Ranking the next five-year windows for each NFL team


Every NFL team tries to build a dynasty and win Super Bowls, but only a select few in NFL history have found such consistency. Over the next five years, these are the teams that have the best chance at ultimate success.

 

Buffalo Bills

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As the favorites to win it all in 2022, the Bills are the default five-year window frontrunners. It certainly helps that star quarterback Josh Allen is coming into his own at age 26, with strong weapons that include Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Dawson Knox, and Devin Singletary. The safety duo of Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer is approaching the twilight years of their careers, but the team has a young defensive core at other positions, including Ed Oliver, Greg Rousseau, Tremaine Edmunds, Tre’Davious White, and rookies Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford.

 

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2. Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

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With outstanding recent drafts, the Chiefs’ future has become more than just superstar Patrick Mahomes. 2021 offensive line draftees Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith solidified the offensive line while running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and impressive rookie Isiah Pacheco put that position in fine shape. The defense is now stacked with exciting youth after the additions of L’Jarius Sneed, Nick Bolton, George Karlaftis, Trent McDuffie, and Jaylen Watson in recent drafts. The only two areas that should make fans nervous are left tackle and tight end, as Orlando Brown could enter free agency soon, and Travis Kelce is bound for decline going on age 33.

 

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3. Los Angeles Rams

Los Angeles Rams

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Matthew Stafford proved to be the missing piece last season, as the Rams won the Super Bowl after falling just short three years earlier. There is some concern the team has sacrificed its future for the current era of success, as the Rams have lacked draft capital after trading for Stafford, Jalen Ramsey, and the departed Von Miller. Nearly the entire core is on the backend of their careers, including Stafford, Ramsey, Aaron Donald, and Cooper Kupp, but the team is highly capable of another championship in their next three-year window with Sean McVay calling the shots.

 

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4. Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens

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Despite the inability to sign Lamar Jackson long-term, the Ravens are in a good place. Head coach John Harbaugh has proven he can win through major roster turnover, and the team has done well to surround Jackson with talent that complements him, including Mark Andrews, Rashod Bateman, J.K. Dobbins, and a strong offensive line. The bigger concern is the age of the defense, with Calais Campbell, Michael Pierce, Justin Houston, and Marcus Peters on the backends of their careers, but the team still does have some exciting defensive youth with Odafe Oweh, Patrick Queen, Kyle Hamilton, and Marlon Humphrey.

 

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5. Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers

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Justin Herbert already looks like a star, and the Chargers have done more than their fair share to surround him with talent. The offensive line is terrific, led by recent first-round picks Rashawn Slater and Zion Johnson, while offensive weapons Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Joshua Palmer should be around for a while. The Chargers have also done well while spending considerable resources on the defense, with Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson adding to Joey Bosa, Derwin James, and Asante Samuel Jr. Now the Chargers have to prove the great talent can be put in action, currently on a three-year playoff hiatus.

 

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6. Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers

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Green Bay’s time is clearly running out as Aaron Rodgers approaches age 40, and is now without much proven wide receiver talent. The revamping of the offensive line has gone well due to strong drafts, and the running back tandem of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon is arguably the best in the league. Green Bay continues to hit on the defensive side, with recent additions like Jaire Alexander, Rashan Gary, Darnell Savage, and Eric Stokes, while 2022 first-round draft picks Devonte Wyatt and Quay Walker could be the next in line. The youthful defense will provide stability if Rodgers calls it quits anytime soon, but it won’t make replacing him any easier.

 

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7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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The Bucs have gone all-in since the addition of Tom Brady in 2020. That effort was well worth it, winning them a Super Bowl, but the team has big decisions to make when Brady finally departs. In the meantime, they have Chris Godwin and Russell Gage locked up on offense, and a more than ample selection of young defensive stars with Vita Vea, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Devin White, Jamel Dean, Carlton Davis, and Antoine Winfield Jr. It will likely take the franchise time to recharge if Brady retires after this season, but the star youth puts the next window sooner than some expect.

