Profiles of the 32 teams ahead of the 2013 National Football League season.
American Football Conference (AFC)
Head coach: John Harbaugh
2012 Record: 10-6 (AFC North champions won it all, defeating Indianapolis Colts 24-9 in wild card play, Denver Broncos 38-35 in double overtime in divisional round, New England Patriots 28-13 for AFC championship and San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl)
Joe Flacco and Ray Rice are back to lead the Super Bowl champions' offense, but the Ravens are weak at wide receiver without Anquan Boldin. The defense takes on a different look with Ray Lewis's retirement and Ed Reed's departure.
Head coach: Doug Marrone
2012 Record: 6-10 (The Bills' playoff drought reached 13 seasons in 2012, which is the longest active streak in the NFL)
The Bills are scrambling at quarterback after injuries to new signee Kevin Kolb and a knee procedure sidelining rookie E.J. Manuel for the preseason.
Head coach: Marvin Lewis
2012 Record: 10-6 (Made it to the playoffs but were ousted by Houston Texans 19-13 in wild card game)
Expectations are on the upswing, but can quarterback Andy Dalton deliver? Rookie tight end Tyler Eifert and first-year running back Giovani Bernard provide Dalton with new targets. Once touted linebacker James Harrison joins the defense but has age caught up with him?
Head coach: Rob Chudzinski
2012 Record: 5-11 (Fifth consecutive losing season for a Browns team that has not made the playoffs since the 2002 campaign)
The Browns, with new coach Rob Chudzinski, are showing signs they might be ready to end five consecutive seasons of double-digit losses. The schedule will help. But smart play will be needed by quarterback Brandon Weeden, running back Trent Richardson and tight end Jordan Cameron.
Head coach: John Fox
2012 Record: 13-3 (Strong season by the AFC West winners ended in a 38-35 double overtime loss to Baltimore Ravens in divisional round)
The class of the West, the Broncos have Super Bowl ambitions. Week One may reveal how serious they are with playoff nemesis Baltimore coming to town. Quarterback Peyton Manning has the best wide receivers in the league with the addition of Wes Welker. The defense, though, will suffer from the six-game suspension of linebacker Von Miller.
Head coach: Gary Kubiak
2012 Record: 12-4 (AFC South winners turned back Cincinnati Bengals 19-13 in wild card play but were eliminated by New England Patriots 41-28 in divisional round)
Twice division champions, balanced Texans are aiming for longer stay in postseason. Rookie DeAndre Hopkins joins Andre Johnson to give quarterback Matt Schaub another target if Hopkins can overcome concussion worries. The defense, led by league defensive player of year J.J. Watt, adds safety Ed Reed but offseason surgery may slow his return.
Head coach: Chuck Pagano
2012 Record: 11-5 (Playoffs ended early for Colts, who lost to Baltimore Ravens 24-9 in wild card game)
Quarterback Andrew Luck should improve and has a stronger line to protect him. But Colts, with tougher schedule, may find it difficult to match last year's turnaround season. Still they could challenge Texans for AFC South title with running back Ahmad Bradshaw and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey key additions.
Head coach: Gus Bradley
2012 Record: 2-14 (Jaguars wrapped up their worst season by losing 12 of their final 13 games)
Weak Jaguars, set to play at least one game in London for the next four years, try to rebuild under new coach Gus Bradley. Secondary should be upgraded, especially with rookie safety Johnathan Cyprien, Questions remain on offense, including whether Blaine Gabbert is the answer at quarterback.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Head coach: Andy Reid
2012 Record: 2-14 (Failed to break double digits six times during a 16-season season where they scored the fewest points of all 32 teams)
Optimism abounds for remade Chiefs, who start afresh with new coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith. There will most likely be improvement with effective play from efficient Smith and a solid secondary. But reaching the postseason this year may be a stretch.
Head coach: Joe Philbin
2012 Record: 7-9 (First-year signal-caller Ryan Tannehill became the first rookie quarterback in Dolphins history to complete a full season as the team's starting quarterback)
Offseason upgrades in offensive line and on defense give the Dolphins a chance to move above .500 if they can work through a tough early schedule. Tannehill benefits from the addition of receiver Mike Wallace. But can anyone fill the shoes of departed running back Reggie Bush?
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Head coach: Bill Belichick
2012 Record: 12-4 (AFC East champs beat Houston Texans 41-28 in divisional round but lost AFC title game to Baltimore Ravens 28-13)
The offseason has not been kind to Patriots with Aaron Hernandez's indictment on murder charges, Rob Gronkowski's slow recovery from surgery and the departure of Wes Welker to Denver. But with Tom Brady at quarterback and a solid defense the Patriots remain the class of the AFC East.
