Better, worse or the same: Stacking up NFL teams’ progress in 2020

Better, worse or the same? That’s the question that many fans are wondering about their respective teams for the 2020 NFL season after an offseason of free agency, the NFL draft, retirements of star players and virtual meetings because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rather than offering an overarching answer about each roster as it stands, it’s more telling to examine it piece by piece, position by position.

Here’s a look at NFL Nation teams, listed in alphabetical order, in which reporters have tried to answer the better, worse or the same question for offense and defense:

Jump to:
ATL | CIN | CLE | DAL | DEN | GB | HOU
IND | LV | NE | NYJ | PHI | SEA

Offense: The Falcons and coach Dan Quinn enter a pivotal, must-win season coming off back-to-back, 7-9 campaigns. If the Falcons hope to be contenders, a potentially high-powered offense led by QB Matt Ryan, WRs Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, and RB Todd Gurley has to do its part. Read more

Defense: Coming on Monday.


Offense: The Bengals have a new face of the franchise in rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, but his new offensive line remains a big question. Read more

Defense: After a 2-14 season, Cincinnati made an extensive effort in overhauling the defensive roster by shelling out top dollar for players in hopes of improving a unit that ranked 25th in points allowed per game in 2019. Read more


Offense: Despite entering last season with plenty of hype, the Browns faltered to a 6-10 finish, extending the NFL’s longest playoff drought to 18 years. Are the Browns better, at least on paper? Read more

Defense: Cleveland’s new regime in the front office and coaching staff was busy this offseason, making upgrades on the margins to buttress a young core while using all three of its Day 2 draft picks on defense. Read more


Offense: The Cowboys added legitimate insurance to the quarterback position by bringing in veteran Andy Dalton, but how does the unit look as a whole given its bounty of stars? Read more

Defense: Defensive end Aldon Smith is one of the biggest wild cards for the Dallas defense, which will employ a 4-3 scheme and multiple looks under coordinator Mike Nolan. Read more


Offense: The Broncos were one of the most active teams in a stay-at-home offseason, but it will take a little more than on-paper sunshine and rainbows to shake off four consecutive playoff misses and three consecutive losing seasons. Read more

Defense: If things go as the Broncos hope on defense in whatever becomes of the 2020 season, the two starters they traded draft picks for will have to have a big impact. Better injury luck would help, too. Read more


Offense: For a team that was one game away from the Super Bowl last season, how did the Packers address the offense this offseason? Hint, they didn’t draft a receiver. Read more

Defense: When last anyone saw the Packers’ defense, it was run over by the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game to the tune of 285 yards rushing. Has the unit improved any since that dreadful performance? Read more


Offense: While trading DeAndre Hopkins was the most shocking change the Texans made on offense this offseason, another switch could end up making just as big an impact — coach Bill O’Brien giving up playcalling duties. Read more

Defense: The last time the Texans’ defense was on the field, they blew a 24-0 lead in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs against the Chiefs. Has Houston done enough this offseason to improve the unit? Read more


Offense: The Colts went the free-agency route in signing veteran Philip Rivers to a one-year, $25 million deal in March. But quarterback wasn’t the only pressing need for Indianapolis. Read more

Defense: Teaming Pro Bowl linebacker DeForest Buckner up with Justin Houston should make the Colts’ pass rush a lot more formidable in 2020. Xavier Rhodes should help at cornerback, too. Read more


Offense: In terms of how general manager Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden have addressed their personnel this offseason following a 7-9 finish in 2019, things look on the upswing. Read more

Defense: After finishing No. 19 in total defense, and just 24th in points allowed, adjustments had to be made on the Raiders’ defensive side of the ball this offseason. And they were. Read more

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Doug Kezirian, Joe Fortenbaugh and Preston Johnson are betting under the Raiders’ win total of seven because of their new circumstances in Las Vegas.

Offense: Few, if any, are buying the Patriots as a clear-cut Super Bowl LV contender, nor even the favorite in the AFC East division they have dominated for most of the past two decades. But, is it an accurate assessment? Read more

Defense: The Patriots took some big free-agent hits, with three of their best defenders — Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins Sr. and Danny Shelton — landing with new teams. How will this unit rebound? Read more


Offense: The 2019 Jets were historically bad on offense. They finished last in total yards for only the third time in the past 49 years, and general manager Joe Douglas used this offseason to rebuild that side of the ball. Read more

Defense: Depending on how the Jamal Adams situation plays out, this will be a fascinating season for the Jets’ defense, which overachieved in 2019 against a favorable schedule. Read more


Offense: For a team that shocked the world by drafting a first-round quarterback in Jalen Hurts, there’s plenty to consider when questioning if the Eagles’ offense improved this offseason. Read more

Defense: Philadelphia moved in the right direction by trading for three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay, but in fixing one problem area, did it create an even bigger issue at another? Read more


Offense: The Seahawks hope that a reshuffling of the offensive line and tweaks to the skill positions allow their offense to excel in 2020. Read more

Defense: Seattle’s defense underachieved across the board in 2019, with the exception of forcing turnovers. It’s why general manager John Schneider made notable — even if not marquee — additions at every level. Read more