While the NFL's 12 playoff teams gear up for the second season, the league's other 20 franchises begin the long offseason path of reconstruction and redemption. The year 2013 was unkind to many an NFL franchise, with other clubs seizing the opportunities given from the misfortune of heated rivals.
The year's most successful teams managed to stand strong in the face of adversity, winning in spite of what seemed like insurmountable challenges presented at the start of the season.
New England had one of the most bizarre and tumultuous offseasons in recent memory, but 2013 was another stellar year for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, who are clearly still at the top of their (and the) game.
The Denver Broncos lost what felt like its entire offensive line, and all Peyton Manning did was destroy every single-season passing record he could. Green Bay, thanks to a lot of help from the failures of its division rivals, weathered the storm of losing Aaron Rodgers for far too long during the season to get back to the playoffs, inexplicably, again.
The year was one of turnarounds, as well. Carolina may be the story of the year, with Ron Rivera and Cam Newton adjusting the course of what looked like a lost journey into an already historic level of success. Andy Reid took a two-win Chiefs team and made them a contender. Chip Kelly brought his high-octane, wacky offense to the NFL and, by season's end, it has become everything his detractors said it could never be at this level.
There were some disappointments this year as well. And some changes. A lot of changes. We won't soon forget those, don't worry.
We can't forget something else—2013 was not just about this season. While the Baltimore Ravens had a poor campaign by their recent standards, they are still reigning champions, winning a title in 2013, galvanizing Joe Flacco's elite-ness in the process.
With 2013 coming to a close, we thought it would be fun to offer each NFL franchise—and their fans—a personalized resolution for the coming year. From East to West and back again, starting in the AFC and ending with my favorite NFC resolution of all, consider this free advice for the NFL owners. We do not resolve that it's all very good advice.
Happy New Year, NFL.