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Bucs a Year or Two Away From Competing

The Buccaneers roster over the years has been graced by defensive legends like Warren Sapp, John Lynch and Ronde Barber. The 2015 Bucs, however, were not burdened by such talent. Tampa gave up the seventh-most points in the league last year and did little in the offseason to improve a defense that was ultimately what crippled the Bucs in Jameis Winston’s rookie season.

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Expect Progression in Miami, but not much

2016 marks a fresh start for the Miami Dolphins — something they’ve seemed to have lots of in recent years — but they may have finally landed the right man to run the team in new head coach Adam Gase. The former Broncos and Bears offensive coordinator has been praised as an offensive wizard and is the youngest head coach in the NFL at 38 years old.

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Revamped Defense Might Keep Giants in Contention in 2016

Odell Beckham Jr. New York Giants NFL

The NFC East could very well be one of the more wide open divisions in football in 2016. The Washington Redskins won the division last season with a record of 9-7 while the New York Giants finished third with a record of 6-10.

The Giants featured an above-average offense and a less-than-stellar defense in 2015 but they addressed the defensive side of the ball via some good moves in the free agent market.

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Bears are in Line for a Bounce-Back Season

The Chicago Bears have been down and out for quite a few years now, but things are finally looking up in the Windy City. Chicago improved its roster on both sides of the ball in the offseason, and the Bears will very likely be an improved bunch in 2016.

Longtime running back Matt Forte is gone, but Jeremy Langford should fill the void nicely. Kevin White, who was drafted in the first round in 2015, missed the entire campaign with a leg injury. White is healthy now and could easily become one of the top young wideouts in the league in the next few years.

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The Future is Hazy in Philly

After two straight 10-6 seasons, the Philadelphia Eagles regressed to 7-9 in an ugly 2015 campaign. For Eagles fans and backers, the year couldn’t end quickly enough.

Philly made some big moves in the offseason, sending embattled head coach Chip Kelly out the door while bringing in Doug Pederson from Kansas City. They went all-in at the NFL Draft, trading up to take quarterback of the future Carson Wentz at No. 2.

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Brees is Back For Another Year of Burning Secondaries

The boys on the Bayou finished 2015 with a 7-9 record despite having one of the worst defenses in the history of the NFL. The Saints improved their front seven through the draft and rid themselves of the dead weight of Brandon Browner but are still far from defensive juggernauts. New Orleans gave up the most yards per rush attempt in the league last season and gave up the most touchdowns in the history of the league.

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Don't Expect Glitz and Glamour From Rams

A new era of football is dawning for the Rams, as they packed up their bags and moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles this offseason. Though the team features two of the best players in the NFL – Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald – expectations should be set fairly low for what looks like another mediocre season for the Rams.

The Rams are opting to bring No.1 overall pick Jared Goff along slowly, so expect to see a healthy dose of Case Keenum handing the ball off to Gurley this season. But the temptation to start Goff will likely win out sooner rather than later.

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Don't Look Now, but the Silver and Black are Back

Khalil Mack Oakland Raiders NFL

If you listen closely, you can hear the motto “Just Win, Baby” echo throughout Oakland as if the words were just muttered by legendary Raiders figure Al Davis. They weren’t, of course, but that famous slogan once again has meaning as there is excitement surrounding this franchise.

The best part is that it’s deserved.

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Falcons Backers Hope for More Consistency

Julio Jones Atlanta Falcons NFL

Remember last season when the Atlanta Falcons looked like one of the most dangerous teams in football? Matt Ryan and Co. came flying out of the gate, posting a 5-0 straight up record through five weeks and averaged a whopping 32.4 points per game.

Bettors flocked to fill their betting slips with the Dirty Birds as they stormed out to cover the number in their first four games. That was short lived, however, as they proceeded to post a record of 0-9 ATS and 2-7 SU in their following nine games. How they mighty do fall.

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Megatron is Gone but Lions Won't Roll Over in 2016

Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions NFL

While the great wide receiver Calvin Johnson hung up his pads and retired at the age of 30, it might not be as disastrous in Detroit as one might think.

I mean, this team isn’t going to win the Super Bowl or anything, but while they began the 2015 season with a 1-7 SU (and ATS) record, they finished it going 6-2 SU (and ATS). One of the keys to that transformation in the second half was the appointment of Jim Bob Cooter to offensive coordinator. The offense thrived under Cooter’s guidance and a full season is full of promise and excitement.

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