before he got Diggs, but it’s still on Buffalo to supply him with weapons to deal with the likes of the Chiefs, Bengals, and Ravens in the AFC.

Look for tight end Dalton Kincaid to possibly take on a bigger, Travis Kelce-like role in this offense in 2024.

4 (Tie). Cincinnati Bengals: Can They Start Strong, Finish Strong?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +1500
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +1300

The Bengals need to start a season better after starting 2-3 in 2022 and 1-3 in 2023. They were able to go on a run in 2022 and reach the AFC Championship Game again, but last year they lost Joe Burrow to a season-ending injury, his second in four years as the team’s starter.

The offensive line has been blamed for the issues in Cincinnati’s offense, which lost coordinator Brian Callahan to the Titans, but Burrow’s injuries may not have been prevented regardless of who the Bengals had blocking for him. He just needs to find a way to stay healthy more often as his calf injury suffered in training camp led to the poor start. That was after the team acquired tackle Orlando Brown Jr. in the offseason from the Chiefs too.

The Bengals may not be so fundamentally flawed as they are limited by a ceiling with the talent they have. They may also be running out of time to win anything with this group as wide receiver Tee Higgins and edge rusher Trey Hendrickson have allegedly been chirping about long-term deals or trades to other teams willing to pay for their services.

A huge contract extension for Ja’Marr Chase is also looming, so the Bengals are in danger of slipping behind their rivals as teams like the Texans, Jets, Dolphins, and Chargers look to improve their standing in the AFC.

4 (Tie). Detroit Lions: Will Dan Campbell Get the Defense to Championship Caliber?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +1300
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +1300

The Lions made some strides on defense last year, but it would have been impossible not to improve over 2022 when Detroit was 32nd in yards and 31st in points allowed per drive. In 2023, those numbers were 20th in yards and 26th in points on a per-drive basis.

Those numbers are not good enough to win a championship. The offense is more than good enough to win it all, but the Lions can’t keep trying to win shootouts in every round of the playoffs, and they’re not even a lock to return to that given the rise of the Packers under Jordan Love.

The Lions have a great pass rusher in Aidan Hutchinson, and they had a top run defense last year that mostly held Chrisitan McCaffrey in check in the title game until a few big runs late in the game after they were worn down.

But the secondary was always rough, and it’s good to see Detroit addressed the corner position with its top two draft picks in Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw Jr.

It would have been nice if they could have found another quality edge rusher to pair with Hutchinson, but we’ll see if the pass defense improves this year. With how good Detroit’s offense is at running and passing, it does not need an elite defense to win it all. It just needs to keep teams under 30 in the playoffs.

7. Philadelphia Eagles: Are the New Coordinators the Key?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +1600
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +1400

The Eagles collapsed after a 10-1 start, and even if you could see it coming with their fortunate close wins, no one imagined they’d win one more game the rest of the season. The defense was a season-long problem, and the coordinator situation was largely blamed for that. The offense was also missing Shane Steichen’s coaching, making Nick Sirianni look a bit exposed without his coordinators.

But the Eagles made sure to hire top minds this year with Kellen Moore taking over the offense and veteran Vic Fangio on defense. This should help both sides of the ball, and the Eagles still have some very talented players despite losing Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox to retirement.

They drafted a top pair of corners in Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean, they added Saquon Barkley to the backfield to hopefully give them more of their 2022 identity back, and they get to see how Jalen Carter can progress in his second year and first under Fangio’s guidance.

8. Dallas Cowboys: Are They Even Worse Off for the Playoffs?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +1300
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +1500

Mike McCarthy’s Cowboys have gone 12-5 every year since 2021 with dominant statistics on both sides of the ball, yet their only playoff win in that time was against a Tampa Bay team that had a losing record in 2022.

It’s easy to grow sour about the Cowboys after their annual playoff flops. Last year was the worst one yet as they became the first playoff team to lose to a No. 7 seed when the Packers beat them 48-32.

