Monday NFL preview: QB questions for Super Bowl contenders

NFL Nation reporters look ahead to what Monday has in store for each team.


Buffalo Bills: The Bills will clean out their lockers Monday after their 16th consecutive season of missing the playoffs. Who could be leaving the Bills' locker room for the final time? Defensive end Mario Williams tops that list because he is likely to be released in the coming months, but he won't be alone: Linebacker Nigel Bradham is among the Bills' nine unrestricted free agents this offseason, and he seems less likely to return than left tackle Cordy Glenn or left guard Richie Incognito. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins, who finished 6-10, begin their offseason Monday with their biggest offseason question mark at head coach. They will begin an extensive search this week that will involve a variety of experienced head coaches and potential first timers. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also said interim coach Dan Campbell will be in consideration. Players want Campbell to return, but his chances appear slim after going 5-7. -- James Walker

New England Patriots: The Patriots aren't entering the playoffs with momentum, finishing at 12-4 after losing their finale to the Dolphins on the road. Quarterback Tom Brady injured his right ankle early in the second quarter on a hit from defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and said after the game he was "pretty sore" but thought he would be all right. Brady was limping noticeably after the game, and his condition is a top storyline to monitor in the days to come. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets: After Sunday's crushing loss to the Bills, the Jets will report for their final meeting and exit interviews on Monday. Among the hot topics: the futures of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, who broke his right leg; and more fallout from the Buffalo debacle. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens finished off a 5-11 season, which is tied for the second-worst record in franchise history. But nine of Baltimore's 11 losses came by eight points or fewer, including Sunday's 24-16 defeat at the AFC North champion Bengals. "This has been one of the most rewarding seasons I've ever had," coach John Harbaugh said. "Not in the win-loss column, but in the team column and family column in sticking together." -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals: Monday could be an important day for the Bengals' postseason hopes as they learn where things stand with Andy Dalton's injured right thumb. It's hard seeing him throwing a football with the kind of requisite grip just days after potentially getting a cast removed from his hand. The key word there also is "potentially." The quarterback is hopeful the cast comes off in time for this week's wild-card game against the Steelers. Regardless, the Bengals continue to support his backup, AJ McCarron, and feel good that he could win them a playoff game if he's forced to start for Dalton for a fourth straight game, as expected. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns: Owner Jimmy Haslam said he would start immediately to search for a new coach. Haslam said he has no interviews set up, that he has nothing set with ex-Bills coach Doug Marrone to be the first interview. Haslam said he will take as long as he needs to find the right coach, be it two weeks or two months. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers left Cleveland with renewed confidence after the Jets' loss to the Bills opened the door to the AFC wild-card spot. The No. 6 seed Steelers will face the No. 3 Bengals in Round 3 for this heated rivalry. The Steelers like their chances. "We've got the best offense in football," right tackle Marcus Gilbert said. The Steelers are fired up, but too much excitement is prohibited -- in the locker room, coach Mike Tomlin told his team to get on the bus because "I got to go to work." The Steelers will be monitoring the right ankle injury of DeAngelo Williams, who will be crucial to any playoff push. Williams left the locker room in a protective boot. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans: The Texans were without defensive end Jadeveon Clowney but still set a franchise record with eight sacks on Sunday against the Jaguars. Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus continued an outstanding season with his second game in which he had 3.5 sacks. Mercilus is the only player in Texans franchise history to have had two different games with at least 3.5 sacks. -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts: Coach Chuck Pagano and owner Jim Irsay are scheduled to meet Monday to discuss Pagano's future. ESPN.com reported last week that Pagano will not be retained after four seasons as coach. The Colts missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Pagano said he has no regrets. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars: Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson finished with 1,400 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. The TDs are a single-season franchise record and the receiving yards are the second-most in team history (1,636 by Jimmy Smith in 1999). Robinson is the first alternate for the Pro Bowl, so he said he's going to continue to run and stay in shape instead of shutting things down in case he gets the call to replace someone who drops out. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans: Monday could turn out to be a giant day for the franchise. Interim coach Mike Mularkey should find out his fate. And general manager Ruston Webster, who has an expiring contract, should also learn if he is in line for another contract. If the Titans move on from one or both, major searches will be underway. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos: They have the AFC's No. 1 seed in the postseason, they have their fifth consecutive AFC West title, but they do not know who will start their first playoff game at quarterback in two weeks. If Peyton Manning is healthy, it's hard to fathom how the Broncos would put him back on the bench after Sunday's 27-20 win over the Chargers, but even Manning said it all depends on how his left foot feels. "We'll see how I feel [Monday], we'll see how my foot feels," Manning said following the game. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs beat the Texans to begin the regular season, but they were a much different team then. Charcandrick West, who wound up as the Chiefs' leading rusher, played only on special teams in that game. Jeremy Maclin, who wound up leading the Chiefs in receiving, had just five catches for 52 yards. He was overshadowed that day by tight end Travis Kelce, who had six catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns. The yardage and touchdowns were Kelce's season highs. -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders: The Raiders finished 7-9, the 12th season in a row Oakland closed at .500 or below. They have missed the playoffs in all 12 of those seasons. Still, they showed growth, as quarterback Derek Carr threw for more the 4,000 yards, running back Latavius Murray ran for more than 1,000 yards and wide receiver Amari Cooper had more than 1,000 yards receiving. Combine those three offensive threats with pass-rusher Khalil Mack and the Raiders look poised to be a contender next season. -- ESPN.com staff

