10. New York Giants
Coming off one of the best statistical seasons of Eli Manning’s career, the veteran quarterback should pick up right where he left off, and now that Victor Cruz is returned from injury, Cruz, Rueben Randle and breakout sensation Odell Beckham can become one of the scariest receiving trios the NFL has seen in a while.
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has returned to the Giants this offseason and is looking to fix up a Giants defense that struggled last season following the loss of linebacker Jon Beason. Rookie safety Landon Collins is already being counted on to lead the Giants secondary, and after watching the way he played in college, there’s no doubt in my mind that he could do just that.
Jason Pierre-Paul finished last season on a great note, but after losing a finger and some serious flesh in a fireworks incident in South Beach this summer, it doesn’t look like he will be ready for week one. But the return of Beason and the addition of Collins, George Selvie, Victor Butler, and Kendrick Ellis should do more than enough to help the Giant defense and lead the team to the playoffs.
9. Buffalo Bills
*Skip Bayless sigh.* Most NFL fans will tell you that a team can’t win without a quarterback. If there is one team that I could see as an exception to that rule this year, it’s Rex Ryan’s Bills. The combination of Ryan and Greg Roman equals an extremely run dependant team, and with the offseason addition of LeSean McCoy, that shouldn’t be much of an issue for Buffalo.
The arrivals of Charles Clay and Percy Harvin should help new Bills quarterback Matt Cassel have some sort of help in the passing game. The loss of linebackers Kiko Alonso and Brandon Spikes along with safety Da’Norris Searcy will hurt the Bills defense. But if guys like Harvin, Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins can help out Cassel in the air, and McCoy performs at his usual elite level, the Bills will be playoff contenders.