Dallas did not have the money to spend much in free agency, only really adding veteran linebacker Eric Kendricks, who will reunite with defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who replaces Dan Quinn. Are we even sure if that’s an upgrade for the coaching staff at this point? What happens when the turnovers regress to the mean on that side of the ball?

The Cowboys also lost players like Tony Pollard and Michael Gallup without doing much to replace them. They didn’t take a single running back in the draft and ended up signing Ezekiel Elliott on Monday. That’s a real thing that happened in 2024.

Maybe everyone counting the Cowboys out will put the team in the right mindset to surprise in January. But right now, this looks like a team that is going to field a weaker roster this year, and it’s a team you still have no reason to trust in January.

9. Houston Texans: Ready for the Next Tier?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +2000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +1600

The Texans have continued to climb in the Super Bowl LIX odds after starting out at +2500 following Super Bowl LVIII. This team has been ahead of schedule after winning a division title and playoff game in the rookie year for coach DeMeco Ryans and quarterback C.J. Stroud, a favorite for MVP this year.

Why not Houston going the distance in 2024? We know these things tend to happen quickly if they are ever going to happen for a team. Even Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz technically won a Super Bowl together for Philadelphia in their second season in 2017 despite the fact it was Nick Foles who finished the season at quarterback. We know Patrick Mahomes won a Super Bowl in his second full season as a starter (2019). Tom Brady (2020 Buccaneers) and Matthew Stafford (2021 Rams) instantly won the Super Bowl when they joined their new teams.

The Texans already had a nice receiving corps around Stroud, they retained offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, and they acquired Stefon Diggs from Buffalo. The defense added Danielle Hunter from Minnesota, giving Will Anderson Jr. another edge rusher to learn from and attack the quarterback with.

Houston’s 34-10 playoff loss in Baltimore showed the team still has a way to go. But everything about their success has been ahead of schedule, so a Super Bowl season in 2024 wouldn’t be that surprising either.

10. Green Bay Packers: The NFC’s New Flash in the Pan?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +2200
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +1900

The Packers are like the Texans of the NFC, except they have a clearer path to the Super Bowl in a conference that doesn’t have Kansas City in the way. Jordan Love played like an MVP in the second half of the season, and it was only a matter of time before Matt LaFleur coached up the young offense to get on the same page and produce those great results down the stretch.

They’ve finally changed defensive coordinators, added to the trenches in the draft, and they added Josh Jacobs to the backfield. If the Packers can start the season the way they ended last year, then this team could be that next elite team in the NFC who gets a top seed and advances to the Super Bowl.

They also had the best performance against Kansas City’s defense last year, the only team to score 27 points on that unit. This is the last thing NFC North fans want to hear, but Love has a chance to prove this year that the Packers are set for another decade at quarterback following in the footsteps of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.

But as far as the Super Bowl this year, that will depend if new defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley can bring a spark from the college game to get more out of this unit that made upgrades at safety and inside linebacker.

11. Miami Dolphins: Can They Beat the Good Teams?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +2200
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +2300

The big question for the Mike McDaniel tenure remains if his team can beat the good teams, especially on the road. He has not notched a quality road win since Week 2 of his rookie season in 2022 when they were down 21 points in the fourth quarter in Baltimore.

The Dolphins have that great speed on offense, but are we sure Tua Tagovailoa is the real deal worth a contract well north of $50 million per season? He sure didn’t look like it against the Bills and Chiefs in losses to close the season, a year where he avoided the concussions.

The Dolphins also have to adjust on defense with another new coordinator and after losing Christian Wilkins and Xavien Howard. They drafted Chop Robinson in the first round to give Bradley Chubb help with the pass rush.

12. Atlanta Falcons: Will the Penix Pick Motivate Kirk Cousins?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +3000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +2400

Let’s not sugarcoat it – the selection of Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 pick in the draft was the worst draft pick this year, and maybe the worst in a long time. There is no defending that move after the team just signed Kirk Cousins to a 4-year deal worth $180 million.

