There are 16 teams in the NFC and one of them has to improve the most next season. Will it be the one that just swapped out Jared Goff for Matthew Stafford, or are there bigger “risers” in the conference?
I know it is only the middle of February — “right answers” are not expected — but it’s never too early or too late to check a pulse.
Last year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers improved the most, winning four more games in the regular season than they did in 2019. Then winning four more in the postseason. They did so in large thanks to an upgrade at the quarterback position.
Unlikely To Improve A Lot
Green Bay Packers (13-3) - Not much room to improve
New Orleans Saints (12-4) - Not much room to improve, likely getting worse
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) - Not much room to improve on a Super Bowl
Seattle Seahawks (12-4) - Not much room to improve, ranked 32nd in draft capital
Philadelphia Eagles (4-11-1) - A lot of room to improve, but no cap space and little talent
Detroit Lions (5-11) - Obvious attempt at a rebuild that includes a bad 2021 season
Could Improve, But I Doubt It
Carolina Panthers (5-11) - They want to trade for Deshaun Watson, but they have more than just a quarterback problem
Atlanta Falcons (4-12) - Bad team, little cap space
New York Giants (6-10) - Bad team, upgrade at quarterback unlikely
Could Improve, If Quarterback Choice Is Right
San Francisco 49ers (6-10) - Exceptional roster, but Kyle Shanahan has posted three losing seasons in four years
Minnesota Vikings (7-9) - What’s going to be different about the seventh year of Kirk Cousins as an NFL starter than the previous six that finally results in a deep playoff run?
Chicago Bears (8-8) - They have not done a good job — ever — of finding a franchise quarterback, but if they do it this one time then maybe
Washington Football Team (7-9) - Secure a real quarterback and Washington could be the first team since 2004 to win the NFC East in two consecutive years
Dallas Cowboys (6-10) - A lot of room to improve and that could come by way of just one long-term contract for Dak Prescott
The Other Two NFC West Teams
Arizona Cardinals (8-8) - May come down to how big Kyler Murray’s strides forward are between 2020 and 2021, but DeAndre Hopkins is making pleas for J.J. Watt to come to Arizona because he knows that the defense is in dire need of valuable additions
LA Rams (10-6) - They might only improve by one or two wins on their record but the Rams may have gone from maxing out as a divisional round team to being true Super Bowl contenders in the NFC if the Stafford decision was correct
Which NFC team currently stands to improve the most in 2021?
This poll is closed