 

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8. San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers

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Each season of Kyle Shanahan’s tenure in San Francisco has been feast or famine. The core of the roster is now spectacular, with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Mike McGlinchey, Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, and Dre Greenlaw likely around for a while. Like many other teams in the second tier, the questions surround the team at quarterback, where Trey Lance has yet to show out and will now miss the rest of 2022 due to injury. The team was able to advance to two NFC Championships with so-so play from Jimmy Garoppolo, so it’s not as if the 49ers have an insurmountable obstacle if they do have to go back to the well at the position.

 

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9. Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals

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Cincinnati has turned its fortunes around via the draft, in particular, drafting Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, and Ja’Marr Chase. That trio helped create one of the top offenses in the league last season en route to a Super Bowl berth. Joe Mixon looks like he has tread left at age 26, and core defensive pieces like Sam Hubbard, Logan Wilson, Jesse Bates, and Dax Hill should have plenty of time left. The only concern in the near future will be the team’s ability to lock up players after they inevitably extend Burrow’s contract.

 

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10. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns

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The Browns made the controversial decision to not only acquire Deshaun Watson but pay him a record-breaking contract. For all the negatives, it’s clear the team is in a better long-term position now that they’re set at quarterback and still have an impressive group of stars around him. Nick Chubb remains one of the league’s top running backs, running behind an excellent offensive line led by third-year left tackle Jedrick Wills. The defense also has its share of young stars, with 26-year-old Myles Garrett, 25-year-old Denzel Ward, and second-year linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Cleveland will be in even better shape if young defensive backs Greg Newsome and Grant Delpit pan out.

 

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11. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers

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It’s unclear what the Steelers have in first-round pick Kenny Pickett, or when they will decide he’s ready to replace Mitchell Trubisky under center. There remain some offensive line issues on the roster, but the team is otherwise set up for the long term with Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, George Pickets, and Pat Freiermuth added via the draft since 2019. The fact Pittsburgh was able to get T.J. Watt 30th overall in the 2017 draft is still beyond belief, and he should be able to anchor the defense for another generation along with Minkah Fitzpatrick. Head coach Mike Tomlin’s ability to win no matter the roster defects always gives this team a shot.

 

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12. Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles

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Despite questions about whether Jalen Hurts is the guy at quarterback, the Eagles have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. They’re set for years with wideouts A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith and have also had great offensive line stability. The defense is loaded with outstanding veteran production like Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Haason Reddick, and Darius Slay, though the team also used its draft capital well in adding Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean. With an NFC East division that continues to look mediocre, Philly has a chance to remain in the playoff conversation for the next five years, at worst.

 

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13. Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys

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The Cowboys suffered multiple cap casualties in the offseason, which directly resulted from paying Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and company. The youth of the team still shines brightly with CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz, and defensive studs Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs. There remain questions about the depth in Dallas, along with the head coaching position if Mike McCarthy continues to have unforced errors in game management.

 

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14. Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos

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Denver has had a strong roster without a quarterback since Peyton Manning’s retirement. Now they finally have their quarterback in 33-year-old Russell Wilson, but was the addition too late? He certainly has strong offensive options, headlined by Javonte Williams, Courtland Sutton, and Jerry Jeudy, but the defense might have already peaked. The Broncos do like their future with Bradly Chubb, Justin Simmons, Josey Jewell, and Pat Surtain involved, but the defense might not be what it was a few years ago with Von Miller, and they are stuck in a brutal AFC West division.

 

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15. Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins

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After a breakout season from first-round pick Jaylen Waddle, the Dolphins had a tremendous offseason adding Tyreek Hill, Chase Edmonds, and shoring up the offensive line. Still, questions surround Tua Tagovailoa’s ability to lead the team. The team has done well on defense in recent drafts with Jerome Baker, Jaelen Phillips, and Jevon Holland, though defensive stars Emmanuel Ogbah, Xavien Howard, and Byron Jones could be headed for age decline sooner than later.

 

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16. Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans

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Mike Vrabel has quickly established himself as one of the best head coaches in the league, with four straight winning seasons, but he will be tested soon. The team won 12 games last season despite an injury to Derrick Henry and struggles from Ryan Tannehill. The loss of A.J. Brown makes the task even more difficult, though the team has the advantage of an easy AFC South division. The state of the defense is very good, with young players like Jeffery Simmons, Amani Hooker, and Kristian Fulton, and third-round quarterback Malik Willis showing excellent potential during the preseason.