But can that move actually motivate Kirk Cousins even more to deliver? He has to feel his job just got a shorter leash on it as fans will want to see Penix the moment he throws a game-deciding interception. Holding off a first-round rookie is tough, and hardly any teams ever do it the Green Bay way with Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love where you wait three full seasons before the switch finally occurs.

But Green Bay is another example of how maybe the Love selection in 2020 inspired Rodgers to raise his game after another so-so year in 2019. He ended up winning MVP and looked like the Rodgers of old in 2020.

Cousins has never been that MVP type of quarterback, but he was playing some of his best ball before he tore his Achilles last year. We’ll see how he responds this year, knowing his replacement was drafted when the Falcons had so many other choices to get a better player for right now that would help Cousins.

13. New York Jets: Does Aaron Rodgers Still Have It?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +3000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +2700

It’s hard to talk about how Aaron Rodgers will fare in this offense now that it added some veteran tackles, drafted a first-round tackle (Olumuyiwa Fashanu), and signed a deep threat in Mike Williams (Chargers).

It’s hard because we saw Rodgers for 4 snaps last year before he tore his Achilles on opening night. It’s hard because we haven’t seen him play at a high level since 2021 when he was MVP again. The 2022 season was statistically the worst of his career by most measures.

Now, Rodgers will turn 41 in December and is coming off that serious injury. The team will go as he does, but it’s just hard to really gauge what we’re going to see from him right now. He has to prove he can still play like the future Hall of Famer he is.

His mouth seems to be working just fine though. But we want to see some spirals and touchdown drives this year.

14. Los Angeles Rams: Who Replaces Aaron Donald?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +3000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +3200

The Rams discovered their offensive groove last year with Puka Nacua having a great rookie season and Kyren Williams establishing himself as a lead back for Matthew Stafford. We can trust Sean McVay on the offensive side of the ball.

But what about the defense? When the Rams won the Super Bowl in 2021, it may not have been an elite unit, but it made elite plays in big moments in big games thanks to the star power of Aaron Donald and Von Miller.

Well, Donald just retired, leaving a big void in that pass rush. The Rams drafted Jared Verse in the first round, their first pick in the first round since Jared Goff in 2016. They are going to miss that interior presence, but they are building up the edge rushers again with Verse and a successful draft last year.

The defense will have to step up if the Rams are to challenge the 49ers in the NFC West and get back to the Super Bowl.

15 (Tie). Cleveland Browns: Is Deshaun Watson Cooked?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +4000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +4000

The Browns are in an unenviable position that we cannot forget they only have themselves to blame for. They were the team that traded for Deshaun Watson in 2022 and gave him a fully guaranteed contract. Dumping him now would be financially irresponsible, but so was agreeing to his terms in the first place.

But the Browns go into 2024 wondering why Kevin Stefanski’s offense seemingly gets more out of every quarterback not named Watson, who has struggled in the 12 starts he’s made for the team. Jacoby Brissett outplayed him in 2022 and Joe Flacco came off the couch in December to do it too in 2023. Flacco went to Indy, so it’s back to Watson at QB1. He also hasn’t been staying healthy for the team after a season-ending injury last year.

This is a solid roster with potential in a tough division, but it’s just hard to see Watson ever get back to his old ways when he looked like an elite quarterback in the NFL.

15 (Tie). Chicago Bears: Can Matt Eberflus Build Up the Defense?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +4000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +4000

Look, the Bears are finally exciting on offense after drafting Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze in the top 9 picks this year. They also traded for Keenan Allen, so this is one of the best setups a top draft pick has ever gone into a rookie season with in NFL history.

But we know the potential for the offense and that things will likely be brighter down the road as no rookie quarterback has ever reached the Super Bowl. The bigger question this year is can the defense actually get back on track and have a top 10 type of season?

Head coach Matt Eberflus kept his job despite a 10-24 record and an abysmal record in close games in his two years. He is a defensive specialist, but we need to see better results from that side of the ball if he wants to justify getting another year with the potential he has on offense now.

