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Two NFL Teams Bound To Defy The Odds This Season

The 2022 NFL season will see the emergence of the Philadelphia Eagles and resilience of the Cincinnati Bengals.

The 2022 NFL season is almost upon us, with predictions and storylines galore swirling as fans prepare for another year of battle on the gridiron.

Along with all that comes with the start of an NFL season is the hype surrounding teams that made big moves in the offseason. Although teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs have kept fans entertained throughout the offseason, plenty of teams fly under the radar and don't get the recognition they deserve.

Two teams, in particular, come to mind when I think of underrated squads in the NFL, with one in the NFC and the other in the AFC.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

During the first half of last season, the Eagles looked like a team that could make a case for one of the worst in the league. Jalen Hurts and company were a mess, losing six of their first nine games.

The once-proud Eagles squad led by Doug Pederson started fresh with Nick Sirianni as the leader on the sideline. Pederson's successor failed to live up to expectations until Philadelphia found a new sense of purpose in one of the worst divisions in the NFL.

After losing to the Las Vegas Raiders on the road in Week 7, the Eagles lost only three more games in the regular season, which ultimately led to clinching a playoff spot in the NFC. Unfortunately, Hurts and his squad faced a juggernaut in the form of Tom Brady's Buccaneers resulting in a 31-15 loss.

Heading into the 2022 campaign, the Eagles have a new-look offense due to the arrival of A.J. Brown, formerly of the Tennessee Titans. Brown has quickly become Philly's focal point of the offense in training camp and will almost certainly make a considerable impact.

The Eagles have a legitimate shot to be one of the best offenses in the NFL. Brown's presence alone is a significant upgrade, but they'll also have wideouts DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor, as well as tight end Dallas Goedert looking to take advantage of the attention Brown will bring.

However, Philadelphia's success will depend on Hurts taking another step. If the Oklahoma product can do that and handle the pressure of playing in a city like Philly, the sky is the limit for this football team in 2022 and beyond.

CINCINNATI BENGALS

I know. Dubbing a team that just made it to the Super Bowl as underrated seems like a stretch, right? Wrong!

Traditionally, the team that is on the losing end in the Super Bowl does not fair well the following season. Most fail to recover from the loss for years and can quickly become irrelevant. That won't happen to the Bengals, who people already doubt after an incredible run to the big game last season.

There are two reasons why I believe the Bengals will be a force to be reckoned with once again and for the foreseeable future.

One, the AFC North is wide open. Some may argue it's the Baltimore Ravens' division to lose, but I beg to differ. Lamar Jackson may be a legitimate superstar and a handful for opposing defenses, but I see him as nothing more than Michael Vick 2.0. Incredibly talented and fun to watch, but when it comes down to it, he's not a winner.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the beginning stages of a rebuilding process in the post-Ben Roethlisberger era, while the Cleveland Browns are dealing with the mess they inherited with the Deshaun Watson saga.

It's Cincinnati's time to shine!

Secondly, Joe Burrow. The Heisman Trophy winner has been nothing but a success in his football career going back to his LSU days. Yes, he blew out his knee in his rookie season. Yes, he came up short against the Los Angeles Rams, but think of the odds he had to overcome to even get to the Super Bowl.

If his success and resilience weren't enough, the duo of him and Ja'Marr Chase could become historically good. Chase has already cemented himself as one of the league's elite wideouts, and much of that has to do with his chemistry with Burrow.

In the end, I see the duo of Burrow and Chase being mentioned with some of the greats in NFL history like Montana-Rice, Manning-Harrison and Aikman-Irvin.

If this team can rally around their leader under center again, the Bengals could become a serious threat to return to the Super Bowl even in a stacked AFC.