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NFL teams East Tennesseans can cheer for in 2020

The NFL season starts on Thursday. Claim your team now.

After months of speculation, the 2020 NFL season is happening and starts on Thursday. What team are you pulling for to win it all? 

If you are loyal to the state, the Tennessee Titans are definitely your team. They finished the 2019 season with an AFC championship game appearance, after beating the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots in the playoffs. 

Both running back Derrick Henry and quarterback Ryan Tannehill received contract extensions in the off season and make up the core of the Titans' offense. Some experts believe Tennessee has a good chance of winning their division this season. 

RELATED: Nashville Mayor: No fans allowed at Tennessee Titans home games through September's end

However, some folks just do not feel connected to the Titans because they play in Nashville because it's nearly 200 miles away from the heart of Knoxville. 

For die-hard Vols fans, there are a few teams you can root for. There are 21 VFLs on the opening day rosters of NFL teams. You can follow your favorite VFL

Defensive end Derek Barnett is a Super Bowl Champion and one of the main pass rushers for the Philadelphia Eagles. Tight end Jason Witten is still playing professional football at 38 years old. He joined the Las Vegas Raiders this spring.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints have the most VFLs on their active rosters with three. Dustin Colquitt, Josh Dobbs and Dan McCullers are on the Steelers. Alvin Kamara, Marquez Callaway and Shy Tuttle are on the Saints.

RELATED: VFL Josh Dobbs returns to the Steelers

Still have love for your high school football team? There are some East Tennessee high school graduates in the NFL. Oak Ridge grad Tee Higgins is a rookie wide receiver with the Cincinnati Bengals. Powell grad Lee Smith is a veteran tight end on the Buffalo Bills roster. Five-time Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith is a proud Knox Catholic grad on the Minnesota Vikings.

The season kicks off on Thursday with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans.

RELATED: NFL won't test for COVID-19 on game days, but will every other day