National Football League
2024 NFL predictions: An early look at division winners
National Football League

2024 NFL predictions: An early look at division winners

Updated May. 3, 2024 10:19 a.m. ET

Coaching hires are complete. Free agency moves have been made. And the 2024 NFL Draft has come to an end. 

So, which teams gave themselves the best chance to improve this season, and which ones will still have some work to do?

FOX Sports' Colin Cowherd gave his early predictions for where each team will land at the end of the 2024 regular season on Wednesday's episode of The Herd

Check out his rankings, by division, along with his thoughts on each team following a busy offseason.


AFC East

  1. Buffalo Bills
  2. Miami Dolphins
  3. New York Jets
  4. New England Patriots

Cowherd said he will refuse to pick against Josh Allen to win this division while he is in his prime, but he also thinks the Dolphins have the best overall roster. He has doubts about how 40-year-old Aaron Rodgers will hold up with the Jets and does not expect a big improvement from the Patriots as they begin their rebuild with rookie head coach Jerod Mayo and quarterback Drake Maye.

AFC North

  1. Baltimore Ravens
  2. Cincinnati Bengals
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers
  4. Cleveland Browns

Cowherd expects Baltimore to run it back as the NFL's top regular-season team after an impressive 2023, but he believes the Bengals will be a top contender with a healthy Joe Burrow. He thinks Russell Wilson will have some form of success in his first season with the Steelers, but he is "not 100-percent" bought in to the hype surrounding the Browns — despite their playoff appearance and regardless of the excellence of head coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry.

AFC South

  1. Houston Texans
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars
  3. Indianapolis Colts
  4. Tennessee Titans

Cowherd thinks the Texans have "hit it out of the park" with their personnel additions over the last two years, but he also admires the Jaguars' decision to give Trevor Lawrence a big-time offensive weapon in former LSU wideout Brian Thomas Jr. with their first-round draft pick. While Cowherd does like the Colts, he worries about second-year quarterback Anthony Richardson's playing style; and as far as Tennessee, he's not sure how things will shake out with quarterback Will Levis, but does like the hiring of new head coach Brian Callahan.

AFC West

  1. Kansas City Chiefs
  2. Los Angeles Chargers
  3. Denver Broncos
  4. Las Vegas Raiders

The dominant Chiefs defense earned high praise from Cowherd, and he believes it will combine with quarterback Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid to once again be a force on the way to a third straight Super Bowl. He is cautiously optimistic about the Chargers but points out that they lost offensive stars Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler and Mike Williams over the offseason. Cowherd is bullish about the Broncos, predicting a 9-10-win season after Denver coach Sean Peyton picked Oregon QB Bo Nix in the first round. Cowherd is not as confident in the Raiders, as they lack a top-end starting quarterback at the moment.

Rams, Falcons win NFC West and South, Jets finish third in Colin's early NFL predictions

NFC East

  1. Philadelphia Eagles
  2. Washington Commanders
  3. Dallas Cowboys
  4. New York Giants

Cowherd believes the Eagles will turn the page on their late-season collapse last year, and he is a big fan of their offensive pieces, especially quarterback Jalen Hurts. He also thinks a "pretty feisty" Jayden Daniels-led Commanders offense could provide some upsets this season. Cowherd thinks the Cowboys will be right on Washington's heels, but will be very reliant on veteran quarterback Dak Prescott, and the Giants will have a tough go once again because of their lack of talent.

NFC North

  1. Detroit Lions
  2. Green Bay Packers
  3. Chicago Bears
  4. Minnesota Vikings

Cowherd likes everything about Detroit and even predicts the Lions will reach the NFC Championship game for the second straight season. While he doesn't know who they will face, he is feeling optimistic about the Packers after watching Jordan Love's improvement last season, and he praised Green Bay as the best drafting team in the league. Cowherd thinks the Bears will have a few rough Sundays while breaking in rookie quarterback Caleb Williams, but also thinks they will be a fun offense to watch. The Vikings will be the best fourth-place team in football, according to Cowherd, and will be a victim of playing in a tough division. 

NFC South

  1. Atlanta Falcons
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  3. Carolina Panthers
  4. New Orleans Saints

Despite the Kirk Cousins-Michael Penix Jr. drama, Cowherd thinks the Falcons are a "slam dunk" team. However, he also believes the Buccaneers may put up a good fight after a great draft this year. While Cowherd feels the Panthers have finally given quarterback Bryce Young some weapons that could give them a bit of a surge, he is very unsure about the Saints and their current situation.

NFC West

  1. Los Angeles Rams
  2. San Francisco 49ers
  3. Arizona Cardinals
  4. Seattle Seahawks

Cowherd is a fan of the Rams' recent draft picks and loves their improved offensive line to support stars Matthew Stafford, Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp. On the contrary, he is concerned about the 49ers offensive line despite San Francisco's stars. Cowherd thinks the Cardinals have a chance to make it to the playoffs, while Seattle will, like the Vikings, be a talented fourth-place team. 

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