- Justin Aller/Getty
No major sports league manages to get the masses itching for more like the NFL.
On Thursday, the NFL returns with a Super Bowl-rematch between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers for the first game of the regular season.
Then, on Sunday, the sports world gets to binge-watch to satisfy the nearly eight-month craving for more football.
Heading into Week 1, here’s where we believe NFL teams stand after the long offseason and preseason.
32. Cleveland Browns
- Jay LaPrete/AP
Last year: 3-13; fourth in AFC North
Week 1 opponent: at Philadelphia Eagles
Potential breakout player: Quarterback-turned-wide-receiver Terrelle Pryor has the size (6-foot-4) and speed to become a potent deep receiving threat for new quarterback Robert Griffin III.
One thing to know: The Browns have been going through the most drastic rebuild in the NFL. ESPN analyst Tony Grossi described the Browns’ ongoing rebuild as a “detonation.”
31. San Francisco 49ers
- Thomson Reuters
Last year: 5-11; fourth in NFC West
Week 1 opponent: vs. Los Angeles Rams
Potential breakout player: Rookie defensive end DeForest Buckner is expected to start in Week 1. The Oregon product is an athletic freak.
One thing to know: The schedule won’t do the Niners any favors early into their season. After a trip to LA, Chip Kelly’s squad will face Carolina, Seattle, Dallas, and Arizona. They won’t be favored in any of those.
30. Philadelphia Eagles
- Mitchell Leff/Getty
Last year: 7-9, second in NFC East
Week 1 opponent: vs. Cleveland Browns
Potential breakout player: Carson Wentz has been handed the keys and will look to prove worth of the massive haul the Eagles traded to select him at No. 2 in the draft.
One thing to know: Now that the Eagles have shipped Sam Bradford out of town, this offense belongs firmly to Wentz. Some easy competition in the first month (Browns, Bears, Lions) should help him get his footing in the NFL.
29. New Orleans Saints
- Kevin C. Cox/Getty
Last year: 7-9, third in NFC South
Week 1 opponent: vs. Oakland Raiders
Potential breakout player: Tight end Coby Fleener signed a five-year, $36-million deal this offseason after a disappointing 2015 with the Colts. Catching passes from Drew Brees in the Saints’ high-powered offense could put Fleener in line for another season like 2014, when he had 778 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
One thing to know: The Saints were the worst defense in the NFL last season and opted to keep defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and make no big defensive signings. It could be ugly again this season.
28. Tennessee Titans
- Ben Margot/AP
Last year: 3-13, fourth in AFC South
Week 1 opponent: vs. Minnesota Vikings
Potential breakout player: Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry could be an exciting second option in the backfield behind DeMarco Murray.
One thing to know: Titans GM Jon Robinson insists that the Titans have “It” this year. What, exactly? “I don’t know what ‘It’ is but I get that a lot,” Robinson told Sporting News during preseason. “‘It’ just feels different around here.”
27. Miami Dolphins
- Michael Ainsworth/AP
Last year: 6-10, fourth in AFC East
Week 1 opponent: at Seattle Seahawks
Potential breakout player: Rookie tackle Laremy Tunsil was considered a No. 1 pick in the draft before falling to the Dolphins at No. 13 because of an ill-timed video. He could be the steal of the draft based on where he was picked.
One thing to know: The Dolphins’ run game is suspect. They let promising 25-year-old running back Lamar Miller walk in free agency and replaced him with 30-year-old Arian Foster coming off a torn Achilles. Backup Jay Ajayi could be seeing a lot of carries this season.
26. Los Angeles Rams
- Harry How/Getty
Last year: 7-9, third in NFC West
Week 1 opponent: at San Francisco 49ers
Potential breakout player: Cornerback EJ Gaines is expected to see more of the field, and could be a nice and needed addition to the secondary.
One thing to know: No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff will be inactive during Week 1, and is expected to be the third-string QB this season.
25. Chicago Bears
- Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Last year: 6-10, fourth in NFC North
Week 1 opponent: at Houston Texans
Potential breakout player: After missing all of his rookie year in 2015, wide receiver Kevin White could have a breakout year, particularly with the unstable health of Alshon Jeffery.
One thing to know: The Bears got a nice pick-up on the offensive end when they signed Pro-Bowl guard Josh Sitton after the Packers unexpectedly cut him.
24. Detroit Lions
- Gail Burton/AP
Last year: 7-9, third in NFC North
Week 1 opponent: at Indianapolis Colts
Potential breakout player: 6-foot-7 defensive end Devin Taylor registered seven sacks last year and could potentially see more in his fourth season, particularly with the attention given to fellow pass-rusher Ziggy Ansah.
One thing to know: Though the Lions lost star receiver Calvin Johnson to retirement this offseason, the pass game could be strong with Golden Tate, the signings of Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin, and another year in offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s offense.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Chris O’Meara/AP
Last year: 6-10, fourth in NFC South
Week 1 opponent: at Atlanta Falcons
Potential breakout player: Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, the team’s first-round pick, had two picks in a preseason game and is now expected to start for the Bucs.
