Tuck: Which Team Would Be Biggest NFL Playoff Surprise?
5. New York Jets- They actually started out last season 3-3 before finishing 3-10. They scored the 5th fewest points in the league and will have either Mark Sanchez back at quarterback or will be trotting out a rookie. Chris Ivory may be an upgrade at running back, but the rest of the offense might be worse. The defense could be better, and Rex Ryan can coach, so while they are five, they could sneak up on the rest of a weak AFC.
4. Tennessee- The Titans gave up the 6th most yards in the NFL last year, with equal parts sucking defending the pass and the run. 7 of their 10 losses were by 10 points or more. 4 of their 6 wins were by 11 total points, with the other two coming in blowout wins over Miami and Jacksonville. The offense looks interesting, but the defense is probably too dreadful to overcome.
3. Philadelphia- They won 4 games a year ago by a combined 7 points! They lost the other 12 by a combined 157. They were -24 in turnovers, tied for the worst ratio in the NFL. They changed coaches, but the roster talent arguably got worse because of injuries and free agency. The offensive line looks to be improved, but that’s about it. The NFC is stacked, and it’s tough to imagine them not being the worst team in the conference.
2. Jacksonville- The Jags went 1-7 at home, and 1-7 on the road. They were blown out in 8 of their 14 losses. They were outscored by 189 points on the season, 2nd worst in the league. They had the 3rd fewest points scored and 4th fewest yards gained on offense. They gave up the 3rd most points and the 3rd most yards. Pretty impressive to be that bad on both offense and defense. They could be a little better with a new coaching staff, a healthy MJD, and if you factor in they did lose all 3 overtime games they played last year, but making the playoffs would be more stunning than every team except…
1. Oakland- The Raiders managed to stumble into 4 wins last year somehow. Of course they beat injury-plagued Kansas City twice and even more pathetic Jacksonville once. 11 times they allowed an opponent score 34 points or more last year. They ranked near the bottom of the league in scoring offense and defense. The roster is a complete mess, filled with names you mostly wouldn’t recognize, and their 1st round pick suffered an injury that is considered 95% fatal last year in college and hasn’t been able to practice much with the team yet. But hey, Charles Woodson is back!
Tuck: Which Team Would Be Biggest NFL Playoff Surprise? by Mike Tuck