#4. Tennessee Titans
Mike Vrabel and his staff are working hard to change the culture in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans have clinched the playoffs three of the last four years. Inconsistencies at quarterback hindered the unit from earning a ticket in the 2022 AFC bracket. They've made improvements to both sides of the ball and will be a franchise to watch in the upcoming campaign.
Defending the run has become second nature for Shane Bowen's defense. In 2022, the Titans ranked 3rd against the run (82) and tenth in overall defensive (75.4) ratings. Discovering running lanes could become an issue for Mike Canada's rushers. The Steelers ranked 12th in run rating last year and will need extra firepower for their Week 8 matchup.
#3. Baltimore Ravens
Defeating rivals can become challenging for franchises residing in competitive divisions. Teams play twice throughout the regular season. Losses could lower the possibility of a post-season berth. Mike Tomlin's staff must prepare to battle the AFC's best. One of the biggest challenges will be sweeping an improved Baltimore Ravens roster.
An impressive off-season helped Jim Harbaugh's staff improve roster depth. Jadeveon Clowney and Rock Ya-Sin became the newest players on Mike MacDonald's defense. They expect to fill the holes left by Justin Houston and Marcus Peters. Kyle Hamilton (87.6) and Roquan Smith (72.1) are the returning X-Factors for Baltimore. In 2021, they earned the highest overall ratings on the defense. By the end of the season, the Ravens ranked 8th in defensive rating (75.5). MacDonald's unit is efficient in stopping the run (8th) and adapting quickly against the pass (14th).