Ranking five worst NFL teams entering 2024 season: Panthers high on list, once-dominant AFC team sits at No. 1 (2024)

We are now just three months away from the return of NFL football, and the 2024 season is chock full of intriguing storylines. How far can Aaron Rodgers take the New York Jets? Will C.J. Stroud really make the Houston Texans a Super Bowl contender? Can the Detroit Lions overtake the San Francisco 49ers as the premier NFC squad?

Our attention naturally goes to the teams that could thrive in the upcoming season, but what about the ones that may struggle? Below, we will attempt to predict the bottom-five teams in the NFL in 2024.

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook

5. Las Vegas Raiders

Over/Under win total: 6.5

I hate having to place the Raiders on this list because I like Antonio Pierce and believe his defense has top 10 potential. But there are two reasons why Vegas could be a bottom-five team: offense and schedule.

The Raiders didn't add a rookie quarterback in the draft to replace Aidan O'Connell, but did add Pro Bowl alternate Gardner Minshew. Weirdly enough, he and O'Connell had the exact same completion percentage (62%), TD-INT ratio (1.7) and sack percentage (6.5%) in 2023. I feel like working with Shane Steichen was a pretty beneficial situation. I'm not sure we can say the same thing about Luke Getsy. The Raiders also lost one of their primary offensive weapons in former NFL rushing champ Josh Jacobs. Yes, Davante Adams is a stud and Brock Bowers has promise, but can O'Connell or Minshew carry this offense to wins?

To make matters worse, the Raiders are tied in having the eighth-toughest schedule in 2024 based on opponents' combined 2023 win percentage. Per the "Las Vegas Review-Journal," the Raiders are favored in just two games in the lines posted at Station Sports and Caesars. Vegas will need several upsets to surpass its preseason Over/Under win total.

4. New York Giants

Over/Under win total: 6.5

The Giants tied the worst sack differential of ALL TIME last season (-51). They hope the additions of Jermaine Eluemunor, Jon Runyan and Brian Burns change that. The Giants' hopes again appear to hinge on quarterback Daniel Jones, who New York decided not to replace this offseason, instead using its premier pick on star wideout Malik Nabers. Will Jones be good enough to get the most out of Nabers? Maybe the better question is: Can he stay healthy? Jones suffered yet another neck injury in the Week 5 loss to the Miami Dolphins, missed three games then returned to the lineup and immediately tore his ACL.

New York lost its best playmaker this offseason in Saquon Barkley, plusA'Shawn RobinsonandXavier McKinney on the defensive side. There are also some questions about former NFL Coach of the Year Brian Daboll. He had a fallout with defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, then blocked Mike Kafka from interviewing with the Seattle Seahawks. A total of seven assistant coaches were fired or left the organization by the end of March, per NJ.com. You could make the argument that's not a great look for Daboll, but turnover was expected after last year's disaster. Now, can he turn it around?

3. Denver Broncos

Over/Under win total: 6

The Russell Wilson era is over, and while the divorce was costly, it was the correct move. Sean Payton has his new quarterback in Bo Nix, which should inspire some optimism. But not many saw the former Oregon Duck being selected No. 12 overall. If Payton had the choice of J.J. McCarthy, Michael Penix Jr. or Nix, which quarterback would he take? How would he rank these three prospects? Either way, I expect Nix to start Week 1. He's the most experienced quarterback in college football history, which has to help in some way.

It was tough to figure out what the Broncos were in 2023. They started off 1-5, then won five straight thanks to a defensive revolution, and lost four of their final six to fall out of playoff contention -- including a Christmas Eve loss at home to Bailey Zappe and the lowly New England Patriots.

The Broncos also lost some notable contributors this offseason, trading Jerry Jeudy to the Cleveland Browns and releasing All-Pro safety Justin Simmons, while center Lloyd Cushenberry and linebacker Josey Jewell walked in free agency. Vance Joseph's defense appears capable of shouldering the load at times, but the Broncos offense can't struggle like it did last year -- especially in the improving AFC West. Denver has registered seven straight losing seasons. That's the second-longest active streak behind the Jets' eight.

2. Carolina Panthers

Over/Under win total: 5.5

The Panthers were undoubtedly the worst team in the NFL last year at 2-15, and quickly parted ways with head coach Frank Reich. In comes Dave Canales, who has truly been a quarterback whisperer over the past few years. But how quickly can he turn Bryce Young into a legitimate starter?

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft averaged 5.5 yards per attempt in 2023, which were the fourth fewest in NFL history. His 73.7 passer rating also ranked last in the league. Young's disastrous campaign was not totally on him. His offensive line stunk, his weapons weren't raking in Pro Bowl votes, his offensive play-caller changed several times and his first head coach was fired 11 games into the year. Carolina was the first team in NFL history to not lead in the fourth quarter throughout an entire season! That's right, both of their two wins came as time expired.

Carolina added a couple of offensive guards and a couple of wideouts in Diontae Johnson and rookie Xavier Legette. But to be frank, the Panthers are going to have to prove they are finally on the right track. David Tepper is not the most beloved owner in the league, and Canales is set to become the seventh Panthers head coach over the last six seasons. No other team in NFL history has had seven coaches in a six-season span.

1. New England Patriots

Over/Under win total: 4.5

The Patriots are, of course, entering a new era with a new head coach in Jerod Mayo, and a new quarterback in Drake Maye. Truth be told, it's impossible to predict what this team is going to look like, but the fact that they are coming off the worst season of Bill Belichick's head-coaching career does not exactly help.

It's not a given Maye will start immediately, but one has to imagine your No. 3 overall pick will win that job if he can do enough through training camp/preseason. I'm interested in the new Patriots wide receivers room. Who is the No. 1 pass-catcher in that group? Kendrick Bourne is coming off a torn ACL, JuJu Smith-Schuster hasn't looked like the player he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and then we have some young guys like Ja'Lynn PolkandJavon Baker.

Caesars Sportsbook believes the Patriots will be the worst team in the NFL this season, and one thing that makes life much tougher on them is the AFC East. Aaron Rodgers is back healthy for the Jets, who could be a playoff team, and then you have legitimate playoff teams in the Dolphins and Buffalo Bills. New England is playing a last-place schedule, but it's also tied in having the eighth-toughest slate in 2024 based on opponents' combined 2023 win percentage.

Ranking five worst NFL teams entering 2024 season: Panthers high on list, once-dominant AFC team sits at No. 1 (2024)
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