NFL Regular Season - Three NFL Teams Who Will Improve & Three Teams That Will Regress in 2020

Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray playing against the Seattle Seahawks
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I'm an NFL handicapper here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up. For Andrew Ortenberg media enquiries, please email
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The start of the 2020 NFL season is right around the corner, but there is still plenty of time to get futures bets in. Every year there are teams that make big leaps, and teams that regress sharply. Identifying which squads are due for positive and negative regression is the key to betting win totals, and with that in mind we’ll be breaking down three teams we expect to get better in 2020, and three teams we expect to get worse.

For the full breakdown, check out the video below:

Three NFL Teams Who Will Improve In 2020

Arizona Cardinals (2019 record: 5-10-1)

The Arizona Cardinals should make significant strides for several reasons. For starters Kyler Murray isn’t a rookie anymore, and Kliff Kingsbury isn’t in his first year as an NFL coach. That continuity alone should mean improvement, but they also made major upgrades to the roster.

Arizona pulled off one of the best trades in recent NFL history, acquiring Deandre Hopkins from the Texans for peanuts. They also added a ton of guys like Isaiah Simmons, Jordan Phillips, and Devon Kennard to the defense, and they should compete for a playoff spot in 2020.

Los Angeles Chargers (2019 record: 5-11)

The Los Angeles Chargers were probably the unluckiest team in all of football last year. They went 5-11 but their point differential was somehow only -8, and they were clearly a lot better than their record indicates. They lost an unbelievable amount of close games, something that should regress to the mean in 2020.

Philip Rivers is out and the team drafted Justin Herbert in the first-round, although Tyrod Taylor will start initially. Everyone seems to have forgotten that the last time Taylor was a full-time starter, he led a talent deficient Bills team to the playoffs. With a defense full of studs like Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Chris Harris, and Casey Hayward, this Chargers team is going to make some noise this year.

Detroit Lions (2019 record: 3-12-1)

The Detroit Lions were another team that got really unlucky last year. Things snowballed out of control so quickly, that nobody remembers they were playing at a really high level early in the season before Matthew Stafford got hurt.

Stafford is back healthy now, and the defense should be a lot better after the offseason acquisitions of guys like Jeff Okudah, Desmond Trufant, and Jamie Collins. Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., and T.J. Hockenson give Stafford some great options to throw to, and Detroit is my favorite sleeper team of the year. Matt Patricia has some talent on his hands.

Three NFL Teams Who Will Regress in 2020

Jacksonville Jaguars (2019 record: 6-10)

The Jacksonville Jaguars already weren’t very good last year, but they’re about to get a whole lot worse. The Jags are going all in on tanking this season, and I can’t remember a team ever so brazenly stripping down the roster like this. Pretty much every veteran of value has been traded or released, like Leonard Fournette just was. Gardner Minshew will start at quarterback, and the former sixth-rounder isn’t the answer under center.

After shipping out Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Calais Campbell, and Yannick Ngakoue, there’s virtually nothing left on defense. It’s a full-blown youth movement, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they won only a couple of games in 2020.

Carolina Panthers (2019 record: 5-11)

Speaking of teams that have been stripped down, so too have the Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton was cut this offseason, and star linebacker Luke Kuechly decided to retire. They’ve got an entirely new coaching staff and a new quarterback, which is a recipe for disaster given the abridged offseason.

Teddy Bridgewater is very easy to root for, but he’s started only six games since the 2015 season and no one has any idea what he’ll look like as a full-time stater. Christian McCaffrey can’t do it all by himself, and after losing Kuechly and shutdown corner James Bradberry this offseason, I’m expecting a big step back on defense.

San Francisco 49ers (2019 record: 13-3)

Unfortunately for San Francisco 49ers fans, I think the defending NFC champions are due for a letdown. The defense carried Jimmy Garoppolo for long stretches, and if they have even a little bit of regression on that side of the ball it could be devastating.

After trading away All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner for cap purposes, I think that’s exactly what we should expect. I’m still not sold on Garoppolo, and the NFC West is arguably going to be the toughest division in the NFL. The schedule is also going to be extremely difficult with road games against the Patriots, Saints, and Cowboys, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Kyle Shanahan’s squad considerably underperforms expectations.

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