The 2021 NFL season is quickly approaching and fans have already started looking ahead to potential division winners. While a lot of teams, such as the Kansas City Chiefs, are essentially locked to finish ahead of their divisional rivals every year, other divisions are open for a shakeup in the 2021 campaign.
Here's a look at the three most likely NFL teams to go from worst to first in their division in the 2021 season.
Most Likely NFL Teams to Go From Worst to First
3. The Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars were the worst team in the league last year, finishing 2020 with a 1-15 record. However, they've made some serious changes over the offseason that could have them challenging for the AFC South title. Whether it was bringing in college football legend Urban Meyer as their new head coach, Trevor Lawrence as the quarterback of the future, or the other offseason moves, Jacksonville will be a better team in 2021 compared to last year. The AFC South is also in a vulnerable situation. The Houston Texans are projected to be bad (especially with Deshaun Watson's future up in the air) and the Indianapolis Colts could be missing some of their top players to begin the campaign. With the Tennessee Titans being the only team standing in their way, it wouldn't be unfathomable if the Jaguars won the AFC South this year.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
Describing the NFC East's situation last year as a disaster would be nothing short of an understatement. It was the NFL's worst division as each team finished with a sub-.500 record. At the bottom of the divisional standings were the Philadelphia Eagles, who ended the campaign at 4-11-1. Even though the Dallas Cowboys are projected to win the division, don't count the Eagles out yet. The New York Giants didn't make too many improvements and the Washington Football Team's offense is already dealing with injury issues to important pieces. We also haven't seen what the Cowboys can do with their healthy roster yet, so their future is up in the air. Meanwhile, the Eagles added 10th overall pick DeVonta Smith to help boost their offense, and their defense last season was far from the worst in the league (26.1 points per game, 20th). As long as Philadelphia's offense stays healthy and their defense remains solid, they could challenge for the NFC East crown this year.
1. San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers had a 6-10 record in a 2020 NFL season that was marred by injuries to key players. As a result, some people seemed to have forgotten just how good the 49ers can be. After all, it was only two years ago that they were duking it out with the Chiefs at Super Bowl 54 — which is also the same year that they won their division with a 13-3 record. A lot of the talent from that run is still on the team and the pieces that San Francisco has added over the offseason has set the team up to challenge for the NFC West title. The 21.9 points per game that the 49ers have given up since the start of the 2019 NFL season are the 10th fewest during that span, which goes to show how they're consistently one of the league's best defensive units. With that same defense as well as rookie QB Trey Lance potentially being an upgrade over Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers could be destined for divisional success in 2021.
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