One thing to know: At least one NFL scout likes the Bucs as a potential sleeper pick to make the playoffs.
22. San Diego Chargers
- Andy Clayton-King/AP
Last year: 4-12, fourth in AFC West
Week 1 opponent: at Kansas City Chiefs
Potential breakout player: Running back Melvin Gordon didn’t find the end zone once his rookie year, but with a healthy and improved offensive line, could live up to his pre-2015 hype.
One thing to know: Will good health and contributions from new additions let the city of San Diego see a competitive Chargers team before they likely relocate?
21. Buffalo Bills
- Bill Wippert/AP
Last year: 8-8, third in AFC East
Week 1 opponent: at Baltimore Ravens.
Potential breakout player: Running back Mike Gillislee, who had a nice finish to 2015 and should feature prominently as the second option in the backfield behind LeSean McCoy.
One thing to know: First-round pick Reggie Ragland, a much-needed addition at linebacker for Buffalo, tore his ACL in training camp.
20. Baltimore Ravens
- Nick Wass/AP
Last year: 5-11, third in AFC North
Week 1 opponent: vs. Buffalo Bills
Potential breakout player: Wide receiver is Breshad Perriman is finally healthy after missing his rookie year, and could emerge as a top receiver for an unstable Ravens’ offense.
One thing to know: The Ravens could have a rebound year after they lost Terrell Suggs, Joe Flacco, Steve Smith Sr., and Justin Forsett to season-ending injuries last year. But age and a tough division give them a difficult path to the playoffs.
19. Atlanta Falcons
- Getty Images
Last year: 8-8, second in NFC South
Week 1 opponent: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Potential breakout player: Taylor Gabriel, a speedy wide receiver brought in from Cleveland. With so much attention on Julio Jones, Gabriel could be sneaky productive.
One thing to know: The Falcons are tied with the 49ers for the hardest schedule in football.
18. Indianapolis Colts
- R. Brent Smith/AP
Last year: 8-8, second in AFC South
Week 1 opponent: vs. Detriot Lions
Potential breakout player: Rookie center Ryan Kelly could play a huge role in protecting Andrew Luck this season.
One thing to know: The offensive line was the Colts’ priority this offseason, as they left much of their roster the same in hopes of making 2015 a mulligan for Luck.
17. Dallas Cowboys
- Ron Jenkins/AP
Last year: 4-12, fourth in NFC East
Week 1 opponent: vs. New York Giants
Potential breakout player: Dak Prescott! The rookie QB impressed in preseason, and now has the starting job after Tony Romo broke his back again. Let’s see what he’s got!
One thing to know: The Cowboys won’t put Tony Romo on the IR, because, as Jerry Jones put it, you don’t have to “circumcise a mosquito.”
16. Washington Redskins
- Maddie Meyer/Getty
Last year: 9-7, first in NFC East
Week 1 opponent: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Potential breakout player: As SB Nation’s Stephen White notes, after eight seasons, safety David Bruton tallied career-highs with two interceptions, a sack, and two forced fumbles with the Broncos last year. He could carry over the experience of playing in Denver’s Super Bowl defense to Washington.
One thing to know: The spotlight will be on Kirk Cousins to help Washington remain atop a wide-open NFC East after a breakthrough 2015 season.
15. Jacksonville Jaguars
- John Raoux/Getty
Last year: 5-11, third in AFC South
Week 1 opponent: vs. Green Bay Packers
Potential breakout player: Jalen Ramsey impressed in the preseason at cornerback, and should be a fun addition to an upstart defense.
One thing to know: Jags’ owner Shad Khan has said it’s reasonable to expect a winning record this season, but a schedule that includes five playoff teams will make that tough for the young Jaguars.
14. New York Jets
- Ben Margot/AP
Last year: 10-6, second in AFC East
Week 1 opponent: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Potential breakout player: Cornerback Buster Skrine is Antonio Cromartie’s replacement, playing opposite Darrelle Revis. That means Skrine is going to see a ton of targets and will be given a chance to prove he’s a shutdown corner.
One thing to know: The biggest story of the Jets’ offseason was their contract standoff with Ryan Fitzpatrick. They eventually brought Fitzpatrick in on a one-year, $12-million deal, and the pressure will be on for him to get them to the postseason.
13. New York Giants
- Rich Barnes/Getty
Last year: 6-10, third in NFC East
Week 1 opponent: at Dallas Cowboys
Potential breakout player: Victor Cruz. The wide receiver is finally healthy – for now – and will have the added benefit of playing alongside Odell Beckham Jr.
One thing to know: Speaking of Beckham, circle Week 3 and Week 17 on your calendar – that’s when the Giants take on Josh Norman and the Redskins.
12. Minnesota Vikings
- Darron Cummings/AP
Last year: 11-5, first in NFC North
Week 1 opponent: at Tennessee Titans
Potential breakout player: Defensive end Danielle Hunter registered six sacks as the youngest player in the league last year. He could continue his rise with more experience this season.
One thing to know: The Vikings pulled off a blockbuster for Sam Bradford, but he’s currently listed as No. 2 on the depth charts behind Shaun Hill. Bradford figures to take the starting reins at some point the season.