NEW YORK JETS
Head coach: Rex Ryan
2012 Record: 6-10
The Jets may be worse than ever. The quarterback of the future, Geno Smith, did not have a good preseason and holdover Mark Sanchez has a shoulder injury. Although the Jets beat the Giants in preseason, getting ball in the end zone could be a problem. And the defense? Questions there too with the departure of Darrelle Revis and LaRon Landry.
Head coach: Dennis Allen
2012 Record: 4-12 (Endured 10th consecutive non-winning season and 10th consecutive campaign of missing playoffs.
Unsettled situation at quarterback with Terrelle Pryor likely to beat out offseason signee Matt Flynn greets a team looking for stability. Running game depends on whether Darren McFadden can stay healthy. On defense, massive rebuild could lead to nine new starters.
Head coach: Mike Tomlin
2012 Record: 8-8 (Narrowly avoided the storied franchise's first losing campaign in nearly a decade by winning their final game of the season)
Steelers look to rebound from second-half slump in 2012, dropping six starters from that squad. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger appears season-ready but needs to avoid injuries that have plagued him in past. The defense remains strong despite James Harrison's departure. Still Baltimore and Cincinnati could again top Steelers in AFC North.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Head coach: Mike McCoy
2012 Record: 7-9 (Missed playoffs for third consecutive sesaon)
A make-or-break season awaits quarterback Philip Rivers after Chargers missed the playoffs for the past three years. He needs a lot more help from a weak offensive line, though. The defense, especially the line, also needs a boost. New coach Mike McCoy will have his challenges.
Head coach: Mike Munchak
2012 Record: 6-10 (Set a franchise mark for most points allowed in a season with 471, worst in the NFL in 2012)
How well quarterback Jake Locker plays could determine what kind of season Titans have. Both the passing game, with receivers Kendall Wright and Kenny Britt, and the running game, where 1,200-yard rusher Chris Johnson excels, need improvement. So does a defense that ranked the NFL's worst in points allowed in 2012. Otherwise Tenneesee's four-year playoff skid continues.
National Football Conference (NFC)
Head coach: Mike Smith
2012 record: 13-3 (Won the NFC South after starting the season 8-0 before losing 28-24 to the San Francisco 49ers in second round of the playoffs)
Blessed with a well-oiled passing attack effectively orchestrated by quarterback Matt Ryan, the Falcons have high hopes of going deeper into the postseason after acquiring three-time Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson in March. Once again, though, their defense needs to step up.
Head coach: Bruce Arians
2012 record: 5-11 (Finished fourth in the NFC West)
Larry Fitzgerald is one of the NFL's top wide receivers and the Cardinals will hope his unique talents can be fully exploited by new quarterback Carson Palmer, an off-season trade from the Oakland Raiders. Under new coach Arians, Arizona can be expected to focus on an aggressive passing game.
Head coach: Ron Rivera
2012 record: 7-9 (A one-game improvement over their 6-10 finish in 2011, when Cam Newton had one of the best rookie seasons for a quarterback)
Early-season games with the Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings could determine Panthers' fortunes. Much will again be expected of the talented Newton and from a defense that rated 10th in the league last season in yards allowed.
Head coach: Marc Trestman
2012 record: 10-6 (Despite making a strong start to the season, the Bears became the first team to miss the playoffs after starting out 7-1 since the 1996 Washington Redskins)
Under new coach Trestman, brought in after Lovie Smith was fired in December, the Bears will look to add a much improved offense to their renowned defense. Quarterback Jay Cutler will continue to call the shots and much is expected from former Giants tight end Martellus Bennett, an off-season signing.
Head coach: Jason Garrett
2012 record: 8-8 (Matched their win total from 2011, but missed the playoffs for a third consecutive season after losing their final game, to the Washington Redskins)
Quarterback Tony Romo, retained on a lucrative six-year contract extension, should keep Dallas in the NFC East chase and a sub-par defense should improve under new coordinator Monte Kiffin. Cowboys need a strong finish with late-season games against the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins.
Head coach: Jim Schwartz
2012 record: 4-12 (A very disappointing season after the Lions finished 10-6 in 2011)
The off-season addition of free agent running back Reggie Bush will boost a Lions offense that flourished last year under quarterback Matthew Stafford, with receiver Calvin Johnson his main target. Defense needed improvement, and the Lions spent three of their top four draft picks in that area.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Head coach: Mike McCarthy
2012 record: 11-5 (Won the NFC North title for a second straight season before losing 45-31 to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional playoffs)
The high-scoring Packers should claim another NFC North title and will once again build their offense around quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who now has the highest per-season salary ever in the league. A few questions remain on defense where linebacker Clay Matthews is the face of the franchise.