San Diego Chargers: Cornerback Steve Williams kept the Chargers in the game by himself in the first half, accounting for three turnovers. After getting beat by wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders for a 46-yard reception, Williams ran him down, stripped the ball and recovered. Williams also corralled an interception on a tipped ball and forced a fumble on a strip sack of quarterback Brock Osweiler, which was recovered by safety Jahleel Addae. "I'm a fighter and I'm strong enough to play in this league," Williams said when asked what he learned about himself this season. -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys: Thanks to their 4-12 finish, the Cowboys will have one of the top picks next spring and have a number of ways they could go to fill a hole on the roster, including quarterback. Jerry Jones has no doubt that Tony Romo will return to playing at a high level after missing 12 games this season. Jones also believes Kellen Moore can be a viable option as a No. 2 quarterback in 2016. But that does not mean the Cowboys won't look at a quarterback such as Jared Goff or Paxton Lynch or others at the top of the draft to find a long-term successor to Romo. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants: Giants ownership is scheduled to meet Monday morning to discuss and possibly decide the fate of coach Tom Coughlin, who's likely to be out after 12 years with the team and two Super Bowl titles. Coughlin's teams have missed the playoffs four years in a row and six of the past seven. One of the issues could be replacing him and understanding how extensive the changes should be on the coaching staff, especially with quarterback Eli Manning having had two strong seasons since the team hired offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles' coaching search can begin in earnest on Monday. They already interviewed running backs coach Duce Staley on Friday. Beginning Monday, they can request permission from other teams to interview assistant coaches. Chicago is not in the playoffs, so offensive coordinator Adam Gase is likely to be among the first candidates. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins: The Redskins will take the day off, as usual, and then return to work Tuesday with a full practice Wednesday. The key will be having players such as defensive end Jason Hatcher, safety Dashon Goldson, receiver DeSean Jackson and left tackle Trent Williams being refreshed after not playing Sunday at Dallas. All have been dealing with aches and pains down the stretch, so having a week to rest will be beneficial. But they should also know more Monday about safety Kyshoen Jarrett, who underwent an MRI on Sunday night to determine the extent of a neck injury. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears: Bears general manager Ryan Pace is scheduled to address the media on Monday for the first time since August. For the record, former Bears general managers Phil Emery and Jerry Angelo made themselves available in the season. Since Pace hasn't spoken publically in months, he will be bombarded with questions about Matt Forte (free agent), Alshon Jeffery (free agent), Jay Cutler, Kevin White, Robbie Gould, the 2016 NFL draft class and free agency. This figures to be a busy offseason for Pace and the Bears front office. Chicago has ample salary-cap space to add impact players after they finished 6-10 under coach John Fox. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions: The Lions are about to embark on their general manager search Monday and are expected to formally file requests to speak with candidates from around the league, as well as schedule an interview for interim general manager Sheldon White. Detroit wants to move quickly on hiring a GM since that person is going to make the final decision on Jim Caldwell's future with the Lions. Team president Rod Wood said he would like to start interviews for the job this week. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers: For the first time since 2010, the Packers aren't NFC North champs. Sunday night's loss to the Vikings ended a run of four straight division titles, and it means the Packers have to open the playoffs on the road. Since they won Super Bowl XLV, they're just 2-4 in their past six road playoff games. For the first time since 1991, back in the NFC Central days, the Packers have lost to the Lions, Bears and Vikings at home. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings will have a handful of injuries to sort through before their first playoff game next weekend; tight end Rhett Ellison was carted off with a knee injury and defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis missed some time with a sprained ankle. Linebacker Anthony Barr left briefly with an injury and running back Adrian Peterson missed much of the second half with a lower back injury. Getting those players healthy, and trying to get nose tackle Linval Joseph back, will be a priority for the Vikings this week. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons: Falcons owner Arthur Blank said he hadn't made any decisions on front-office changes as of Sunday night, meaning general manager Thomas Dimitroff's status remains in limbo as the Falcons finished the season at 8-8 and without a playoff appearance for the third straight year. Blank said the partnership Dimitroff has built with coach Dan Quinn reflects well for both of them. However, Blank will sit down with Quinn before any decisions are made. Quinn previously expressed a desire to maintain the partnership with Dimitroff. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers: Coach Ron Rivera admitted there was concern over cornerback Charles Tillman's right knee injury on Sunday. Tillman already missed four games with an injury to the same knee. If Tillman can't go in the playoffs, the Panthers will have two weeks to get somebody up to speed to play opposite Josh Norman. That could be Robert McClain, who had an interception and seven tackles after replacing Tillman against Tampa Bay. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints: Sean Payton's future takes center stage now. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that other teams expect Payton will be allowed to explore other coaching vacancies, even though he has two years left on his deal with the Saints. But it will take both the right team and the right level of draft-pick compensation to pry him away, since he and the Saints are still relatively happy with each other despite two straight losing seasons. Among the most attractive jobs that could potentially come open are the Colts, Giants and 49ers -- though it's unclear if any of those teams will pursue Payton and pay the asking price. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Quarterback Jameis Winston wasn't thrilled with his team's finish, which included four straight losses, capped by a blowout at the hands of division winner Carolina. But the rookie quarterback insists the future will be better. Winston backed Lovie Smith and the coaching staff emphatically while challenging the rest of his teammates to refocus this offseason. "Our coaches want it," Winston said. "We need to get our guys to put in the work like the coaches put in." -- David Hale


