More often than not, at least one team goes from being at the bottom of their division to rising to the top in just one season. This year, there are three candidates that I think have a chance to do so.
1- Arizona Cardinals
Arizona is one of the most improved teams this offseason. They have added Deandre Hopkins, Jordan Phillips, De’Vondre Campbell, Isaiah Simmons, and Josh Jones. In my opinion, the Cardinals were already a dark horse to make the playoffs before the offseason, and this haul simply proves my previous statement.
Despite the great roster, this division is the best one in the league so I am worried about 11 wins not even being enough to take the NFC West. Luckily, the rest of this division has gotten worse, so worst to first is a possibility for Arizona.
2- Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers had one of the most impressive free agency classes that I’ve seen. They had a ton of promising pieces already (more than any other last place team) and added Bryan Bulaga and Chris Harris while retaining Austin Ekeler for cheap.
Despite completely flunking the draft (according to their needs and my board), LA is still ready to compete this season. Tyrod is a serviceable quarterback, and if Drew Lock fails to improve and Kansas City has a super bowl slump, the Chargers could take this division and run with it.
3- Miami Dolphins
Miami has improved so much this offseason. I don’t even like the vast majority of the values that they got, being either salary or draft capital. However I cannot deny that Miami is way better, even if they regret this offseason down the line.
In addition, this team has some young and promising pieces. With the current state of the AFC East, a Buffalo screw-up could allow this division to be wide open, and nine wins could clinch the division for the Fins (although I would be surprised to see Miami be that good).
Photo credit: Miami Herald