Here's our pre-Draft previews of all 32 NFL teams. The previews were written and published over the course of the month of March (and even here into April). So free-agent signings, for example, aren't current as of today, but were current as of the time the stories were published (datelines appear on each piece).
We'll return in May with an updated list of signings, losses and draft picks in our annual all-powerful Fillability Index
, the only system in the seedy underworld of online pigskin analysis that attempts to rate each team's off-season acquisitions in some sort of statistical conext. The way everybody else does it is pretty much bullshit, and we'll show you why in May.
In any case, here's our list:
Still only two playoff victories in 88 years of NFL football.
After a 2007 season that began disastrously and rose to awful, there seems like no easy fix for the Falcons.
The Ravens punctured conventional wisdom in 2007: they fielded one of the stingiest run defenses in history yet stumbled through a 5-11 campaign.
If Bills can duplicate their great 2007 draft again in April, they may be poised to do some damage in 2008.
Homegrown Panthers might be poised to pounce ... if they can find their long-lost offense.
Some sort of institutional flaw has reduced Chicago's offense to the Midgets of the Midway thanks in large part to a QB curse that defies logic and reason.
There are plenty of reasons for excitement in Cleveland. However, if the defense doesn't improve, the 2008 season will go down as just another Mistake by the Lake.
The Cowboys have regained America's Team status with so much hype it produced tornado-forced wins across the Lone Star State. Now they Cowboys have to prove that deserve the hype. Only playoff success will do.
The Broncos must emerge from the Paleolithic Era of pigskin if they hope to regain the status of elite NFL power they enjoyed for a decade.
Remember when coach Bobby Ross quit in the middle of the 2000 season, and Gary Moeller took over and somehow salvaged a 4-3 record to become the only coach since no less a legend than Joe Schmidt to post a winning record with the Lions? Do you remember that? And then Matt Millen fired Moeller so he could hire Marty Mornhinweg? That was funny.
Apparently some guy who played QB in Green Bay for a couple years has left the team. Not sure you heard about it. But there is plenty of other news (not to mention reasons for hope) in PackerLand this year.
Houston seems to be heading in the right direction, but faces a major roadblock on the path to respectability: the brutal AFC South.
Ho-hum. The Colts are poised to once again be a major contender in the AFC.
Plenty of potential, but now's the time to take it to the elite level.
We can name that team in four letters, Tom: M-E-S-S.
The Dolphins were so poor in 2007 that you can find them panhandling at intersections in Little Havana. They carry signs saying "Will work for franchise quarterback."
Maybe the 2008 Vikings can find a way to build a playoff-caliber team around a historically great rushing offense and stellar run defense.
The Super Bowl loss to the Giants was nothing short of devestating, but when the Patriots finally get back on their feet next season, they'll find they still have one of the most talented teams in football.
A team in desperate need of improvements on defense, yet may not be too far away from competing again in the NFC.
Were the Giants just a postseason flash in the pan, or will they become an annual NFL contender? Hey, don't ask us. We thought they'd lose to Tampa in the wildcard round.
The Jets have made a big splash so far in free agency. They had to after a 2007 campaign that ranged from bad to forgettable.
The Raiders have been so pathetic in recent years that we saw them digging through dumpsters in Boston looking for scrap victories the Patriots tossed out by accident. But young talent and a 2008 spending spree might bring once mighty Oakland back to respectability.
The Eagles have a good blend of youngsters and veterans in place but need one or two key additions to avoid another yawner of the season like they one they had in 2007.
The Steelers find themselves in the enviable position of boasting devoted ownership, solid coaching and a franchise QB. But they're also close to sliding into mediocrity.
The 2007 Rams might have been the worst team in franchise history, and there are few reasons for optimism right now in St. Louis.
The Chargers boast nearly all the pieces needed to field a champion, everything except a top-notch passing attack.
Sorry, San Francisco, that light at the end of the tunnel of the 2006 season was an oncoming train that crushed any momentum in 2007.
The Seahawks have proven they can do many things well this decade ... except hang and bang with the big boys. Seattle remains a few convincing wins over Quality Teams away from league-wide respect.
Head coach Jon Gruden, once considered one of the game's bright, young offensive whizzes, must find a way to inject some life into the traditionally inept Tampa attack.
We still don't know how they made the playoffs last season.
Like vanilla ice cream or the music of Air Supply, the Redskins just exist without greater purpose. Still, a return trip to the playoffs isn't out of the question. But a return to the Super Bowl is doubtful.