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Ravens are one of 2016’s Top Value Bets

The Baltimore Ravens are coming off their worst season since 2006 and their first losing season since John Harbaugh took over as head coach. This is an aging club that broke down due to injuries in 2015 as quarterback Joe Flacco missed six games and defensive leader Terrell Suggs tore his Achilles in the season opener and missed the rest of the season. Despite the majority of their core players being on the wrong side of 30, they’re a proven winner under Harbaugh when healthy and could be a sleeper team entering the 2016 season.

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Fast Start Essential to Seahawks' Success in 2016

Since winning the Super Bowl two seasons ago the Seattle Seahawks have been on a slow downhill trajectory that’s seen them get a little bit worse each season. Anchored by head coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson, they’re still firmly in the mix as a Super Bowl contender, and might have a few legit excuses for not reaching their potential last season.

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Chip's Got His Work Cut Out For Him in San Francisco

NaVorro Bowman San Francisco 49ers NFL

Joe Montana. Steve Young. Jerry Rice. Ronnie Lott. These, and many others from that bygone era, were the San Francisco 49ers legends that I watched each week when I was a kid and the names I called out when I was playing football in the yard. These are the 49ers that I know.

The current edition of this team is a far cry from what I got used to watching in the 1980s and 1990s. Gone are the days of being a perennial Super Bowl favorite as the team now features the second-lowest regular season win total on the board (5.5) entering the new campaign.

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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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