11. Oakland Raiders
- Tony Avelar/AP
Last year: 7-9, third in AFC West
Week 1 opponent: at New Orleans Saints
Potential breakout player: Former first-round pick DJ Haden, who is finally healthy in his fourth season in the league. He could be dangerous at corner.
One thing to know: The Raiders haven’t made the playoffs since 2002. Could that change this year? Vegas gives them about a 40% chance.
10. Houston Texans
- Gary Landers/AP
Last year: 9-7, first in AFC South
Week 1 opponent: vs. Chicago Bears
Potential breakout player: Rookie wide receiver Will Fuller has already shown chemistry with new quarterback Brock Osweiler, and with DeAndre Hopkins likely seeing double-teams, Fuller could be the beneficiary of easier coverage.
One thing to know: The Texans’ revamped offense has gotten much of the attention, but the defense should remain strong, especially with JJ Watt looking to be ready for Week 1 after offseason back surgery.
9. Kansas City Chiefs
- Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Last year: 11-5, second in AFC West
Week 1 opponent: vs. San Diego Chargers
Potential breakout player: Parker Ehinger, a rookie offensive lineman expected to start at guard.
One thing to know: The Chiefs currently own the longest regular-season win streak in football, having not lost a regular season game since October 18, 2015.
8. Denver Broncos
- Jack Dempsey/AP
Last year: 12-4, first in AFC West
Week 1 opponent: vs. Carolina Panthers
Potential breakout player: Quarterback Trevor Siemian won the starting job over Mark Sanchez and Pexton Lynch despite having never thrown a regular-season pass. It’s his job to lose.
One thing to know: The questions around the Broncos’ quarterback situation has once again shifted the focus to their tenacious defense. Can Von Miller and co. carry the team again this year?
7. Cincinnati Bengals
- Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Last year: 12-4, first in AFC North
Week 1 opponent: at New York Jets
Potential breakout player: Rookie wide receiver Tyler Boyd. He opens as the team’s no. 3 receiver, behind AJ Green and Brandon LeFell, but will still be dangerous.
One thing to know: Tylor Eifert, the team’s dangerous tight end, is rehabbing an ankle injury and expected to miss a few games.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
- Justin Aller/Getty
Last year: 10-6, second in AFC North
Week 1 opponent: at Washington Redskins
Potential breakout player: The Steelers’ high-octane offense could make a star out of wide receiver Sammie Coates. With Martavis Bryant suspended for 2016 and tight end Ladarius Green on the PUP list, Coates could see a high number of targets.
One thing to know: The Steelers have a drool-worthy offense if they could just keep players on the field. With a defense that’s likely to be improve and better health among Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Brown, the Steelers have been receiving Super Bowl buzz.
5. New England Patriots
- Steven Senne/AP
Last year: 12-4, first in AFC East
Week 1 opponent: at Arizona Cardinals
Potential breakout player: Cyrus Jones, a second-round pick out of Alabama expected to make an immediate – and season-long – impact at cornerback.
One thing to know: ESPN’s Mike Reiss called the Patriots’ opener against Arizona the toughest opening game in Bill Belicheck’s tenure.
4. Carolina Panthers
- Grant Halverson/Getty
Last year: 15-1, first in NFC South
Week 1 opponent: at Denver Broncos
Potential breakout player: Wide receiver Devin Funchess was hot and cold his rookie year, but even with the return of third-year receiver Kelvin Benjamin, reports from preseason make it sound like Funchess is going to take a jump this year.
One thing to know: The NFL world expects the Panthers to regress from their near-perfect 15-1 season last year, unless the secondary remains strong (even without Josh Norman) and Cam Newton puts together another MVP season.
3. Seattle Seahawks
- Ezra Shaw/Getty
Last year: 10-6, second in NFC West
Week 1 opponent: vs. Miami Dolphins
Potential breakout player: Running back Christine Michael, who should get a lot of carries as Thomas Rawls remains not quite 100%.
One thing to know: The Seahawks have 24 undrafted players on their 53-man roster, the highest number in the league.
2. Green Bay Packers
- Mike Roemer/AP
Last year: 10-6, second in NFC North
Week 1 opponent: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Potential breakout player: Cornerback Quinten Rollins is looking to improve upon his rookie year, where he showed promise with two interceptions, including a pick-six.
One thing to know: According to ESPN, the Packers are favored to win all 16 of their games, and with an improved defense, a slimmer Eddie Lacy, and healthy Jordy Nelson, this team could compete for the NFC title.
1. Arizona Cardinals
- Ross D. Franklin/AP
Last year: 13-3, first in NFC West
Week 1 opponent: vs. New England Patriots
Potential breakout player: Rookie DE Robert Nkemdiche, whose issues away from the field in college often overshadowed his talent on it. He’s low for now on the depth chart after some injuries kept him out of preseason, but he should be a factor in what looks like a terrifying defense.
One thing to know: This is a team with Super Bowl aspirations. As Calais Campbell put it: “Everybody truly believes that we can be champions.”
Now relive the best moments from the Olympics…
- Cameron Spencer/Getty