With the start of every NFL season comes a sense of optimism from all 32 teams in the NFL. Still, we can’t help but notice that there are some franchises coming off of terrible seasons. How will they stack up against the rest of the league? The following is, in my not-quite-humble opinion, the best case scenario for some of the worst teams in the NFL.
Kansas City Chiefs, Best Case Scenario: 11-5
The Chiefs picked first overall in April’s draft, but this year’s team will be nothing like last year’s team. It all starts and ends with head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith. Both are new faces to the franchise, and they both carry success and confidence to a team that’s sorely lacked both traits in recent years. In addition to new leadership, the Chiefs play a very manageable schedule. An 11-5 record may be a long shot, but the playoffs are a distinct possibility.
Jacksonville Jaguars, Best Case Scenario: 9-7
No, I don’t think the Jaguars will post a winning record in 2013, but unlike a couple of teams on this list, there’s potential to do so in Jacksonville. The Jaguars will be getting back Maurice Jones-Drew, there best player, as well as putting vastly better offensive line on the field this season than they did last season. If Gus Bradley can get the defense to an average level, Blaine Gabbert and/or Chad Henne may be able to run a functional offense with the weapons they have.
Oakland Raiders, Best Case Scenario: 6-10
It’s ugly in Oakland, and there’s just no way around it. The Raiders have a very limited pool of talent, and it’s unfair to believe that they can turn it around considering a lackluster offseason. They’ll be replacing a largely ineffective Carson Palmer with an unproven Matt Flynn. That’s probably not a recipe for success. Don’t be surprised to see the Raiders blow it up at the end of the season — again.
Cleveland Browns, Best Case Scenario: 5-11
I’m giving the Browns a chance at pulling down a 5-11 record, even though my gut tells me they may be picking first overall in next year’s draft. The Browns are betting that their not-so-young second year quarterback improves a great deal, but he has few weapons to help him on offense. In addition, the Browns are outclassed by the rest of the teams in their division by miles in the talent department. Browns fans are in for another long season.
Arizona Cardinals, Best Case Scenario: 9-7
There are certainly better teams in the NFL than the Cardinals, but there are worse teams as well. The Cardinals will be relying on new leadership much like the Chiefs. Quarterback Carson Palmer will have a better set of receivers than he did in Oakland, and Bruce Arians led the most overachieving team in the league a season ago, the Colts, to an improbable playoff birth. The Cardinals would need an extraordinary effort to make a playoff push, but don’t be stunned if they spoil someone’s season late in the year.
Why weren’t the [insert team name here] mentioned?
Frankly, some teams that finished near the bottom of the standings a year ago had no business being in an article about the worst teams in the league. The Eagles? Yeah, they have some talent. The Lions? They have huge potential on offense. I picked the teams I felt were and are the worst in the league, with the exception of the Chiefs. They made the list simply because they picked number one overall. I had to give them a best case scenario, right?
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Sad football news from Western NY:
I know it is your opinion but your opinion on the Browns is awful. The best case is 5-11?!?!
You based it all off of what Weeden did last year but you took in zero consideration for the adjustments the organization/team has made. With Chud and Turner as offensive coaches, Weeden's play would greatly improve. Pat Shurmur and his vanilla WCO is now gone from Cleveland. Weeden now has the chance to play with Chud and Turner, who are both offensive minded coaches, where Weeden's talents fit in extremely well. Chud and Norv have a down the field attacking offense. Something similar Weeden played in at OkSt.
Also last season the Browns had a rookie Richardson who played with broken ribs. TRich has had an offseason where he didnt have any kind of major surgery and has come in 5lbs lighter than last year and looks even better.
Browns had one of the better OLines in their division last year. It should be even better and might be the best in the division now.
Browns might have the deepest front 7 in the division now. Steelers and Ravens have lost their great depth and the Bengals are right there with the Browns.
If the Browns end up with the #1 pick its not because of Weeden, it means another position imploded from poor play or injuries.
You should do your research on a team before you make erroneous statements!
@buno67 even though the Browns are awful, I still think they are better than Tampa Bay, Oakland and Jacksonville. I don't know why Tampa Bay wasn't even mentioned on this list. The coaching staff for the Bucs have little confidence in Josh Freeman, their quarterback. They even lost to the Jets of all teams to open the season.
@buno67 You are putting a lot of confidence in Chud and Turner and much blame on Shurmur's vanilla WCO. Perhaps Shurmur's offense was vanilla because that was what the talent on offense could do. Just sayin'.
In 50 years of watching football, I have noticed that it takes a season for a new scheme to jell. Turner's downfield offense is more likely to blossom next season than this, but only if Brandon Weeden does a credible imitation of Philip Rivers. Again, just sayin'.
Perhaps the Browns will finish with a 7 or 8-win season. Lord knows fans deserve it, but they are still destined to division fourth place and more because of the offense than any other part of the team.