Head coach: Leslie Frazier
2012 record: 10-6 (Rebounded strongly from a dismal 3-13 season, beating the Packers in the final game to make the playoffs as the NFC's sixth seed before losing 24-10 to Green Bay in the wild card round)
Inexperienced Christian Ponder is under pressure to prove he is the team's No. 1 quarterback with off-season signing Matt Cassel waiting on the sidelines. However, the team should benefit from the acquisition of veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings, in March, and linebacker Desmond Bishop, in June.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Head coach: Sean Payton
2012 record: 7-9 (After an offseason dominated by the bounty scandal, the Saints started with four straight losses on the way to a tie for last in the NFC South)
With head coach Payton back in charge after a year-long suspension because of the bounty scandal and a big season once again expected from seven-time Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints will look to regain their customary place as the NFC South's best. Defense needs improvement, though.
NEW YORK GIANTS
Head coach: Tom Coughlin
2012 record: 9-7 (Just one season after going 9-7 before peaking to win the Super Bowl, the Giants posted an identical record but did not reach the playoffs)
Inspirational quarterback Eli Manning and a multi-dimensional offense should pave the way to more victories for the Giants in 2013 but a tougher late-season schedule could take its toll. A considerable improvement is needed in defense to make a postseason run.
Head coach: Chip Kelly
2012 record: 4-12 (Fell away after starting the season with three wins in first four games, and failed to make the playoffs before head coach Andy Reid was fired after 14 seasons with the team)
With former Oregon coach Kelly now at the helm, the Eagles are expected to unleash an up-tempo and highly unpredictable offense orchestrated by four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Michael Vick. The defense has been beefed up with the offseason acquisition of linebacker Connor Barwin.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Head coach: Jim Harbaugh
2012 record: 11-4-1 (Won the NFC West for a second straight season, then beat the Packers and Falcons in the playoffs before losing 34-31 to the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl)
The 49ers open their campaign with a tough test against Green Bay but are again the team to beat in the NFC West. Much is expected of quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his first full season as he looks to target tight end Vernon Davis and veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin, an off-season acquisition.
Head coach: Pete Carroll
2012 record: 11-5 (Posted their first winning record since 2007 and beat the Washington Redskins in the wild card round before losing 30-28 to the Falcons in the divisional round)
Renowned for their defense and the offensive threat of running back Marshawn Lynch, Seattle are likely Super Bowl contenders. Quarterback Russell Wilson should build on his impressive rookie season in 2012 and the March signings of defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett add punch to the team's pass rush.
ST. LOUIS RAMS
Head coach: Jeff Fisher
2012 record: 7-8-1 (Made significant improvements under new head coach Fisher after a woeful 2-14 season in 2011, though the Rams have not made the playoffs since 2004)
Much will be expected of strong-armed quarterback Sam Bradford, whose offensive options have been improved considerably with the off-season signings of wide receiver Tavon Austin and tight end Jared Cook. Defensive ends Chris Long and Robert Quinn will again be cornerstones of the Rams defense.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Head coach: Greg Schiano
2012 record: 7-9 (A much improved season after a dismal 4-12 campaign in 2011)
The league's worst secondary last season has undergone a major facelift with the additions of cornerback Darrelle Revis, free safety Dashon Goldson and Johnthan Banks. The Bucs' offense again hinges on quarterback Josh Freeman, wide receiver Vincent Jackson and running back Doug Martin.
Head coach: Mike Shanahan
2012 record: 10-6 (Won their final seven games of the season to clinch the NFC East title before losing 24-14 to the Seahawks in the wild card round of the playoffs)
The Redskins will again be pinning their playoff hopes on talented quarterback Robert Griffin III, who had surgery in January to repair torn ligaments in his right knee. A woeful defense in 2012 needs tightening up.
Monday Night Football will be broadcast all season LIVE on British Eurosport in HD. British Eurosport and British Eurosport 2 are available on BT TV, Sky, Virgin Media and UPC in Ireland. Viewers can also subscribe directly to the Eurosport player. Subscriptions range from £3.99 to £5.99 per month, depending on the length of contract. Full details at www.eurosportplayer.co.uk
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- New England Patriots
- BALTIMORE RAVENS
- Mike Wallace
- San Francisco 49ers
- Houston Texans
- Rob Chudzinski