Ranking every last-place team's chances to make the postseason
The Washington Redskins finished with a record of just 9-7 in 2015, but that was enough to win their division in a down year for the NFC East. They were the only team to go from worst to first a season ago, and with that in mind, let's take a look at which teams have a chance to do the same in 2016, from worst to best.
San Francisco 49ers
Coach Chip Kelly was the big offseason addition in San Francisco, but with Blaine Gabbert opening the season as the team's starting QB, he isn't getting a whole lot to work with. Add in the fact that the Niners play in the same division as the Cardinals and the Seahawks -- two of the three teams (along with the Packers) that are favored to win the NFC -- and even a handful of wins for this team seems like a long shot.
Robert Griffin III may give the Browns some experience at the quarterback position, but this is a very young team in a rebuilding situation. And with the Bengals and Steelers both expected to be formidable once again, Cleveland overcoming the odds in 2016 would be perhaps the biggest surprise of the season.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers finished 4-12 in 2015 while Philip Rivers threw for almost 4,800 yards. San Diego gave Rivers another weapon by picking up receiver Travis Benjamin in free agency, but the team didn't really improve much anywhere else. A loaded AFC West won't make things any easier, and in all likelihood, the Chargers will be in for another rough season.
Getty ImagesThearon W. Henderson
The Bears have a lot of issues, but perhaps the biggest is that they play in the same division as the Packers and the Vikings. Surpassing last season's win total of six will be enough of a challenge for this Chicago team; winning the NFC North simply doesn't seem possible.
Getty ImagesJonathan Daniel
Tennessee was just 3-13 last season, but the Texans won the division with a record of just 9-7. We don't know whether Brock Osweiler will be the answer in Houston, and Andrew Luck was just 2-5 in his seven starts before being lost for the season due to injury. The Titans may not be quite ready to make the leap in 2016, but questions surrounding the rest of the teams in the AFC South will give them a better-than-expected shot.
Miami wasn't terrible at 6-10 in 2015, and the offense has looked great in the preseason with the addition of Arian Foster. If you believe the Dolphins can improve defensively, and if you believe that New England won't win the division for an eighth straight season, then perhaps Miami can make a surprise rise to the top.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsSteve Mitchell
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay actually played .500 football last season before dropping four straight to end the year, so it might not be your typical last-place team. Jameis Winston played well, and the Bucs added talent on the defensive side of the ball to try to improve last year's unit, which gave up a ridiculous 26.1 points per game. It'll be tough for Tampa Bay to catch the Panthers at the top of the NFC South, but a second-place finish in the division isn't out of the question.
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Dallas finished 4-12 last season thanks to Tony Romo missing all but four games due to injury, and though he's out with a back injury to start the 2016 campaign, the additions of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott behind one of the league's best offensive lines will give the Cowboys a shot.