If the Bears struggle again, rookie quarterback or not, they may need to get a new head coach for 2025.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Is Trevor Lawrence Ready to Take the Next Step?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +4000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +4500

The Jaguars disappointed last year when they missed the playoffs despite an 8-3 start. Trevor Lawrence’s injury against the Bengals led to him losing his final five starts, but his health was an issue. However, even before that finish, his numbers and this offense were not really thriving despite the addition of Cavlin Ridley at wide receiver. The two never forged a great connection and now Ridley is in Tennessee.

The Jaguars drafted Brian Thomas Jr. (LSU) in the first round, giving Lawrence a big target with speed. Gabe Davis is also a similar deep threat from Buffalo. But Lawrence has been at his most comfortable throwing to Christian Kirk, who ended last season on injured reserve.

Lawrence is the last quarterback left from the 2021 draft. The other four taken in the first round that year have already been traded to other teams in a disastrous quarterback class. But that doesn’t mean Lawrence has been a stud as the No. 1 overall pick. He needs to raise his game to the next level this year, his fourth in the league.

18 (Tie). Los Angeles Chargers: Will Jim Harbaugh Mesh with Justin Herbert?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +4000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +5000

The Chargers have a lot of work to do in getting back to contention, but they’ll be doing it with new coach Jim Harbaugh, who figures to bring a rushing emphasis to the offense with coordinator Greg Roman. He’ll also try to fix the defense, something Justin Herbert has never had to support him.

This could mean a new style of play for Herbert, who lost 57.3% of his career passing yards with the losses of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler, and Gerald Everett this offseason.

But the Chargers had his back in the draft. They took the best offensive tackle prospect in Joe Alt (Notre Dame) with the No. 5 pick, then they traded up to No. 34 to take Ladd McConkey (Georgia) as Herbert’s new No. 1 target. McConkey should be great for play-action passing and finding the soft spots in the coverage. He can separate better than most of the receivers Herbert has played with.

It will be interesting to see how Herbert meshes with Harbaugh, but the coach has won everywhere he’s gone, and he was instantly successful with Alex Smith in San Francisco in 2011, reaching the AFC title game. A bit different when you’re stuck in a division with Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Chiefs, but this is an interesting team to watch despite their Super Bowl odds declining each step of the way this offseason from +3000 now down to +5000.

18 (Tie). Pittsburgh Steelers: Is Russell Wilson or Justin Fields the Answer?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +7500
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +5000

The Steelers made some bold moves to clear out their quarterback room and replace it with Russell Wilson and Justin Fields. The risk is almost nothing given the little financial compensation they have to pay these players this year, but the reward is far from a given.

Wilson has really struggled since 2022 and could be headed down the Donovan McNabb path to an early retirement if he doesn’t pick it up in Pittsburgh. Fields has never been successful in the NFL, but in Pittsburgh, he’d have a better defense, coach, and supporting class.

But Wilson is penciled in to start the season, and he should feel right at home with a Pittsburgh team that thrives for winning close games that are low scoring. He has plenty of experience with that while Fields unfortunately is one of the worst quarterbacks in history in close games.

The Steelers beefed up their offensive line with two starters in the draft in tackle Troy Fautanu and center Zach Frazier. That should help with quarterbacks who held the ball longer than any other starters in 2023 according to Next Gen Stats.

But if these quarterbacks aren’t long-term answers, then at least the next quarterback should enjoy the investments in the line.

20 (Tie). Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Is There a Staleness to What They Do?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +5500
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +5500

The Buccaneers have won the NFC South the last three years under coach Todd Bowles, but there’s an argument they would not have won any other division in the league these last two years when 8-9 and 9-8 records were good enough to claim it.

Tampa brought back many key players this offseason, including Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans, but it did lose offensive coordinator Dave Canales to the Panthers. It makes you wonder if the offense will be as good with another coaching change, and if Mayfield can sustain his level of play from 2023, his best season yet.

The NFC South should get better this year, meaning it might take more than a 9-8 record to win it this time. You just worry that bringing back most of the same roster that is .500 the last two seasons is the smart move if winning the Super Bowl is your goal.