Arizona Cardinals: Nothing went right for the Cardinals in a blowout loss to the Seahawks on Sunday, but coach Bruce Arians said it was a "valuable lesson" and called the loss a "nice wake-up call" as Arizona heads into the bye week of the playoffs. -- Josh Weinfuss

St. Louis Rams: After Sunday's loss to San Francisco, the Rams can still claim the league lead in one category: most consecutive losing seasons. They've now gone a whopping nine straight seasons without reaching .500 and have gone 12 years without more wins than losses on the ledger. Despite that, it appears coach Jeff Fisher will be retained, barring a huge surprise. The Rams are expected to file for relocation on Monday, which will set in motion an offseason full of uncertainty. -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers announced the firing of Jim Tomsula after one strange season just over two hours following their Fool's Gold/Feel Good 19-16 overtime victory against the Rams, and it will be interesting to see how Niners CEO Jed York spins this, considering how he trumpeted Tomsula as a teacher and a mentor when York hired him last January. Tomsula was not hired to be an X's and O's guy, and that was obviously his big failing as he was in over his head. But that should not have come as a surprise to anyone paying attention. -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks: According to ESPN Stats & Information, Russell Wilson became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns while also running for at least 500 yards. He finished the regular season as the league's top-rated passer (110.1) and will have to continue to lead the way if the Seahawks are going to get back to the Super Bowl for the third consecutive year. -- Sheil Kapadia