2016 schedule: Predicted records, analysis for all 32 NFL teams

How will Broncos' fare in 2016? (2:36)

Brian Dawkins predicts the Broncos' record for the 2016 season. (2:36)

NFL Nation reporters predict the 2016 regular-season records for every team. Each prediction was made independent of the predictions of their colleagues. Check out the full schedule here.

NFC Picks: East | West | North | South

AFC Picks: East | West | North | South


Dallas Cowboys: 10-6. The Cowboys will have a healthy Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and Orlando Scandrick, who played 13 of a combined 48 games a year ago because of injury. That is better than any free agent or draft additions made by other teams in the division. The road schedule is difficult but the Cowboys finally make it work at AT&T Stadium to win the NFC East and return to the playoffs. -- Todd Archer

Analysis: Fast start to 2016 season is key | Game-by-game predictions

New York Giants: 8-8. It may not be as much improvement as their fans or owners wanted to see, but it's still two games better than each of the past two seasons. The Giants make some hay against the likes of Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit. And they get a break with the Green Bay game being scheduled early in the year. But they're still a couple of years away, and their two-game division road finish in Philadelphia and Washington doesn't go well enough to end the playoff drought. -- Dan Graziano

Analysis: Giants open in Dallas | Game-by-game predictions

Philadelphia Eagles: 7-9. It seems odd to pick the drastically changed Eagles for the same record as they had in 2015. But last year's 7-9 was a surprising disappointment. This year's would be reasonable with a new head coach, new offensive and defensive schemes and other significant changes. This 7-9 could also be a stepping stone toward better things if Doug Pederson is able to establish some winning habits.. -- Phil Sheridan

Analysis: Eagles' schedule is tougher than it seems | Game-by-game predictions

Washington Redskins: 9-7. It's really hard to go above that because the defense remains a work in progress -- who will they draft? -- and will pass-rush standout Junior Galette look as explosive as he did pre-Achilles injury (Galette says: yes)? On paper, their schedule is tougher, but their offense looks good. Their line could be really solid this season, which would be welcomed news in the running game. -- John Keim

Analysis: Schedule includes brutal stretch | Game-by-game predictions


Chicago Bears: 9-7. John Fox-coached teams historically show improvement from Year 1 to Year 2. After a competitive 2015 campaign, the Bears have a favorable schedule next year, including winnable home games against Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Tennessee and San Francisco. Nine victories are not out of the question for the steadily improving Bears. -- Jeff Dickerson

Analysis: Four prime-time games ahead | Game-by-game predictions

Detroit Lions: 8-8. The Lions get the NFC North and AFC South, the two weakest divisions in the league last season. The start of Detroit's season -- three road games in the first four games -- will be a difficult stretch similar to the beginning of last season but the room to rebound should be much greater in 2016 than in 2015. Considering the Lions still have major offensive and defensive line questions and have yet to go through the draft, it's tough to pick Detroit any higher than .500. -- Michael Rothstein

Analysis: Three of four on the road to open season | Game-by-game predictions

Green Bay Packers: 13-3. If the Packers signed a receiver who was coming off a 98-catch, 1,519-yard, 13-touchdown season, it would be among the biggest free-agent moves in the league. So the return of Jordy Nelson, who by all accounts isn't having any recurring issues with his surgically repaired knee, should help the offense return to one of the most potent in the league. That has to be worth a couple more wins. Combine that with the easiest schedule in the league, and the Packers should be back near the top in the NFC as long as Aaron Rodgers stays healthy. -- Rob Demovsky

Analysis: A rarity -- two straight road games | Game-by-game predictions

Minnesota Vikings: 11-5. The Vikings' schedule gets off to a tricky start, with games against the Packers and Panthers in Weeks 2 and 3. But they'll have a chance to get on a roll in October and early November, and they get three of their final five at home. -- Ben Goessling

Analysis: Two prime-time games to open new stadium | Game-by-game predictions


Atlanta Falcons: 7-9. I don't see the Falcons overcoming a brutal schedule that is tied with the 49ers for the toughest in the league, based on last year's records. Playing two of the past three Super Bowls champions, Denver and Seattle, in consecutive road games during Weeks 5 and 6 is a tough task in itself and a lot to ask of a team still trying to find its identity. Throw in facing Carolina at home before those two road contests makes for murderer's row and possibly a three-game losing streak (or longer). At least fans can get hyped up about the final game at the Georgia Dome being against the rival Saints in Week 17. The Falcons will move into the $1.4 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2017. -- Vaughn McClure

Analysis: Tough road ahead for Falcons | Game-by-game predictions

Carolina Panthers: 12-4. It would be crazy to think the Panthers will flirt with another undefeated season as they did a year ago in going 15-1. It would be crazier to think they will lose more than four games with the bulk of the team that won the NFC Championship back. The overall schedule is harder with rematches against each of their three playoff opponents (Seattle, Arizona, Denver) and a franchise-record five prime-time games. But the rest of the NFC South remains in a rebuilding mode, so a fourth consecutive division title seems in order. -- David Newton

Analysis: Super Bowl 50 rematch in opener | Game-by-game predictions

New Orleans Saints: 8-8. As long as they have Drew Brees, the Saints are capable of winning any game on the schedule. And their defense can't help but improve from last year. So 10 wins wouldn't shock me. But it's hard to project anything better than .500 after the inconsistency they've shown in back-to-back 7-9 seasons, especially with the fourth toughest strength of schedule in the NFL. -- Mike Triplett

Analysis: Only two prime-time games on schedule | Game-by-game predictions

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 8-8. The NFL didn't do the Bucs any favors with a tough start with back-to-back road games at Atlanta and Arizona, a home game against defending Super Bowl champion Denver, and a Monday night game at Carolina in the first five weeks of the season. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Bucs go 1-4 during that stretch. The Bucs also have two West Coast trips (San Francisco and San Diego) and play host to Seattle the week before leaving for San Diego. They should have a good run in December before the season finale against Carolina. -- Mike DiRocco

Analysis: Three playoff teams in first five games | Game-by-game predictions


Arizona Cardinals: 13-3. The Cardinals have the talent to win 13 games, but will they have the legs to finish the season with five of seven games on the road? Their finish will determine their possible playoffs seed in the NFC. The Cardinals' back-to-back playoffs berths earned four prime-time games this season, including a Monday Night Football matchup against Todd Bowles and the New York Jets. -- Josh Weinfuss

Analysis: Five of final seven games on road | Game-by-game predictions

Los Angeles Rams: 8-8. The Rams' bold move to land a quarterback might pay off in due time but it probably won't be this year as they still lack the weapons in the passing game and on the offensive line to translate to immediate postseason success. Subtracting four starters on defense and the many moving parts of the first season in Los Angeles will make it difficult. But, the schedule lines up favorably and the Rams should be able to get to .500 for the first time since 2006 with promise for the future behind their new quarterback. -- Nick Wagoner

Analysis: Heavy on division foes, early and late | Game-by-game predictions

San Francisco 49ers: 4-12. The rebuilt 49ers figure they have more depth than last season and having the league's toughest strength of schedule will put that theory to the test, and early. A short week to start the season - opening at home on Monday Night Football against the Rams, followed by trips to Carolina and Seattle - could be an early-season killer, just like last year. Or, it could be a sign of improvement. But this seems to be a less-talented team than last year's 5-11 squad. -- Paul Gutierrez

Analysis: Things could get ugly | Game-by-game predictions

Seattle Seahawks: 11-5. Based on last year's records, the Seahawks have the fifth toughest schedule. But they face just one returning playoff team in the first nine weeks of the season and have a chance to get off to a hot start. Russell Wilson played the best football of his career during the second half of 2015, and the Seahawks' defense led the NFL in fewest points allowed for the fourth consecutive year. There are question marks for sure (most notably, the offensive line), but this should be a playoff team again in 2016. -- Sheil Kapadia

