The NFL season has come and gone with a familiar team reigning on top in the Kansas City Chiefs, the first to repeat as Super Bowl champions since the 2003-2004 New England Patriots. While Kansas City is on top of the NFL world again, the league had plenty of teams rise to contention over the course of the season.
The Baltimore Ravens went from a wild-card playoff team to the best record in the NFL. The Houston Texans went from 11 wins over the previous three seasons to 11 wins in 2023 (including playoffs). The Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers survived the losses of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady and won playoff games in their first seasons without them.
Which teams are poised to rise in 2024? These teams could be in for a turnaround as a division title contender with the potential of making a deep playoff run all the way to the Super Bowl.
Here are five teams to keep an eye out for next season:
The Texans took the biggest leap in 2023 thanks to the emergence of C.J. Stroud and a remarkable turnaround spearheaded by first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans. Stroud had arguably the greatest rookie season for a quarterback in NFL history, transforming the Texans offense into a force to be reckoned with around the NFL (offense went from 31st in points per possession to 14th), accompanied with the emergence of Nico Collins and rookie Tank Dell.
Stroud gets his top two pass catchers back next season, along with Dalton Schultz. Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr. now has a full year in the NFL under his belt and rising corner Derek Stingley Jr. will only get better on a defense that went from 25th in yards allowed per possession to 13th.
A first-place schedule will be the Texans’ biggest challenge, as they won’t swoop under the radar anymore. Stroud having a full offseason to hone his craft is dangerous for the rest of the league. Remember, the Texans went to the…