20 (Tie). Indianapolis Colts: Will Anthony Richardson Stay Healthy?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +5000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +5500

We hype up the Texans for obvious reasons, but let’s not forget the Colts were a fourth-down conversion (or a better play call) away from possibly winning the AFC South last year despite starting so many backups on offense for rookie coach Shane Steichen.

The Colts retained most of their defensive snaps, they added arguably the most productive edge rusher in the draft (Laiatu Latu), and they could have a steal with wideout Adonai Mitchell (Texas) falling to No. 52.

But none of it means much if Anthony Richardson, their 2023 first-round pick, can’t stay healthy this season. He played in just 4 games last year and technically did not finish 3 of them with various injuries.

We know he’ll be mobile and can run well, but he had so many different injuries last year in such a short period of time, you just fear he’ll earn the dreaded injury prone label in the NFL.

But he can easily shed that by staying on the field in 2024. Can he do that? It remains to be seen.

22. Seattle Seahawks: How Far Can the Defense Climb This Year?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +7500
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +7500

The Seahawks have not been great on defense for several years now. The offense under Geno Smith has done a solid job to keep the team in playoff contention in 2022-23. But it wasn’t enough to return to the tournament last year.

Seattle replaced the oldest coach, Pete Carroll, with the youngest coach in Mike Macdonald, who coached the Ravens to the No. 1 defense in most categories last year. He’ll be looking for quick improvements on that side of the ball in Seattle, and he has some pieces there to work with. His first draft pick was defensive tackle Byron Murphy (Texas), the top-rated player at his position in this draft.

The Super Bowl LIX odds are not good at all for the Seahawks, but Macdonald at least has an offense that can move the ball. This would be a good dark horse pick for a playoff team at least.

23 (Tie). Las Vegas Raiders: Who Is the Quarterback?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +8000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +8000

The Raiders were the big losers in the 2024 NFL draft when it came to the most important position. The top six quarterbacks all went off the board just before the Raiders made their pick at No. 13. They took tight end Brock Bowers, but who is going to throw him the ball?

Aidan O’Connell won a game last year against the Chiefs where he didn’t complete a pass after the first quarter. He also lost a 3-0 game at home to the Vikings, a game played indoors. That should be impossible in this century, but it happened under new coach Antonio Pierce’s watch.

The Raiders just give this sense of a team that wants to win by running the ball and playing great defense, but they let Josh Jacobs go to Green Bay, didn’t make a big investment in his replacement, and drafted another tight end instead of adding a blue-chip defender with every prospect on the board at No. 13.

They signed Gardner Minshew at quarterback, and he could end up being the Week 1 starter, but we know he’s limited and not someone you can count to make the playoffs with.

Given the lack of quarterback prospects with this team, would it have hurt to take a chance on Spencer Rattler in the draft? He lasted until the 150th pick in the fifth round, two picks after the Raiders selected a linebacker you’ll likely never hear about again.

23 (Tie). New Orleans Saints: Can Derek Carr Start Fast?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +8500
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +8000

The Saints failed to take advantage of having what was supposed to be the best quarterback in the NFC South last year in Derek Carr, and he was finally going to have the best defense of his career. He also was going to get an easy schedule draw.

Well, the easy schedule happened, the defense was his best yet, but he also didn’t lead a single fourth-quarter comeback win for the first time in a season in his career. He didn’t give the Saints any edges in their close games like he surprisingly was good at doing for the Raiders, and the offense only started clicking in December when it was a bit late.

Carr has some weapons around him, and the team drafted a new left tackle in the first round (Taliese Fuaga) who should be an improvement over Trevor Penning. But we need to see Carr start faster in 2024 if this team wants to reclaim the NFC South, which should still be a winnable division for them this year despite the cap issues.

23 (Tie). Minnesota Vikings: Is This the Houston Method?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +8500
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +8000

Last year, the Houston Texans shocked everyone by making the playoffs with a rookie coach and quarterback. Their draft class had a lot to do with it as not only did they draft C.J. Stroud with the No. 2 pick, but they traded right back to No. 3 to take the best edge rusher in the class in Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. Both players won their respective Rookie of the Year awards.

