2013 NFL Season’s UnderRated Teams To Watch Out For
At the start of every NFL football season, there are the teams that are constantly in the news, and then those that seem to have disappeared from the media’s eye. For whatever reason, the following are the teams that have flown beneath the radar this year. However, these sleeper teams have a fine chance of going against the grain and unexpectedly achieving good things in the 2013 season.
During last year’s preseason, the Vikings were in the same spot as they are now. Many people have a general feeling against the team’s success again. But, let the track record prove that this is meaningless to the actual triumph the Vikings will achieve. Last season ended with a playoff appearance and an MVP season for Adrian Peterson, the running back. Not too shabby for a team that was considered doomed from the start.
There is no significant reason to believe that this team has gotten any worse. Those that are underestimating their ability to get to the playoffs without wide receiver Percy Harvin seem to have forgotten that they did last season. In fact, taking Harvin out of the lineup could be a tremendous advantage for quarterback Christian Ponder. Ponder often struggled last year from trying to get Harvin the ball through screen-heavy sets that threw off his game. The 2013 team will likely be more run-heavy, which is what Ponder excels at the best. Likewise, the offense will benefit from being more balanced with Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson joining as receivers too.
Of course, Adrian Peterson cannot be left out of the discussion. Even if the running back does not reach the same heights as last year, he will mostly be the top running back in the NFL again. With the incredible help in front of him on the offense, Peterson will be able to find more holes to squeeze through. With another exceptional season for him, opposing defenses will have trouble keeping up and the Vikings are likely to be far more victorious than critics anticipate.
San Diego Chargers
Last season, the Chargers were held back by their former head coach Norv Turner. Although the team was in the top 10 for defense, they still managed to finish at 7-9. Turner’s hardhead caused the offense to flounder and rely too heavily on the passing game. However, a new head coach is in town and without a doubt will work on improving the offense. Mike McCoy is renowned for building some of the best quarterbacks, including Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow. McCoy knows how to tailor the game plans and will optimize the players that he has.
The new offensive tackles that have signed on for the Chargers, including D.J. Fluker, King Dunlap, and Max Starks, are going to also perk up the horrid offensive line of years past. They will be able to provide Philip Rivers, the quarterback, better protection and an improved run game. Therefore, fewer sacks and turnovers, along with more scoring should be expected out of the new offense.
Combing that newly revamped offense with an already great defense and the results should include a higher number in the win column. While it may not be likely that this team is going to reach the playoffs this season, they do have a chance at becoming a wild-card pick in late December. As a member of the AFC West division, their chances at landing a wild-card spot are actually pretty good with the decreased competition.
Overall, the Vikings and the Chargers are two sleeper teams that should not be overestimated heading into the 2013 NFL season. Despite criticisms and lack of credit from sportscasters, they just may be the teams that sneak up on their opponents unexpectedly and shock the league.