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10 NFL Teams That Will Disappoint In 2014

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10 NFL Teams That Will Disappoint In 2014

Colin Kaepernick San Francisco 49ers
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL season about to begin, the annual preseason predictions are coming fast and furious. These include teams that will surprise and teams that will disappoint. When looking at teams that might not live up to expectations, it is important to keep in mind just what those expectations are. With all that said, here are 10 teams that may fall short in 2014.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars

Gus Bradley Jacksonville Jaguars
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

10. Jacksonville Jaguars

Gus Bradley-USA TODAY Sports
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been a trendy pick this preseason, based in large part on the stellar play of rookie QB Blake Bortles. But even if Bortles starts for a good portion of the season and plays well, the Jaguars simply don’t have enough talent on the rest of their roster to compete in 2014. Even in a weak AFC South, don’t expect Jacksonville to make much noise.

9. Minnesota Vikings

Teddy Bridgewater Preseason-Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans
Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

9. Minnesota Vikings

Teddy Bridgewate Preseason-Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans
Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have a good deal of talent on the offensive side of the ball, but their defense looks very suspect, which is a big problem in a division that boasts Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford. The Vikings also have an uncertain QB situation. Matt Cassel is the starter for now, but Teddy Bridgewater is waiting in the wings and it remains to be seen if Bridgewater is the franchise QB Minnesota has been looking for.

8. Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford Preseason-Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

8. Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford Preseason-Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

There is enough talent on the Detroit Lions' roster to make a run to the playoffs, but all of that talent has failed to perform well when it has mattered most. Matthew Stafford in particular needs to show that he can be the elite QB many think he is. The defense, while stout up front, is very weak in the secondary and could be a major hindrance to the Lions’ fortunes.

7. Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

7. Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

While they were a very nice story in 2013, there is no denying that the Kansas City Chiefs were arguably one of the luckiest teams in the NFL. Their cream puff schedule allowed them to race out to a 9-0 start, and despite earning a playoff berth, the Chiefs collapsed in epic fashion in their Wild Card game. With a much more difficult slate in 2014, it will be difficult for Kansas City to replicate last year’s success.

6. Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

6. Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

For all the hate he gets on an annual basis, Tony Romo has done more than almost anyone to give the Dallas Cowboys a shot at the playoffs in recent years. But Romo, Dez Bryant and the rest of Dallas’ offense can only do so much, especially when one thinks about the defense they have to work with. The Dallas D has the potential to be historically bad in 2014. Their inability to stop anyone figures to offset any successes by the offense.

5. New York Jets

Rex Ryan Preseason-New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

5. New York Jets

Rex Ryan Preseason-New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of the New England Patriots, the AFC East is wide open. With an excellent coach in Rex Ryan, as well as a dominant defense, the New York Jets are capable of making a run at a Wild Card berth. But unless Geno Smith can improve in his second season, the Jets don’t figure to have enough offensive firepower to be serious contenders.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Josh McCown Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Josh McCown Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

New coach Lovie Smith brings a sense of respectability to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, the NFC South looks awfully tough in 2014, and it remains to be seen if Josh McCown is a legitimate starting QB, or just a one-year wonder. Tampa Bay also has questions along the offensive line, as well as the secondary. Even with improved coaching, the Bucs’ tough schedule might be too much to overcome.

3. Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton Preseason-Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

3. Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton Preseason-Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are a popular regression candidate, and for good reason, especially in the light of Cam Newton’s recent injury troubles. Few teams had as rough an offseason as Carolina, as they lost longtime stalwarts Steve Smith and Jordan Gross. There are a lot of questions about offense and it’s fair to expect some regression on defense. Throw in a difficult schedule, and it'll be difficult for the Panthers to repeat their 2013 success.

2. Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton Preseason-Cincinnati Bengals at Arizona Cardinals
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

2. Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton Preseason-Cincinnati Bengals at Arizona Cardinals
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

While the Cincinnati Bengals were stout defensively last season, the offense is another matter. A.J. Green is as good as they come at WR, but Andy Dalton will be under enormous pressure to live up to his big new contract. Dalton has been as good as anyone in the regular season, but he has struggled mightily in the playoffs. The track record of players who get big paydays isn’t great, and Dalton might be the next name to add to the list.

1. San Francisco 49ers

Jim Harbaugh Preseason-San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

1. San Francisco 49ers

Jim Harbaugh Preseason-San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

By placing the San Francisco 49ers in this spot, I’m not predicting them to be awful in 2014. Instead, I believe it will be difficult for them to make a serious playoff run if they can get to the postseason at all. The 49ers’ defense, once considered one of the league’s best, will be without Aldon Smith and possibly Ray McDonald; there are questions to be answered in the secondary as well. Playing in the brutal NFC West doesn’t help matters.