The team that came closest to doing the Houston method in 2024 was Minnesota. The Vikings lost quarterback Kirk Cousins and edge rusher Danielle Hunter in free agency, two huge losses at key positions.

That led to the Vikings being the only team to trade up in the top 23 picks, doing so twice to make sure they got their new quarterback (J.J. McCarthy) and new edge rusher (Dallas Turner). Like Anderson last year, Turner was the highest ranked edge rusher this year, and he also went to Alabama. But he’s not quite as polished as Anderson, and this draft in general was down on the defensive players. None of them went in the top 14 picks, a record for the NFL draft.

So, they paid a lot, but the Vikings have their new quarterback and edge rusher. Their Super Bowl LIX odds are just +8000 for it, but coach Kevin O’Connell has his main pieces to work with this year and beyond as the team looks to get on track after missing the playoffs.

If it means anything, the Texans were +20000 to win the Super Bowl last year and still reached the divisional round. But McCarthy is unlikely going to be able to carry a team the way Stroud did as a rookie.

26 (Tie). Arizona Cardinals: Is Marvin Harrison Jr. the OROY Favorite?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +10000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +10000

We might rephrase this as being Kyler Murray’s last shot in Arizona, but his contract is still massive for the next few years in Arizona, and the 2025 NFL draft does not look like a great opportunity to go a new direction.

It’s Murray for the time being, and he can’t say they didn’t give him a new No. 1 wideout in Marvin Harrison Jr. After losing Marquie Brown to the Chiefs, there is a clear opening on this depth chart for Harrison to step in and immediately be the new No. 1 receiver. He could even be the best bet for Offensive Rookie of the Year as he has the best situation of any rookie wideout to post big numbers.

But with Arizona’s lack of winning during Murray’s career, it is hard to see this team still in any shape to compete for a Super Bowl this year. But they should be better to watch this season.

26 (Tie). New York Giants: The Last Shot for Daniel Jones?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +10000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +10000

The Giants reportedly have buyer’s remorse on Daniel Jones’ contract, which is worth $40 million per season, but they avoided trading up for J.J. McCarthy and went with Malik Nabers. He should be the best wide receiver the team’s had since Odell Beckham Jr., but Brian Daboll is still going to have to find ways to manage Jones without Saquon Barkley in the backfield.

The offensive line was also such a mess last year that every quarterback on the Giants took an obscene number of sacks. With Jones coming back from a torn ACL, his mobility may not be quite the same this year, and that’s really been his best attribute in his career.

It may get worse for Jones in New York, but at least the Giants have a new No. 1 wideout.

28. Tennessee Titans: Is Will Levis the Sophomore Surge We’re Overlooking?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +13000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +13000

The Titans have the worst odds of any AFC South team, and that is understandable after they fired Mike Vrabel, who was so good as an underdog in his career. But Brian Callahan comes in from Cincinnati, they added Calvin Ridley to the receiving corps, and they drafted JC Latham with the No. 7 pick as their new left tackle.

It’s on Will Levis to perform, and you can see why he’d get less hype than C.J. Stroud in Houston and even Anthony Richardson in Indianapolis. But one thing we know is one of the best ways for a team to break out is hiring a new coach to go with a second-year quarterback looking to improve. Think of Sean McVay with Jared Goff on the 2017 Rams, and even Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky put it together for a playoff season for the 2018 Bears.

The Titans replaced Derrick Henry with Tony Pollard at running back. That may be a downgrade, but they at least have a plan there. We’ll see if the defense can step up too, but it’s not like you’re going to pick this huge underdog to win a Super Bowl this year.

But to shock enough people and win the division or at least make the playoffs? Yeah, crazier things have happened.

29 (Tie). Washington Commanders: Does Dan Quinn Get It Right the Second Time?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +15000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +15000

Replacing Ron Rivera with Dan Quinn was probably the least inspiring coaching move of the 2024 cycle. One defensive retread for another. But sometimes that person gets it right the second time around. Quinn earned his chance after doing great work with the Dallas defense.

