The NFL's most important players: These 160 will decide season – ESPN (blog)

2:33 PM ET

Every NFL team has the same goal headed into the 2018 season: to make the playoffs and try to win Super Bowl LIII.

But which players will have the most impact in making that happen? We asked our 32 NFL Nation beat reporters to identify the five players on each roster who will be most vital in helping their team try to win it all. These are not necessarily the best players on each roster — these are the most important.

Click the link after each team to view the full post.

AFC East | AFC North| AFC South | AFC West

NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West


If quarterback AJ McCarron wins the starting gig in the preseason but the Bills’ grueling first-half schedule — including five of their first seven games on the road — proves too much for him, turning to rookie Josh Allen could be Buffalo’s only hope at the postseason. Read more.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill returns from a major injury. If he is to lead the Dolphins back after a 6-10 season, he’ll have to adjust to life without wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Read more.

Who replaces Nate Solder as Brady’s blindside protector? The Patriots selected Isaiah Wynn in the first round because they believe he’s capable, but they also traded for Trent Brown to give themselves more options. Read more.

The Jets think they have their quarterback of the future. Now they need first-round pick Sam Darnold to meet the expectations if they’re going to end a seven-year playoff drought. Read more.


The pressure is on for Joe Flacco. He needs to get the Ravens back into the playoffs and hold off first-round pick Lamar Jackson. Read more.

The Bengals needed

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