7 NFL teams under the most pressure to succeed in 2024

2RTF38B New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) warms up before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

• Aaron Rodgers and the Jets face pressure in 2024: If New York can’t foster success in Rodgers’ age-40 season with the veteran healthy, the team may clean house.

• The Bears finally have a playoff-caliber roster: Putting a team that has gone a combined 10-24 the past two years on this list may seem odd, but the Bears finally have the components to be really good — and they should live up to those expectations.

• Get a head start on fantasy football: Use PFF's fantasy football mock draft simulator to create real live mock draft simulations to get ready for your live draft!

Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

In wrapping up OTAs and mandatory minicamps, NFL teams have already started to lay the foundations for their 2024 seasons. Even with the slowest period of the entire football offseason approaching, that doesn’t mean players, coaches and executives aren’t thinking more about their goals for the upcoming campaign.

Whether because of an upgrade in star power, underwhelming the year before and/or head coaches on the hot seat, here are seven teams that need to turn a corner in 2024 — or risk sweeping changes.

New York Jets

There’s no organization under more pressure to finally right the ship this upcoming season than the Jets. After the team acquired Aaron Rodgers last year, it seemed as though a decade-plus streak of disappointment would come to an end. But Rodgers tore his Achilles on just the fourth play of the 2023 season, and his backup quarterbacks were awful in his stead.

The team’s defense was yet again phenomenal — finishing first in PFF grade and third in EPA per play — and should be lights-out yet again. The offense’s weak points — the offensive line and wide receiver room — were addressed by the additions of Mike Williams, Tyron Smith, John Simpson, Morgan Moses, Olu Fashanu and Malachi Corley. All-world talent on both sides of the ball is there for the Jets to not only make the playoffs, but even win a game.

Owner Woody Johnson entrusted head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas for at least one more year, but if New York can’t foster success in Rodgers’ age-40 season, it feels like both leaders might unceremoniously head for the exits.

Subscribe to PFF+ to unlock the world's most advanced football database!

Philadelphia Eagles

After making it to Super Bowl 57, the Eagles delivered an encore that certainly wouldn’t have won an Oscar. The team started a near-perfect 10-1 but imploded down the stretch, dropping six of its last seven, including an ugly wild-card loss to the Buccaneers.

Philly’s defense was a black hole for much of the year, ranking 28th in PFF coverage grade. Consequently, general manager Howie Roseman drafted defensive backs Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean with his top two selections. Beyond that, the Eagles hired revered defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, replacing the makeshift tandem of Sean Desai and Matt Patricia.

The team’s offense was also regularly a mess down the stretch, with five of its seven lowest-graded overall offensive showings coming in Week 13 or later. As a result, Philadelphia swapped Brian Johnson for the well-traveled but young Kellen Moore.

In the beginning of the post-Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox days, will the Eagles return to their magnificent 2022 form, or will Nick Sirianni — one of the more polarizing coaches in the league — get the boot? What happens in Philadelphia this fall will be a focal point for this NFL season and beyond.

Miami Dolphins

Starting last year 11-4, the Dolphins sure looked the part of a Super Bowl contender. But two bad regular-season losses against the Ravens and Bills didn’t bode well for the playoffs, as Miami was eviscerated 26-7 by the Chiefs in the wild-card round.

The Dolphins had two of the NFL's seven highest-graded receivers in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, as well as the highest-graded passer in Tua Tagovailoa. Yet, with injuries ravaging the defense and the team malfunctioning in cold weather, Miami crumbled as 2023 endured.

Hill, Waddle and Tagovailoa are all back, and the quarterback will likely be earning a top-five salary at his position in short order. The returns of edge rushers Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips should be monumental. The back end should be in better shape with a healthy Jalen Ramsey and the signings of Kendall Fuller and Jordan Poyer.

If the Dolphins can’t end their 24-year stretch of not winning a playoff game in 2024, when is it going to happen? Ingenious head coach Mike McDaniel likely isn’t going anywhere, but something deeper needs to jell in Miami this year.

Dallas Cowboys

The Eagles and their biggest nemesis both make this list.

Dallas was one of the NFL’s best in the 2023 regular season, finishing 12-5 and fourth in overall team grade. However, in classic Cowboys fashion, it all went awry in the playoffs, with the explosive Packers upsetting the No. 2 seed in AT&T Stadium.

