The Super Bowl champions annually have the shortest offseason of the NFL’s 32 teams. They also wear a bigger bull’s eye on their chest than any other team each fall. It’s difficult to win an NFL championship. It’s even more difficult to repeat…as the Eagles are finding out.
Otis Taylor averaged an AFL-leading 22.4 yards per catch in 1966, led the AFL with 11 touchdown receptions in 1967 and became the only receiver in the merged AFL-NFL with a 1,000-yard receiving season in 1971.
Lester Hayes arrived in Oakland as a fifth-round draft pick in 1977 and became a starter in 1978. By 1980, he was the NFL’s best cornerback with a league-leading 13 interceptions, one short of Hall of Famer Dick “Night Train” Lane’s NFL single-season record.
Baker Mayfield came on in relief last weekend to pass for 201 yards and rally the Browns to their first victory in two seasons over the Jets. He’ll make his starting debut this weekend against the Raiders.
Former linebacker London Fletcher, one of the 102 candidates on the Hall of Fame’s preliminary list for the Class of 2019, explains how he went from an undersized and undrafted player from a Division-III program to one of the NFL’s best and most durable stars.
Baltimore, Green Bay and Houston all kept a league-high 12 rookies on their rosters. The Ravens kept a league-high nine of their draft picks and the Texans kept a league-high five undrafted free agents.
Jacksonville finished second in the NFL across the board last season in yards allowed, points allowed (268) sacks (55) and takeaways (33) on the way to the AFC championship game. This was the rare case where money bought a dominant defense.
From 1959-61, Jim Ray Smith was the best guard in football for the Cleveland Browns. He was the only guard voted first-team all-pro all three of those seasons. He also went to five consecutive Pro Bowls from 1958 through 1962.