The toughest part about predicting NFL trade deadline deals is gauging where every team stands through the first half of the season. Unlike in baseball, for example, where you’ve seen each team play dozens of times, NFL squads have played only seven or eight games before the deadline hits. Identifying “buyers” and “sellers” takes a bit more exploring than it does in other sports because a half-season win-loss record doesn’t always paint the full picture.
If a team dealt with some injuries or had a really tough opening schedule, their record may not truly be indicative of their prospects in the given season. A perfect example of such a conundrum is the 2020 Houston Texans, especially considering the 2019 Texans started 0-3 before eventually winning a playoff game. Houston kicked off the season with this gauntlet of a schedule: at Kansas City Chiefs, vs. Baltimore Ravens, at Pittsburgh Steelers and vs. Minnesota Vikings.
All but the Vikings are clear Super Bowl contenders, and Houston promptly went 0-4 to start the year. A big win over the division rival Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5 got them back on course, but a near win against another division rival in the Tennessee Titans this past weekend could have complicated matters greatly.