Owner Jerry Jones has yet to pay Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb, but each is in a strong position to reset the quarterback and receiver markets, respectively. Whether Dallas can legitimately retain both is up in the air. Even if the Cowboys manage to retain the pair long-term, there may be cap casualties on the other end entering next offseason.

Then, there’s head coach Mike McCarthy, who has gone 42-25 in four years in Dallas — tied for the fourth-best record among head coaches in that span — but has yet to even get to the NFC Championship game with his second franchise.

With Prescott, Lamb, Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs and DeMarcus Lawrence, the Cowboys should be good again in 2024, barring an overhauled offensive line. However, if Dallas fades in January once more, expect the team to look drastically different next year.

Subscribe to PFF+ to unlock the world's most advanced football database!

Atlanta Falcons

After going 7-10 in each of the past three seasons, the Falcons finally moved on from head coach Arthur Smith, making a splash hire in former Rams defensive coordinator (and familiar face) Raheem Morris. On top of that, Morris landed burgeoning offensive mastermind and Sean McVay protégé Zac Robinson, who will become the team’s offensive coordinator.

While Atlanta’s defense was surprisingly good last year, finishing 12th in overall grade and a stout second against the run, its passing offense faltered, with Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke falling well short of the stick. Subsequently, general manager Terry Fontenot signed Kirk Cousins and Darnell Mooney and traded for Rondale Moore.

It’s only the first year of Morris’ second stint as a head coach in Atlanta, but it feels like the franchise needs to turn a corner in 2024. With studs in Bijan Robinson, Drake London and Kyle Pitts, a good offensive line and a defense that should still be solid, Atlanta has laid the groundwork to make the playoffs for the first time in seven years and has little reason not to compete for the NFC South crown.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Although the Jaguars have gone 9-8 in each of the past two years, the perception surrounding the team is night and day. It was considered a major step forward in 2022, as was defeating the Chargers in an unforgettable wild-card comeback. But the same record meant stagnation last year after the team started 8-3 but finished 1-5 and missed the playoffs.

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence is now tied for the highest-paid player in NFL history, and while he’s been good the past two years — finishing seventh and 14th in overall grade, respectively — expectations are even higher for 2024. His weapons will look different after Calvin Ridley‘s offseason departure, but he has Evan Engram, a healthy Christian Kirk, Brian Thomas Jr. and Gabe Davis, which could mean a more cohesive offense.

On the other side of the equation, the Jaguars’ front seven should be even better than it was last year after adding Arik Armstead to pair with monster Josh Allen and Travon Walker. The secondary might be a tad worse after losing Darious Williams, but adding Darnell Savage could prove to be an impact move.

Jacksonville spent the most money in free agency this offseason — over $312 million, per Over the Cap — and now has a franchise quarterback secured. The onus falls on Lawrence, Doug Pederson and Trent Baalke to make a leap after a disappointing and confusing 2023.

Chicago Bears

It may feel odd putting a team that has gone a combined 10-24 the past two years on this list, but the Bears finally have the components to be really good.

At the nucleus is No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams, whose 6.2% big-time throw rate in 2023 ranked fourth among quarterbacks with 400-plus dropbacks. His 82.6 rushing grade also placed sixth among non-running backs with 50 or more carries. Williams will need to get the ball out quicker in structure — his 3.16-second average time to throw led the FBS — but he could be dynamic as a rookie.

General manager Ryan Poles also made splashes on both sides of the ball, acquiring Keenan Allen, Rome Odunze, Kevin Byard and D’Andre Swift to round out a roster with plenty of existing talent. Chicago’s youth, including Tyrique Stevenson, Darnell Wright and Jaquan Brisker, also have a good chance to improve in 2024.

Head coach Matt Eberflus’ seat was warm until he won three of the last five games in 2023, fueled by a defense that ranked eighth in EPA per play over that span. Likewise, the team’s two losses — to the playoff-bound Browns and Packers on the road — were still by no more than eight points.

With stars at several positions and a fantastic all-around roster, the Bears will need to exorcise their demons in 2024 and at least vie for a wild-card berth. If underachievement continues, then uncertainty at head coach looms.


Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit