Every season a couple of NFL teams come from nowhere and have a breakout year, and it was no different in 2011 as the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos both made big improvements and made the playoffs. Here is a closer look at the upcoming year in football and what teams could surprise the league and its fans with a winning record.
Arizona started just 1-6 last year, and just when it seemed all hope was lost, the Cardinals regrouped and played very good football over the second half of the season. This year the team will have more chemistry with Kevin Kolb running the offense and a new-found running game, and that could lead to this team making a run at a wild-card spot in the playoffs.
Kansas City was hit with several injuries to its top players in 2011, and a return to health could mean good news for Chiefs fans. This team beat Green Bay and Denver in the last month of the season, and with the return of stars Jamaal Charles, Tony Moeaki, and Matt Cassel to the teams offense, Kansas City could win the AFC West this year.
Philadelphia was the biggest disappointment in the NFL last year as the Eagles were expected to challenge for the Super Bowl, but the team played terrible football in the first half of the season and it cost the team a chance at the playoffs. The Eagles did win their last four games and averaged over 30 points during that time, and that could spell doom for the other teams in the NFC East in 2012.