Buffalo Bills – Like it or not, Rex Ryan is on the hot seat in Buffalo just one full season into his tenure. Missing the postseason yet again for the Bills in 2016 could have dire consequences for Sexy Rexy.
Washington Redskins – While they won the NFC East last season, don’t expect things to be so easy for QB Kirk Cousins this time around. Even without Tony Romo, Dallas could still be a problem if Dak Prescott becomes a revelation. The Giants on paper have improved and have the most upside in the entire NFC East. No breaks here for the Skins.
New Orleans Saints – While I think the Saints will be competitive mainly because of Drew Brees and Coach Sean Payton, the fact that they play in the NFC South that’s looks to become much more dangerous with Atlanta looking to bounce back and the improvement of Tampa Bay. Plus Carolina is the defending NFC Champs.
Dallas Cowboys – Without Tony Romo for at least 6 weeks, the 2016 season already looks doomed. Now whether Dak Prescott can translate his preseason success into the regular season looms large. Defensively the Cowboys are less than impressive. May have Jason Garrett sweating bullets over his job later this season.
New York Jets – Good that they got the Ryan Fitzpatrick saga solved. That said — you’re asking a lot to expect Fitzpatrick to recreate the magic he brought to the table in 2015 to the tune of a 10-6 record. The Jets are a playoff contender, yes. I just think they’ll miss it in similar fashion like last season.
Houston Texans – Whatever the Texans do in a wide open AFC pretty much lies on the shoulders of their free agent prize QB Brock Osweiler. Houston, on paper, is the most balanced team in the AFC South but Colts QB Andrew Luck is healthier this time around. No way does more than one team go to the playoffs in 2016 from that division. I think it’s Houston’s turn to miss out.
Denver Broncos – Hard to tell where the Broncos are right now. Trevor Siemian is their starting quarterback who will eventually should pass the baton to Paxton Lynch (whenever that time comes). AFC West is much more competitive now with a really good Kansas City Chiefs team and a surging Oakland Raiders club ready to take the next step. Super Bowl hangover in effect here.
Atlanta Falcons – Could Matt Ryan actually be on the verge of falling off a cliff? Can Atlanta recover after a confusing 2015 that saw them start 5-0 before stumbling to 9-7 and missing the postseason altogether? Too many question marks. Not safe to bet on a playoff berth in a uber-competitive NFC.
Baltimore Ravens – This one is hard cause I do expect Baltimore to bounce back from their injury riddled 2015 disaster. However, they do play in the always tough AFC North. Add in the upstarts in the AFC ready to take the next step and Baltimore’s ability to return to the postseason is deeply compromised.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Probably the most dangerous team in the entire league that no one is talking about. Question is whether Jameis Winston will fall into a sophomore slump. That said, the Bucs are maybe a year or two away from being a contender.