Analysis: Five prime-time matchups looming | Game-by-game predictions


Buffalo Bills: 9-7. I'll give the Bills a one-game improvement over their 8-8 record last season, mostly because I believe that their offense -- which they kept intact this offseason -- can do some damage if stars such as LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins stay healthy. How Rex Ryan's defense performs in Year 2 is the wild card, and he'll need some younger players to step up and fill holes this season. The defense's success is far from certain. -- Mike Rodak

Analysis: Break from Tom Brady? | Game-by-game predictions

Miami Dolphins: 7-9. The Dolphins' roster, as it currently stands, isn't much better than the team that won six games a season ago. They are in a rebuilding year under rookie head coach Adam Gase, and the Dolphins have the 11th toughest strength of schedule that includes 2015 playoff teams such as the Patriots (twice), Cardinals, Seahawks, Steelers and Bengals. -- James Walker

Analysis: Two brutal trips to begin | Game-by-game predictions

New England Patriots: 11-5. Uncertainty over quarterback Tom Brady's availability for the first four games (with the NFL's appeal of his suspension ongoing) sparks a more conservative projection. The stretch from Week 14-16 -- in which the Patriots host the Ravens, visit the Broncos and then host the Jets in a span of 13 days -- looks like one of the toughest parts of the schedule. -- Mike Reiss

Analysis: Early prime-time flavor on schedule | Game-by-game predictions

New York Jets: 8-8. Until the Jets get their quarterback situation resolved, it's hard to predict a winning season. Even if Ryan Fitzpatrick returns, the team will take a step backward. This is a tougher schedule than last season's, as they face the defensive-minded NFC West. After overachieving last season at 10-6, they're due for a market correction. -- Rich Cimini

Analysis: Tough start ahead for Jets | Game-by-game predictions


Baltimore Ravens: 10-6. As long as the Ravens stay healthy, they are primed to be the seventh team since 2011 to go from double-digit losses to the playoffs the following season. Why? Last year, Baltimore went 2-6 against the tough AFC and NFC West divisions. This year, the Ravens should go 6-2 against the much easier AFC and NFC East. -- Jamison Hensley

Analysis: One playoff team in first seven games | Game-by-game predictions

Cincinnati Bengals: 11-5. Do the Bengals really have a fifth consecutive double-digit win total in them? It appears so. One year after boasting the league's second hardest schedule (based on 2014 winning percentages), they come into this season tied for the fourth easiest slate. Nine games away from Paul Brown Stadium -- one of them the Oct. 30 game in London against Washington -- definitely will be a challenge, as will the four prime-time games. -- Coley Harvey

Analysis: Burfict to miss a meeting with Steelers | Game-by-game predictions

Cleveland Browns: 1-15. Where will the wins come? Find them. There is no opponent on the schedule that says "Browns win." In fact, no other NFL nation reporter is picking their team to lose to the Browns. That puts 0-16 on the table. Yes, the draft is ahead, and the team has time to improve. But today, that's the view of the Browns. The only win is projected based on law of averages. They have to win one game, right?. -- Pat McManamon

Analysis: Three of four on road to start | Game-by-game predictions

Pittsburgh Steelers: 11-5. The Steelers' defense is not far off but still has enough questions to limit a team otherwise ready to contend for a Super Bowl. Last year, Pittsburgh won 10 games against one of the league's toughest schedules while dealing with injuries to several key starters. This year, the matchups are favorable on paper, with opponents combining for a .473 winning percentage in 2015. The toughest non-divisional opponents, New England and Kansas City, come to Pittsburgh this year. There's little reason to think the Steelers can't be one game better than they were a year ago, but they still must find capable starters at defensive tackle, cornerback and safety. -- Jeremy Fowler