 

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17. Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings

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The Vikings admit Kirk Cousins is far from elite, but they’ve done well in surrounding him. Minnesota has completely rebuilt its offensive line in the draft since 2018, while young stars Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson are still going strong. As was the case at the end of Mike Zimmer’s tenure, the defense remains the biggest concern, as multiple recent draft picks have struggled while core players Harrison Smith, Eric Kendricks, and Danielle Hunter are likely past their primes. Minnesota did address the issues with a defense-heavy draft headlined by Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth, but it remains to be seen how the youngsters will contribute to the future.

 

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18. Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts

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While GM Chris Ballard has done a great job building out the Indy roster, his inability to find a long-term quarterback is still glaring. Matt Ryan is the next placeholder in a series of them, but he has a great supporting cast led by Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman Jr., and an excellent offensive line. There’s a young, foundational player at all three levels of the defense with Kwity Paye, Shaquille Leonard, and Kenny Moore, while veterans DeForest Buckner, Yannick Ngakoue, and Stephon Gilmore have good football left.

 

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19. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks

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The plan looked fuzzy in Seattle after the team traded Russell Wilson in the offseason and failed to adequately replace him. It’s unlikely the team’s answer is Geno Smith, but they seem to be doing a nice job building up the roster in the meantime. The offensive line looks lightyears ahead of where it’s been recently after drafting Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas, while the young weapons are plentiful with Rashaad Penny, Kenneth Walker, D.K. Metcalf, and Noah Fant. The recent defensive draftees also look like keepers, including Darrell Taylor, Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton, Coby Bryant, and Tariq Woolen. Though, like the Patriots, the Seahawks made need a succession plan now that Pete Carroll is 71.

 

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20. New England Patriots

New England Patriots

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Finding a quarterback is half the battle, and the Patriots certainly found their long-term signal caller when they stole Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick in 2021. He has an excellent backfield duo with Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson, though the wideouts and the offensive line could use some work. The defense also lost significant talent during the offseason, led by corner J.C. Jackson, but Bill Belichick has proven he can produce elite offenses no matter what the team has on paper. The bigger concern is Belichick’s future, as he could soon consider retirement now at age 70.

 

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21. Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals

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Arizona was finally able to extend Kyler Murray and hopes to pair him with Kyler Murray and Rondale Moore for the long term. That’s a solid offensive core, though the team’s offensive line is getting older, and the defense lacks much star power in the front seven beyond the aged J.J. Watt. Inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons is coming around and entering his age-24 season, and Bubba Baker remains one of the league’s best safeties at 26.

 

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22. Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions

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A busy offseason has seemingly put the Lions in a better place after the Matt Patricia era put this futile franchise in an even darker place. It remains to be seen if Jared Goff is the long-term answer at quarterback, but he’s at least a decent placeholder while the talent develops. D’Andre Swift has become one of the league’s top backs when healthy, while the offensive line is ascending, the receiving weapons look strong with Amon-Ra St. Brown, T.J. Hockenson, and the addition of rookie Jameson Williams. The defense still has its work cut out for it, but Aidan Hutchinson and Jeff Okudah are fine players to build around.

 

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23. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars

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The first overall draft going to Jacksonville is becoming a yearly tradition. Formerly can’t-miss quarterback Trevor Lawrence has yet to hit, but there’s reason to believe he will improve with Doug Pederson and an improved supporting cast. The team has an exciting running back duo with Travis Etienne and James Robinson, an improved offensive line, and the addition of 25-year-old wideout Christian Kirk. The defense is in worse shape, though Josh Allen remains a foundational pass rusher, and first-round picks Travon Walker and Devin Lloyd put more shine on the unit’s potential.

 

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24. Washington Commanders

Washington Commanders

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Carson Wentz is on his third team in three years for good reason, though he’s also a clear improvement for Washington. The complement of weapons we saw in Week 1 provides optimism that this team can compete in the NFC East again, with a solid wideout trio of Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Jahan Dotson, and rookie back Brian Robinson eventually adding to Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic. The performance of the defense was beyond disappointing last season, given the investment of first-round picks in four defensive linemen, along with linebacker Jamin Davis. That’s not to say the ability isn’t present, especially after Chase Young returns from knee surgery.

