3 NFL teams least likely to go from worst to first in their division in 2024

You hate to break it to these fan bases...
NFL / Johnnie Izquierdo/GettyImages

Just about every year in the NFL, at least one team goes from worst to first in their division. It isn't going to happen for everyone, though, and some teams feel even less likely than others.

Now that we've had some time to digest the 2024 offseason and every move made, which NFL teams feel like they are the least likely to go from worst to first? Last year's last-place teams included:

AFC West: Los Angeles Chargers
NFC West: Arizona Cardinals
AFC East: New England Patriots
NFC East: Washington Commanders
AFC North: Cincinnati Bengals
NFC North: Chicago Bears
AFC South: Tennessee Titans
NFC South: Carolina Panthers

Which three of those teams are doomed to repeat their lack of success in 2024?

1. Carolina Panthers

There are simply too many variables at play here with the Carolina Panthers to really expect them to make a dramatic turnaround. Even though the Panthers play in the NFL's most wide-open division currently (the NFC South hasn't had a 10-win team since 2021), this is still a team and roster with way too many question marks.

Is Bryce Young going to be able to rebound in 2024? Even if Young rebounds, how do the Panthers respond to a brand-new head coach in Dave Canales?

Given how bad things were for this team last year, it's hard to see them getting past the other teams in their division.

2. Tennessee Titans

The Titans won six games last season and fired Mike Vrabel, the former NFL coach of the year. It's a tough business sometimes. There was obviously a lot of tension for the Titans last season and they made some massive changes as a result. And to be fair, I actually really like the moves they made in the 2024 offseason.

Part of the problem here is that the Titans are in a division with three other really good coaches (Doug Pederson, DeMeco Ryans, and Shane Steichen) and all of those other teams also got better this offseason. Notably, the last two AFC South Champions (Texans, Jaguars) got substantially better on both sides of the ball.

The Titans are holding out hope that Will Levis can be something at the quarterback position, but they've got an unknown situation at QB and a rookie head coach. That could play into their favor, but I don't think the Titans are winning the AFC South this year.

3. New England Patriots

The New England Patriots have a really good defense on paper, but this team is in transition offensively. To put it lightly.

Jacoby Brissett could start all or most of the 2024 season for the Pats, and although he's a solid veteran at the position, that's not going to be enough to get past the likes of the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, or even the New York Jets.

Part of the issue for the Patriots here is that they are clearly a tier or two below every other team in their division. Another aspect is that if Drake Maye plays, he's going to need time to learn and grow and those growing pains should be expected to be difficult. The Patriots seem to understand that they are in rebuilding mode, and while that defense will keep them competitive, I don't see any way they are getting to the top of the AFC East this year.