8. Houston Texans (2-14 in 2013)
Last year was a disaster in every possible way in Houston, as the season went awry in Week 4 when a sure victory over the eventual-champion Seahawks turned into a loss when Matt Schaub threw a late-game pick six to Richard Sherman. That was the second of 14 consecutive losses to end the season, which is just staggering. But new head coach Bill O’Brien doesn’t have bare cupboards; there’s a ton of talent, especially on defense, to work with as the Texans bounce back.
7. Buffalo Bills (6-10 in 2013)
Last season, they lost to the Patriots by two in the opener, fell in overtime against both the Bengals and the Falcons, and lost by a touchdown at the Jets. In other words, they were right there. But the bigger takeaway from last season is that despite disappointing losses, as well as a rash of injuries at the quarterback position, head coach Doug Marrone kept his team from quitting. A late-season win over a Miami team with playoff hopes said a lot.