He’ll have his work cut out in turning around the Commanders, the only team who has not had an 11-win season since 1994. But their draft was very interesting and should produce several starters on both sides of the ball. It starts at the top with Jayden Daniels, the reigning Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. There is a real concern he’ll be proven to be a one-year wonder in college after four so-so seasons at two schools. But he was so dynamic in 2023, and he’ll get to run a Kliff Kingsbury offense that is used to letting that kind of dual-threat talent take over games.

If Quinn can work on the worst pass defense in the league, increase the turnovers, and the Commanders run the ball better, you could see a more competitive team that manages the clock and controls the ball this year. A change of pace from last year’s sack fest with Sam Howell while the defense gave up wide-open bombs every week.

At the very least, it should be interesting to watch Washington again.

29 (Tie). Denver Broncos: Will Sean Payton Prove His Genius with Bo Nix?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +15000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +15000

For a change, we get to see Sean Payton work with a young quarterback who is actually supposed to be a quarterback (read: not Taysom Hill). He got Drew Brees in New Orleans after he spent five seasons with the Chargers. He tried to make things happen with Teddy Bridgewater and Jameis Winston when Brees was hurt or retired in 2020-21. Then he couldn’t quite get Russell Wilson back to his old self in Denver last year, but Wilson may be spoiled goods at this point.

Now, Payton is eating the dead cap money on Russ and going with Oregon rookie Bo Nix, who set an NCAA single-season record last year by completing 77.4% of his passes. That’s a Drew Brees type of stat right there. Nix is likely a system quarterback at the next level, and we’ll see if Payton can make his system work for Nix.

It was probably a reach at No. 12, but the Broncos had to do something after doing away with Wilson. It’s not like you’re going to go into a season with Zach Wilson and Jarrett Stidham battling to be QB1.

31. New England Patriots: Will They Show Patience with Drake Maye?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +17000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +18000

If the Patriots were at the position they were in back in 2021, maybe they would have drafted J.J. McCarthy from Michigan instead of Drake Maye from North Carolina. Someone who could manage the game and lean on the run game and defense to deliver under Bill Belichick’s guidance.

But this is a new era for the Patriots, their first season without Belichick since 1999. His problematic team building in recent years has left the cupboards close to bare, so they need a quarterback with more arm talent and mobility than the likes of Mac Jones could deliver for them.

New coach Jerod Mayo also needs someone to rely on, so the Patriots need to let Maye learn the hard way this season. Put him out there Week 1 and let him test the limits of what his arm strength is at this level and to pick up the speed of the defenses. Let him play hero ball. Let him make mistakes.

He’ll be better for it in the long run, similar to Peyton Manning’s 1998 rookie season. He threw 28 interceptions, but he also learned a lot about how to play the position and was already an MVP runner-up in 1999. That’s not to say Maye is on a Manning path, but he needs to be allowed to fail and not coddled by what is still a weak roster in New England.

32. Carolina Panthers: Is Bryce Young Going to Be Fine?

  • Post-Free Agency Super Bowl LIX Odds: +30000
  • Post-Draft Super Bowl LIX Odds: +30000

You can really never give up on a No. 1 pick at quarterback after one season. Not after how bad Jared Goff was in 2016 for the Rams, then they fixed his receiving corps, hired Sean McVay, and he was in the playoffs by 2017 and in a Super Bowl in 2018.

That’s not to say the Panthers are winning the NFC South, but crazier things have happened. They added Diontae Johnson from the Steelers, they drafted Xavier Legette in the first round, and they hired a new coach who knows offense in Dave Canales.

Canales also knows how to maximize quarterbacks. He was Geno Smith’s position coach in 2022 when he had his breakout year in Seattle. He was the offensive coordinator in Tampa last year when Baker Mayfield had his best season.

Bryce Young was very bad last year, but it wasn’t unsalvageable. We’ll see what Canales can do with him this year, and chances are they won’t be the worst team in the league again this season.

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