The NFL offseason has mixed up a ton of the NFL as quarterbacks and skill positions players have bounced around the country. Some teams have addressed their issues while others seem content with a year of losing and could finish in last place again.
This year’s AFC has probably 15/16 teams with sort of legitimate arguments at believing they can make the playoffs (sorry, Texans fans). But only 7 will make the postseason and 4 must finish in last place in their respective division.
Here’s who’s going to finish in last place in each NFL division this upcoming season.
AFC East: New York Jets
This prediction is more the result of the other teams in the AFC East being too good than the Jets being really bad. I actually believe that the Jets will be a much better team next year but could still finish in last place.
Zach Wilson will take a jump with his offensive line theoretically healthy, and the defense has the chance to be a top-half NFL unit if they remain healthy as well. They also have two top first-round picks who could make a huge difference on either side of the ball.
They still have one gaping hole though, which is at receiver. I’m not sure even if they draft someone that the duo of any rookie and Corey Davis will be enough to make Zach Wilson look like a star.
The Bills are a Super Bowl contending team, and the Dolphins spent a lot of money in free agency upgrading their roster. The Patriots simply won’t finish last because they’re the Patriots, so the Jets may be in for a rougher season than maybe they deserve.
AFC South: Houston Texans
Last season was not nearly as catastrophic as it probably should have been for Houston. That roster was built to win zero games, yet they failed to tank correctly and won a few.
This roster though is maybe worse than last year’s. They have plenty of picks for the future, but nothing that’s going to make them competitive this upcoming year.
Their secondary is going to be atrocious and fail to stop anybody while the Davis Mills to Brandin Cooks connection may be one of the worst QB-WR1 duos in the league.
Tennessee will remain solid as ever, the Colts as well, and Jacksonville actually used free agency to try and win games now as opposed to a few years down the road. Houston is finishing last, and it won’t be close.
AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers
This division is one of the hardest divisions to predict I’ve ever come across.
The Ravens will be back healthy with a very strong defense and Lamar Jackson. Cincinnati lost almost nobody important from last year’s AFC Championship team ad they fixed their biggest issue at O-line. And Cleveland now has Deshaun Watson and Amari Cooper to pair up with Nick Chubb and that feisty defense.
My reason for putting Pittsburgh here is they have by far the worst quarterback of the four teams, and ultimately QB is the key position in football. Though I believe in Trubisky more than most, he’s not close right now to the level of Burrow, Jackson, and Watson.
In reality, the loser of this division will be the team that suffers the most injury problems, and that could be any one of these teams. It’s a complete 25% split toss-up between the four.
AFC West: Las Vegas Raiders
This division is again one of the strongest ever. Similar to the AFC North, the team with the most injury problems will lose this division.
I’m going to go ahead and pick the Raiders to finish last because I just can’t see Mahomes in fourth, and I believe the Chargers are going to come back with a vengeance after last season’s epic collapse in the final game.
I also don’t see Denver finishing last after all their moves, despite me believing that Russell Wilson may be past his prime. Denver’s defense is just too good to finish last.
The Raiders have a solid defense and acquired Davante Adams in a league-altering trade, but because it’s their first year with a new head coach, I don’t think that they’re in a position right now to compete. The AFC is coming up at the worst possible time for Las Vegas and I could see Carr somewhere else come the end of the season.