 

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25. New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints

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There’s been some doom and gloom for New Orleans over the last two offseasons after losing Drew Brees and Sean Payton. After a long period of success, the future of the team is somewhat hazy with Jameis Winston under center and several key defensive players entering their last hurrah. Still, the offensive line is very young, and first-round pick Chris Olave is already showing potential. The defense still sees a lot of long-term potential from Marcus Davenport, Pete Werner, and Marshon Lattimore, but they will need to spend heavily on that side of the ball soon to remain anywhere close to elite.

 

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26. Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders

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Derek Carr has clearly become a solid signal caller the Raiders can win with, but their recent disastrous drafts have made the team’s overall prospects rougher. Hunter Renfrow, Maxx Crosby, and Nate Hobbs could be the only draftees since 2019 that are in the team’s long-term plans, though the team still has stars like Davante Adams, Darren Waller, and Rock Ya-Sin for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, a brutal AFC West with stable quarterback situations from all three rivals makes the near future an even tougher obstacle for Vegas.

 

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27. New York Giants

New York Giants

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Can Brian Daboll fix Daniel Jones? Is Jones fixable? Those questions ultimately determine New York’s prospects over the next five years, though young offensive weapons Saquon Barkley, Kadarius Toney, and Wan’Dale Robinson do appear promising. The defense has already had some very bad luck with injuries to Kayvon Thibodeaux, Aaron Robinson, and Azeez Ojulari this season, though that trio will have big roles in the team’s defensive future, along with Dexter Lawrence.

 

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28. Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers

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Head coach Matt Rhule was the first coach fired during the 2022 season. The team has now settled on Baker Mayfield, but the former first-overall draft choice still must prove he’s a viable starter. The offensive line is on better footing after drafting Ikem Ekwonu, and 25-year-old D.J. Moore is an underrated star at wideout. There’s reason to question the longevity of Christian McCaffrey after recent injuries, but the core of the defense is very young, with recent draft picks Jeremy Chinn, Jaycee Horn, Brian Burns, and Derrick Brown.

 

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29. New York Jets

New York Jets

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There’s a lot to like for Jets faithful, but the elephant in the room remains Zach Wilson. He looked lost in his rookie season and is starting 2022 sidelined due to a knee injury. When he returns, he does have an improved offensive line and strong weapons like Michael Carter, Breece Hall, Elijah Moore, and Garrett Wilson. The defense has a long way to go under Robert Saleh, but certainly see Quinnen Williams as the centerpiece, with first-round picks Sauce Gardner and Jermaine Johnson hopefully joining him in that conversation.

 

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30. Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears

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The future of the Bears seems dependent on Justin Fields’ development, and the team hasn’t exactly handed him a great list of weapons. David Montgomery and Darnell Mooney are fine options, but beyond them, the team is lacking and also has issues on the offensive line. After losing veterans Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks, Roquan Smith has become the face of the defense, but it doesn’t speak well for the team that he’s demanded a trade. The good news is that the team seems to have hit in the 2022 draft with defensive backs Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon, adding to young corner Jaylon Johnson.

 

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31. Houston Texans

Houston Texans

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Houston’s moves and turnover over the last five seasons have been interesting, to say the least, but they’re clearly in a worse place. Bill O’Brien’s poor front office work deserves much of the blame, though the current regime hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt. The future will be much clearer when the team determines if Davis Mills is the future, and there’s reason to like Dameon Pierce and Nico Collins. However, the offensive line is a major issue, and the defensive might not have any long-term keepers beyond Jonathan Greenard, Derek Stingley Jr., and Jalen Pitre.

 

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32. Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons

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Atlanta’s rebuild is seemingly in slow motion after cap troubles created by the former regime finally caught up with the franchise. Recent first-round picks A.J. Terrell and Kyle Pitts have been clear hits, while 2022 first-round pick Drake London could also be the real deal. However, the offensive line isn’t among the league’s best, and it remains if the team has a long-term answer at quarterback between Marcus Mariota and rookie Desmond Ridder. The Falcons need at least a few more seasons before they can be considered contenders.





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