There are four 5-11 teams that could become next year's Panthers:
Jaguars. If John Fox can do it in his second season as head coach, so can his former defensive coordinator, Jack Del Rio. Jacksonville proved to be competitive with the Colts, and the Titans have salary-cap troubles. Del Rio already has a strong run defense in place, and the offense has explosive potential with Byron Leftwich and Fred Taylor. A little help in the secondary and at receiver would go a long way.
Redskins. What Bill Parcells did for the Cowboys, Joe Gibbs can do for their archrivals — speed up the learning curve with winning experience. There is some great talent in Washington, including Laveranues Coles and LaVar Arrington. Gibbs will get much more out of an underachieving offensive line to establish a ball-control, run-heavy scheme. The draft should bring answers for the team's biggest weakness, the defensive line.
Lions. Steve Mariucci did the best job he could in 2003, considering the team put 13 players on injured reserve. In 2004, a young defense will be healthier and continue to improve under new coordinator Dick Jauron. The offense again should get an early-draft boost, and Joey Harrington and Charles Rogers should develop into stars. The key to a quick turnaround, however, is finding a way to win on the road, where the Lions have lost a record 24 straight.
Texans. Dom Capers helped Carolina drop its "expansion" tag quickly and has done the same for Houston. Just as Domanick Davis and Andre Johnson were the right rookies to put around David Carr on offense, expect Capers and G.M. Charley Casserly to find the ideal young personnel for their 3-4 defense this off-season. If the Colts or Titans falter in the AFC South, watch out.
All those teams could be good.....except the Texans. I really don't see them overcoming either the Colts or Titans, and if you can't win in your division, you're done.
im going crazy, but i think the giants can make the playoffs next year
Don't really like NYG chances, they should have been great this year and blew it. Don't see how they can be any better with Fassel gone.....
I think SD has alot of potential, but they also have alot of tough divisional opponents. I think they turn it around next year, but still miss the playoffs.
I love Cincy's chances next year. I think they're a shoe in for the playoffs, might be as a wild card though.