Each of the past 11 seasons, at least one team has made the transition from last place in their division the previous season to first place in their division the next season. The Carolina Panthers did it in 2013, the Washington Redskins in 2012, and the Denver Broncos in 2011. Which last-place team will accomplish the feat this year?
In the Football Outsiders Almanac 2014, we forecast the upcoming season with a formula that accounts for everything from performance the past two years to personnel changes to injury history. Then we simulate the season 1 million times, accounting for all the randomness and unknown variables that will also affect the upcoming season.
Based on that simulation, here are last year's eight last-place teams in their order of likelihood to make the transition from worst in 2013 to first in 2014: