This Year’s Friskiest NFL Teams

Each year, there are a handful of teams that fit the definition of frisky.  What exactly is that?

Probably not what you think.  Frisky has A LOT of different meanings, and they’re all super different from each other.

When it comes to sports, a frisky team isn’t a bad team, or a good one.  But they’re also not mediocre.

The definition of a frisky sports team is one that gives the good teams troubles.  Frisky NFL teams usually end up going 7-9, 8-8, or 9-7.  They’re usually in the playoff hunt, sometimes missing the postseason by a tad, or sometimes just sneaking in.

Here are those teams for this season:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Tampa Bay was the best bad team last year, at 6-10.  Jamies Winston played very well in his rookie season; you have to expect he’s only going to improve.  New head coach Dirk Koetter is a much better quarterback guru than Lovie Smith.  Because of this, I expect major strides from Winston.

The Buccaneers re-signed Doug Martin, which was smart in the sense of having a something to fall back on offensively incase Winston doesn’t improve, but wasn’t the most logical move in terms of the money given to Martin, who’s had two good seasons his whole career (This past year and his rookie one).  I think the Martin contract becomes a stain on the team’s cap, especially if Winston develops the way they hope.

Tampa Bay’s defense has its strengths and weaknesses.  The defensive line is in good shape, anchored by Gerald McCoy.  The Bucs also have a nice secondary, with Chris Conte being a viable safely and Brent Grimes (And his wife) being a new addition.

However, even if Winston makes major strides, I think the Bucs are simply frisky.  The defense just isn’t quite there yet to make them a playoff team, and the NFC is shaping up extremely similar to last year when it comes to playoff seeding.  It’d take a disastrous year from someone like Arizona for the Bucs to make it in.

Kansas City Chiefs

I think Oakland is the team to beat in the AFC West, and that will be backed up further as another AFC West team makes an appearance on this list.

However, the division is wide open.  If the Chiefs want to win this division, now is the time.  There’s no alpha-dog team anymore.

The defense for Kansas City is no question.  The Chiefs have a star at every level of their defense.

Its the offense thats the question mark for Kansas City.  Jamaal Charles is coming back from injury.  Alex Smith is pretty mediocre, and they have no weapons once again.

Its the same problem every year, though this season is the one where it won’t hurt them as much.

I just think that Oakland’s youth and organization offensively is better than Kansas City’s.  Really, its a stingy defense thats gonna make the Chiefs a frisky team, similar to their division rivals below.

Tennesse Titans

The Titans’ whole division has friskiness written all over it.  I’ll be writing about that later.

But the Titans are the most frisky team that won’t have the chance at being truly good.  There’s a scenario where they may actually be good (Column coming on that later), but for now, this is a super frisky and young team.

Marcus Mariota, like Winston, had a very nice rookie year and should take yet another step.  The biggest difference from this year to last is the upgrade in weapons.  Mariota has people to throw to now, even though Tennessee traded Dorial Green Beckham to the Eagles for no reason at all.

No matter what, Mariota’s progress and the upgrade in weapons should take this Titans offense to the next level.  And now they have a running back(s) to lean on when Mariota can’t connect.  DeMarco Murray figures to be the lead back this season, but rookie Derrick Henry could easily take away some rushes, since the book on Murray is that he’s only a good running back when he has a good offensive line.  The Titans don’t exactly have that.

The Titans defense still needs some help, but for now, this is a young team who will be very exciting to watch.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills, had I made a list last year, would have been on it.

This year was the year I thought they’d graduate from the frisky tier of the league, but I’ve slowly backtracked on it.

The Ryan brothers on the same staff seems like a potential cluster in the making.  From what we know about Rob Ryan, his defenses are never really that great.  Who says Buffalo’s defense is gonna be any better than last year?  Are we sure there’s a better coordinator running it?

There’s all the sudden not a lot to like about the Bills defense.  But the offense could very easily be making a positive jump.  This is Tyrod Taylor’s 2nd year as a starter.  The Bills have confidence in him; so much so that there’s a very lucrative extension (with starter money!) sitting there for him if he produces.  I fell in love with Taylor last season.  He’s my starting QB in fantasy football until Tom Brady comes back from suspension.  I trust him and think the Bills will be fine if he plays well.

Taylor’s a big part of whether the Bills can graduate from the friskiness tier of the league, but he’s not all of it.  Its gonna take a lot of luck.

The Bills taking the next step hinges on how New England gets by without Tom Brady.  If the Patriots are disastrous, the Bills could be in position to win the division.  If not, then chances are Buffalo is a narrow miss for the playoffs.

Denver Broncos

Denver has faced as much turnover as any other Super Bowl Champion we’ve seen.

If you go back in history, there’s a common trend of Super Bowl Champions falling off the season after their glory.  There’s no doubt in my mind the Broncos will have a down-year compared to last.  But to what extent?

The bottom line is that Mark Sanchez was just there to scare the crap out of these young guys.  What had we seen from him the past three seasons that makes you go “I want that guy running my offense.”?

And now they’re trying to trade him?  What team is gonna give up anything for Mark Sanchez?

Speaking of the young guys, I’m a firm believer in that, if you take a quarterback in the first round, he should be your starter.  No questions asked.  Paxton Lynch was my favorite quarterback in this draft, and I think he’ll end up being the best QB out of it.

Lynch, in my mimd, should’ve been the starter, even though there would be growing pains.  But maybe those would be sheltered by the defense, which is still as good as last year.

If you think the Broncos can win the Super Bowl this year, you’re basis is that Trevor Siemian can play equal to or better than Peyton Manning last year, then they should be contenders, due to the fact that defense carried this team last season.

But are we sure Trevor Siemian can reach that quality of play? (Which wasn’t high)  Sure, he won the job, but I have doubts.  The Broncos see Lynch as their future, and Siemian (like Lynch) has never seen snaps.  There’s gonna be growing pains with Siemian too.  Why go through them when the lesson learned won’t translate on the field in the future?

The Broncos will at least be frisky, but nothing more with today’s news that Siemian will be the starter..  They still have whats probably the best defense in the league; thats a hassle to deal with if you’re the other team.   I just think Oakland is the more complete team, and will keep the Broncos in whats still the league’s most fun tier.