NFL teams that could go from first to worst in 2024

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With a few bad breaks, any NFL team can fall apart. So how likely are last year’s division winners to bottom out in 2024? Let’s find out. 

AFC East | Buffalo Bills 

Last-place probability: High

After five straight division titles, it’s hard to imagine the Bills in last place. However, Buffalo and Miami finished with identical 11-6 records last year. Buffalo won the division with a +140 point differential to the Dolphins +105.

The Jets could be a problem with a healthy Aaron Rodgers and the last-place Patriots should be better with new head coach in Jarod Mayo and rookie quarterback Drake Maye. Quarterback Josh Allen hasn’t missed a game in five years but if he does, all bets could be off.

AFC North | Baltimore Ravens 

Last-place probability: Medium

The Ravens have essentially been a one man show since two-time NFL MVP Lamar Jackson showed up in 2018. He’s been the team’s leading rusher for five straight seasons but will gladly lose carries to former Titan Derrick Henry, the NFL’s second leading rusher in 2023.

But Henry turns 31 next season and after 2,030 career carries, it’s fair to be skeptical. He and Jackson are phenomenal athletes and they’ll have to be with wide receivers like Nelson Agholor and Rashaad Bateman getting meaningful snaps behind second-year wideout Zay Flowers.

AFC South | Houston Texans 

Last-place probability: Low

Thanks to a rookie of the year performance from quarterback C.J. Stroud, Houston went from worst to first in 2023.  With 4,108 yards, Stroud finished the year as the league’s eight leading passer.

In a division with young quarterbacks like Trevor Lawrence, Will Levis and Anthony Richardson, Stroud looks to have an advantage with wide receivers like Nico Collins, Tank Dell and former Bill Stefon Diggs. New running back Joe Mixon will also help.

AFC West | Kansas City Chiefs 

Last place probability: Impossible

Head coach Andy Reid hasn’t fielded a last-place team since going 4-12 with the Eagles in 2012. The Chiefs were the only AFC West team with a winning record last year and have too much talent to finish last.

NFC East | Dallas Cowboys

Last-place probability: High

After a dreadful off-season, the Cowboys enter 2024 with a lame duck head coach and three of their best players looking for contracts. While quarterback Dak Prescott and linebacker Micah Parsons both attended minicamp, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb did not.

That’s a lot of drama for a team already under the microscope. If the team gets off to a slow start, a soon-to-be 29-year-old running back like Ezekiel Elliott won’t fix anything.

NFC North | Detroit Lions 

Last-place probability: Low

As long as Jared Goff can outplay young quarterbacks like Jordan Love, J.J. McCarthy and Caleb Williams, the Lions are a lock. Rookie cornerbacks Terrion Arnold and Enis Rakestraw Jr. should improve the team’s 27th-ranked secondary and keep them atop the NFC North.

NFC South | Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Last-place probability: High

Offensive coordinator Dave Canales resurrected Baker Mayfield’s career in 2023. Now head coach of the Panthers, he’ll try to help quarterback Bryce Young recover from a disastrous rookie season. If he’s successful, these teams could easily swap spots in the standings.

NFC West | San Francisco 49ers 

Last-place probability: Low

Believe it or not, head coach Kyle Shanahan has two last-place finishes in seven years with the team, not including a 4-12 season in 2018. But with the second-best odds (+600) to win Super Bowl LIX and running back Christian McCaffrey signed to a two-year, $38M extension, San Francisco will be fine.

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