Analysis: Two toughest opponents are at home | Game-by-game predictions


Houston Texans: 9-7. The Texans took advantage of Andrew Luck missing nine games to end Indianapolis' two-year reign atop the AFC South last season. Houston hopes it has found its franchise quarterback in Brock Osweiler, who signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the team, to complement J.J. Watt and the defense. The Texans appear to be better on offense, but they'll finish with the same record as last season because of tough nonconference road games at Denver, New England, Green Bay, Oakland and Minnesota. -- Mike Wells

Analysis: Texans' schedule includes five primetime games | Game-by-game predictions

Indianapolis Colts: 10-6. I was crazy enough to believe the Colts could go 13-3 and compete for a Super Bowl title despite their offensive line problems last season. I learned my lesson. The Colts haven't done anything to make you believe the offensive line will be better and their best pass rusher, linebacker Robert Mathis, is 35 years old. Not even a healthy Andrew Luck at quarterback will be able to continue cover the areas of concern on the roster. As it has been the case for so many years, the Colts should feel fortunate that they play in the AFC South, an improving division that still has work to do to get even better. -- Mike Wells

Analysis: Colts play on Thanksgiving | Game-by-game predictions

Jacksonville Jaguars: 7-9. The Jaguars have gotten off to horrendous starts under coach Gus Bradley in September and October the past three seasons (3-20) and their first two games are home against Green Bay and at San Diego, where they've never won. However, they have a good chance to go 4-1 in the rest of the games in the season's first two months. The problem comes at the end of the season when they play 2015 playoff teams Denver (home), Minnesota (home) and Houston (road) in consecutive weeks in December. That is what keeps the Jaguars from hitting .500. -- Michael DiRocco

Analysis: Tough start, rough December stretch | Game-by-game predictions

Tennessee Titans: 6-10. The Titans aren't very good, but their schedule doesn't look very tough. They did draw late-season games in frigid Chicago and Kansas City. They double last season's win total en route to semi-respectability, a path that includes a .500 record in the AFC South and a win in San Diego, but a 1-5 finish. -- Paul Kuharsky

Analysis: Three in a row in Nashville in October | Game-by-game predictions


Denver Broncos: 11-5. The Broncos put together a run that included four consecutive AFC West titles, two Super Bowl trips and a title in Super Bowl 50 with quarterback Peyton Manning. But there will be a Super Bowl hangover. The Broncos have enough talent to find their way into the postseason again and win another division title, but the opening three games against Carolina, Indianapolis and Cincinnati will be tough. They will also face Kansas City twice and New England in the final six weeks of the season. -- Jeff Legwold

Analysis: Schedule features tough early stretch | Game-by-game predictions

Kansas City Chiefs: 10-6. The schedule doesn't contain many minefields. The Chiefs will play just five games against 2015 playoff teams. Their record against those opponents last season: 4-1. The Chiefs also have a more balanced schedule rather than one stacked with road games early. That was a factor in last year's 1-5 start. -- Adam Teicher

Analysis: Two night home games in December | Game-by-game predictions

Oakland Raiders: 10-6. The rejuvenated Raiders have a stiff test to open the season, traveling to New Orleans and playing in the din of the Superdome before the schedule evens out a bit in the middle. A mettle-testing end to the schedule, including the regular-season finale at the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, will portend whether the Raiders advance to the playoffs, let alone have a winning record for the first time since 2002. -- Paul Gutierrez

Analysis: Raiders back in national limelight | Game-by-game predictions

San Diego Chargers: 6-10. Worst to first? Not this year. The Chargers will be improved, but are at least a year away in terms of talent on the roster in order to realistically compete for a playoff spot in an AFC West Division dominated by talented defenses. San Diego has the best quarterback in the division in Philip Rivers and an improving young defense. But, they will still struggle to score points with an offensive line that should once again have trouble staying healthy in 2016. -- Eric D. Williams

Analysis: Tough road tests early | Game-by-game predictions