3 Teams That Could Surprise in 2014 NFL Season

By Jeff Smith
Andre Johnson
Kirby Lee- USA TODAY Sports

It’s never easy to know what we should expect from teams in the NFL during the upcoming seasons, but I’m going to take a look at three teams that may be in for very strong, playoff-worthy seasons. These aren’t teams like the Denver Broncos or New England Patriots, though, as those teams are expected to have big years. These are the teams that may end up as the biggest surprises of the year.

Miami Dolphins: I really do believe that the key thing the Dolphins were missing last year was their run game. Lamar Miller isn’t big enough to consistently be a go-to guy on that offense, while Daniel Thomas just isn’t a starter in the NFL. This left quarterback Ryan Tannehill having to deal with airing it out far more than he should have and not having a balanced enough offense.

So what did the Dolphins do? They simply fixed the problem with a great solution named Knowshon Moreno.

Moreno gets absolutely nowhere near the amount of respect that he should, especially after being a workhorse for the Broncos last season. I know that he had the benefit of playing with Peyton Manning, but it wasn’t just his ability to run the ball that helped his team. He could catch passes out of the backfield, but most importantly he could block for Manning, which is something the Dolphins badly need. Watch Moreno this year, because he is going to be key to the Dolphins have a strong season.

Houston Texans: Worst to first baby, worst to first. That’s going to be their motto this season, and as long as they draft a signal-caller who can lead the way, I think that the Texans can at least push for a playoff spot in the AFC. They may not get it, but I think we see them make a massive turnaround.

Think about the potential if the Texans were able to land Jadeveon Clowney and get a quarterback who is more than capable of starting on day one. It’s pretty scary to think about, especially since they can pair that quarterback with Andre Johnson, who you can bet is tired of losing games.

The Texans are going to surprise this season, and their defense may be a key reason for the turnaround.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: A healthy Doug Martin, the potential to draft a playmaking wide receiver like Mike Evans to pair with Vincent Jackson and some much-needed experience for Mike Glennon as well as an experienced quarterback in Josh McCown are all things that could very well be the key to success for the Buccaneers.

There have been rumblings that the Bucs are going to draft a quarterback and trade Glennon. If they do that, then whichever quarterback ends up getting drafted will immediately be in a competition with McCown. This would absolutely end up being a good thing for Tampa Bay. The competition between McCown and whichever quarterback it is will bring the most out of each player, and we’ll see the type of consistency that you have to see from an NFL quarterback.

I’m not going to say that McCown will lose his starting job, mainly because he’s smart with the ball and doesn’t turn it over. This is obviously huge in the NFL, and if he’s able to play like he did last season, then we could be looking at a surprisingly strong Bucs team.

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