With NFL teams reporting to training camp near the end of the month, the number of teams with a realistic chance at winning the Super Bowl could be as high as 10.
The reigning champion Rams have a strong shot at repeating, but the Bills look every bit their equal. Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are sure to have a say in things as well.
Here’s a look at how everybody, including the Bears, stacks up heading into the season:
They’ve been steadily advancing the last few seasons and made a splashy pickup in Von Miller. It’s finally their time.
The Rams have made every smart move since hiring Sean McVay and recently added wide receiver Allen Robinson and linebacker Bobby Wagner.
They’ve had some letdowns, but the Chiefs have still reached the AFC title game or beyond in four consecutive seasons and still have the game’s best quarterback.
Brady turns 45 before the season starts. How much longer can this possibly go?
The Packers are rebuilding at wide receiver after trading Davante Adams, but Rodgers is good enough to turn anonymous players into big contributors.
The Bears are adamant that the Khalil Mack trade was good for both sides, and if Mack comes back healthy from foot surgery, he should have a big season.
It’s difficult to gauge exactly how much Russell Wilson will lift the Broncos, but he certainly helps. And they allowed the third-fewest points in the NFL.
The Bengals have a lot to prove despite making the Super Bowl last season. They went 10-7 and had a middling defense.
They’ve navigated post-Brady life reasonably well, but the Patriots aren’t content to merely make the playoffs.
A case could be made that Baltimore had the best draft this year, adding at least three players who could be high-impact as rookies.
It’s high-risk, high-reward for the 49ers as they turn to former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance at quarterback and hope he’ll vault them from good to great.
The Titans seem to have everything but a dynamic quarterback, and that typically isn’t enough to contend.
Welcome to the 27th consecutive season of the Cowboys being not quite as good as they think they are.
The Browns gave up everything, including their dignity, for Deshaun Watson. If he plays, they’re a playoff team.
The Dolphins were one game away from the playoffs and made significant roster additions, led by electric wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
How much does former MVP Matt Ryan have left at 37? The answer will dictate the Colts’ season.
This might end up proving too low of a ranking for the Eagles, who could very well overtake the Cowboys in the NFC East.
The Raiders could be very good and still finish fourth in the AFC West, the NFL’s most loaded division.
After improving their record each of the last three seasons, the Cardinals feel like a team that’s going to plateau rather than keep rising.
The Saints were mediocre in their first season without Drew Brees and won’t get back to contention until they land another premiere quarterback.
Speaking of mediocrity at quarterback and overall, figure on a fifth straight ho-hum season for the Vikings.
With Mitch Trubisky at quarterback, there’s only so far the Steelers can go.
Neither the Cowboys nor Eagles lookdominant, yet the Commanders are still decidedly behind those teams.
Being the 24th-best team in the NFL would be a big step forward for the Jets, who went 27-70 over the last six seasons.
The Panthers have a below-average defense and no real answer at quarterback.
The Bears’ worst-case scenario is plunging into the bottom four teams in the NFL, but Justin Fields’ potential and a modest schedule give them a chance to avoid total embarrassment.
The Lions are always rebuilding and still don’t have a quarterback, but they took a significant step with a draft class that includes three potential starters.
The Seahawks have been one of the NFL’s best-run organizations over the past decade and will make great use of the draft haul they got by trading Wilson, but it’ll take a while.
As Trevor Lawrence improves, so will the Jaguars, but they still had an NFL-worst minus-204 point differential last season.
The Bears are fortunate they keep getting this team on their schedule. They’ll be seeking their fourth consecutive win in the series this season.
The rebuild is in full swing after dealing Ryan to the Colts, and it’s going to be a rough season in Atlanta.
They have four first-round picks over the next two seasons, but that won’t help them now.