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Which NFL divisions would be most entertaining on 'Hard Knocks: In Season' in 2024?

There's going to be a new spin to this year's edition of HBO's Hard Knocks: In Season. Instead of featuring just one team, the program will showcase an entire division.

That should mean more star players, more personalities and more storylines, though it will also likely mean less airtime for each individual team.

We don't yet know which division will get the star treatment. But we can begin to get excited about who would bring the greatest entertainment value. Presuming all teams could be featured, here are my top five divisions for the upcoming installment of Hard Knocks: In Season.

1) NFC North

There is reason to be intrigued by every team in the NFC North -- and, depending on how things break, any team has the potential to win this division. Based on how Jordan Love and the Packers finished last season, the quarterback and head coach Matt LaFleur seem fully in sync. The Vikings said goodbye to Kirk Cousins, but Justin Jefferson is still one of the best WRs in the game, and he could be working with a promising rookie QB. Plus, there's the extra spice provided by Aaron Jones' signing in Minnesota after being released by Green Bay. If it aligns with the Hard Knocks schedule, it would be great to see at least one Packers-Vikings revenge game featured. The reigning NFC North champion Lions are no strangers to the spotlight. They were a roaring success when they were featured on the training camp edition of HBO's Hard Knocks back in 2022. I wouldn't mind getting a peek at more emotion-filled Dan Campbell speeches. As for the Bears, they have the No. 1 overall pick, putting them in position to select highly touted QB Caleb Williams out of USC. The moves made by general manager Ryan Poles certainly read like he's preparing for Williams' arrival. Upgrades to the O-line and the additions of veterans Keenan Allen and D'Andre Swift (along with another possible blue-chip prospect taken with the team's second first-round pick!) should take some pressure off the rookie, and Chicago's offense could look electric right out of the gate.

2) AFC South

The Texans might be the most exciting team in the NFL right now. Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud took the league by storm and was must-watch TV every week in 2023. It would be fascinating to get an up-close look at how he prepares himself to push the Texans to the next level on a game-by-game basis -- and how he jells with new receiver Stefon Diggs. On the other side of the ball, veteran pass rusher Danielle Hunter joins 2023 Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr. The Texans could legitimately be the team to beat in the AFC. The Titans lost longtime franchise pillar Derrick Henry, but that might be the only major departure of the offseason for the team. They replaced Henry with Tony Pollard and will be hoping Will Levis can make progress after showing flashes last year; Tennessee surely wouldn't mind a few more four-TD performances. Ex-Jaguar Calvin Ridley and DeAndre Hopkins could be the 1-2 punch everyone should be talking about more. Anthony Richardson's rookie season was abbreviated by injury, but for the month that we saw him, the energy he brought to the Colts was special. His bold play style would be perfect for the Hard Knocks cameras. The Jaguars, meanwhile, have plenty on the line after frittering away an 8-3 start last season. Will new faces Gabe Davis and Mitch Morse help Trevor Lawrence show he has what it takes to be a franchise QB in Year 4?

3) AFC West

The Chiefs received plenty of coverage last year en route to winning the Super Bowl, especially with Taylor Swift in the mix. But I'd still welcome an in-season look at how they plan to defend their title -- it's interesting enough that they're worthy of being the first reigning champs to be featured on any version of Hard Knocks. Antonio Pierce was named the Raiders' full-time head coach this offseason after serving in an interim role last year. I'm confident that seeing how he builds relationships with his players would make for good television. Also, watching how Christian Wilkins' personality meshes with Maxx Crosby and the rest of the defense could be very fun. In their post-Russell Wilson era, the Broncos will be trying to figure things out. They might also be selecting a quarterback in the first round in this year's draft. How might Sean Payton handle his first attempt to handpick a franchise QB since he started coaching Drew Brees in 2006? The Chargers are in rebuild mode, but Jim Harbaugh is now head coach, fresh off winning a national championship with Michigan. If L.A. picks a pass-catcher in the first round, the connection between Justin Herbert and his new target could be strong enough that even the famously camera-averse Herbert wouldn't mind showing off for the viewing audience. Also, the Chargers play the Ravens this season. If the game lands during the Hard Knocks run, we could be in store for a boisterous brotherly clash between Jim and John Harbaugh.

4) NFC East

It wouldn't be an NFL offseason without Eagles GM Howie Roseman making several headline-generating moves. Philly signed Saquon Barkley, C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Devin White in free agency, signaling a readiness to move on from the disastrous end to 2023 and mount another Super Bowl run. The Cowboys are always going to have an audience, no matter how underwhelming their most recent playoff push was. It looks as if Dak Prescott is going to play out the final year of his current contract. Will this be Dallas' last chance to win with Dak at the helm? The Giants made a splash trade with the Panthers for Brian Burns during free agency, and suddenly their defensive line group looks like they could wreak havoc every week. They also hold the No. 6 overall draft pick and could be introducing a new starting QB. Perhaps the most intriguing head-coach hiring was Dan Quinn heading to the Commanders after spending the last three seasons as the Cowboys' defensive coordinator. How will he break in his own new quarterback, presuming Washington selects one second overall?

5) NFC South

When you sign the kind of player who can claim the top spot in Gregg Rosenthal's Top 101 free-agent ranking, you're going to draw some attention. Kirk Cousins has found himself a new home in Atlanta and could help a struggling offense turn Bijan Robinson, Drake London and Kyle Pitts into star players. New Panthers head coach Dave Canales is aiming to help Bryce Young turn his career around after doing the same with Baker Mayfield as Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator last year. Mayfield got a massive contract, and Mike Evans inked a new deal that could set him up to stay with the team for the rest of his career. Can Mayfield and Evans keep up the rapport they developed in 2023? The Saints have retained most of their team while adding Chase Young in free agency and are also eligible to appear on the training camp edition of Hard Knocks this year. If they aren't selected as the preseason team this time around, it would be great for New Orleans to be featured during the regular season instead.

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