2018 Last-Place NFL Teams That Could Make the Playoffs in 2019
The NFL is a league designed to keep things competitive, largely thanks to the salary cap and having the draft order correspond to each season's standings. Due to this, we often see quick changes in a team's record from one season to another.
Here's a look at three teams that finished last in their respective divisions that have a legitimate shot to make the 2019 postseason.
1. Detroit Lions, NFC North
In year two of the Matt Patricia era in Detroit, the Lions have made moves to improve both starting units. Offensively, the biggest key this offseason was to get healthy, but they also added depth to the skill positions by signing C.J. Anderson, Danny Amendola, Jesse James and rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson. On the defensive front, they paid a pretty penny for Trey Flowers, then lucked out by signing veteran Mike Daniels, who was looking to stay in the NFC North. The division should still be tough, but the Lions have made the moves to compete with the other three teams.
2. New York Jets, AFC East
With two key moves, the Jets went from embarrassing to a threat on offense. Those moves were naming Adam Gase as the new head coach and signing star running Le'Veon Bell. Quarterback Sam Darnold is in his second season, hoping to look more like the 2018 Week 1 Darnold than weeks 2-17. The supporting cast around him has improved greatly and the Jets even made a couple improvements to the offensive line to protect him. It would be a big ask for them to win the division, especially sharing the same neighborhood with the New England Patriots, but the Jets could be a sneaky Wild Card pick.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars, AFC South
The Jaguars went from legitimate Super Bowl contenders to last place in the division in a single season last year. Seemingly every facet of their game was worse in 2018, and it all started with the offensive line. They made improvements to that group, which should help keep running back Leonard Fournette on the field for more than half of the games. They also made a change at quarterback, paying former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles to take the snaps. If this team can play ahead in close games this season, they should be dangerous, since they still have a stout defensive unit.
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