With the season just days away, hope springs eternal across the NFL. Every team is tied for the division lead, and every team still dreams of Super Bowl glory. This time next week, those dreams will seem a little tarnished for half of these teams. And a month from now, those dreams may be all but vanquished. But right now, every team sees itself as a contender.
The reality, of course, will play out quite differently. Only two teams will compete in Super Bowl LIII next February in Atlanta, and only four will make it to the conference championships. And most football fans, whether or not they’re willing to admit it, have a pretty good sense of whether their team is a contender or a pretender.
Can the Eagles repeat? Will the 41-year-old Tom Brady lead the Patriots back to the Promised Land? Are the Vikings, now with Kirk Cousins under center, poised for glory? What about the Falcons, Packers, Rams or Saints? Is there an under-the-radar contender that will reveal itself over the course of the season?
On the eve of the 2018 NFL season, local CBS sports anchors Don Bell in Philadelphia, Steve Burton in Boston, Bill Jones in Dallas, and Michael Spencer in Denver look at the top contenders.