Grades, draft needs, offseason questions for every eliminated team
ByESPN.COM STAFF via <a href="http://espn.go.com/" title="ESPN" class="espn_sc_byline">ESPN </a>via
January 8, 2017, 3:51 AM
• 9 min read
-- NFL Nation reporters grade every eliminated team's regular season, assess what position each should target in the 2017 draft and look ahead to a few looming offseason questions. Click the links after each team to view the full posts.
Arizona Cardinals: After losing in the NFC Championship Game last season, the Cardinals were the chic pick to win Super Bowl LI. Arizona faltered from the start, however. Read more.
Baltimore Ravens:?The reasons why the Ravens failed to make the playoffs were Joe Flacco's inconsistency, a disappearing pass rush and a lack of killer instinct. Read more.
Buffalo Bills:?Like in 2015, the Bills had the top-level talent to make a playoff run. However, injuries, a lack of depth and questionable coaching all eventually doomed the team. Read more.
Carolina Panthers:?Carolina simply lost the swagger that enabled it to win close games during its Super Bowl run last season. It lost five of its first 11 games by a field goal or less. Read more.
Chicago Bears:?The Bears regressed in Year 2 under coach John Fox. Nineteen players landed on injured reserve, but the club looked bad even when the roster was healthy. Read more.
Cincinnati Bengals:?The Bengals underachieved in almost every way in 2016. Offensive-line struggles, kicking problems and inconsistency on both sides doomed this team. Read more.
Cleveland Browns:?One win avoids an "F," but this season was one to forget. The Browns are no closer to finding a quarterback, and there are still many holes to fill on the roster. Read more.
Denver Broncos: This season never quite came together for the defending Super Bowl champs. Bottom line, this season's Broncos never had the single-minded purpose of the 2015 team. Read more.
Indianapolis Colts: Disappointing. Underachieving. Embarrassing. The list of adjectives can go on and on to describe the second straight season in which the Colts missed the playoffs. Read more.
Los Angeles Rams: The Rams' first season back in L.A. began with promise, but the offense was dreadful from start to finish, which put too much pressure on a talented defense that lacked depth. Read more.
Minnesota Vikings:?The Vikings started 5-0, and they had Super Bowl hopes. But injuries along an already-suspect offensive line proved to be too much to overcome. Read more.
New Orleans Saints: In some ways, it was "Groundhog" season for the Saints, who finished 7-9 for the third straight year, squandering another 5,000 yards by Drew Brees and the NFL's No. 1-ranked offense. Read more.
New York Jets:?Even by Jets' standards, this was an all-time stinker. They expected a playoff run in Year 2 of the Bowles/Maccagnan regime, but they were doomed by a flawed roster.? Read more.
Oakland Raiders: On one hand, improving from 3-13 to 7-9 to 12-4 should be cause for celebration. On the other, what had the makings of a magical season took a depressing detour in Week 15. Read more.
Philadelphia Eagles:?Rookie Carson Wentz provided hope and a few highlights, but some fatal flaws ultimately did the Eagles in. It's not hard to see why the Eagles stumbled after starting the season 3-0. Read more.
San Diego Chargers: Injuries and up-and-down play led to the Chargers' last-place finish, but San Diego's poor showing really boils down to coach Mike McCoy's failings in the fourth quarter. Read more.
San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers followed a blueprint similar to 2015 by offering a promising blowout victory in Week 1, only to follow it up with a series of missteps while losing 13 straight games. Read more.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:?The Bucs went from starting the season 1-3 and 3-5 to putting together an impressive five-game win streak that nearly culminated in a playoff berth. Read more.
Tennessee Titans:?It's going to be hard to forget the Christmas Eve debacle in Jacksonville, which caused the Titans to lose control of the division title after they'd done such good work to have a chance at it. Read more.
Washington Redskins: The Redskins blew a chance to make the postseason for a second consecutive season but instead will reflect on a handful of games, including the finale, that will haunt them all offseason. Read more.