2024-25 Most Improved NFL Teams: Find Out Which Teams Are Moving Up!

Which NFL teams may be undervalued this year? Check out our list of the most improved squads for the 2024-25 season.
Nico Collins and CJ Stroud are two big reasons why Houston could still improve in 2024-25.
Nico Collins and CJ Stroud are two big reasons why Houston could still improve in 2024-25.

Which NFL teams could be on the way up this year? We did a deep dive into each squad's offseason moves and a careful analysis of each team's schedules.

After our work, we believe that the Houston Texans, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, and Arizona Cardinals will be the most improved squads for the 2024 NFL season. Check out our reasoning below!

Houston Texans

2023 Finish: 10-7 (Div. Round Loss)

The Houston Texans are a few years ahead of schedule. Quarterback C.J. Stroud has emerged as a top-tier playmaker, showcasing a big arm and solid decision-making skills. The additions of Joe Mixon and Stefon Diggs to a lineup that already includes Tank Dell, Nico Collins, and Dameon Pierce create one of the best playmaking units in the AFC, if not the best.

Their first four matchups of the season—against Indianapolis, Chicago, Minnesota, and Jacksonville—present minimal challenges for a quick start. Head coach DeMeco Ryans will have had a full offseason to integrate his defense, and key offensive weapons like Dell and John Metchie III will be healthy and activated. 

All in all, the stars are aligning for Houston to become a consistent force in the AFC for years to come. One essential trait of all contenders in any sport is depth, and the Texans, under GM Nick Caserio, have addressed this need on both sides of the ball during the offseason.

Robert Woods and Noah Brown will provide strong support for the top three targets, while Brevin Jordan stands out as one of the best backup tight ends in the league, behind Dalton Schultz.

On defense, the major addition of sack specialist Danielle Hunter will ease the pressure on Will Anderson and Denico Autry—three players who combined for 35 sacks last season.

The one downside for Ryans and Houston is their challenging schedule post-bye week. The last four games of the season present an uphill battle, with matchups against Miami, Kansas City, Baltimore, and Tennessee awaiting.

2024 Projection: 11-6

Cincinnati Bengals

2023 Finish: 9-8 (MP)

Missing the playoffs for the first time since 2020, last season took a turn with Joe Burrow’s injury and Cincinnati’s defense struggling against top-tier NFL offenses. However, with a healthy Burrow in 2024 and an improved defense under Zac Taylor, this Bengals team is poised for a breakout year.

While everyone is focused on Kansas City, Baltimore, Buffalo, Miami, and Houston, Cincinnati—led by Burrow in his fifth year and Chase in his fourth, along with significant secondary improvements—is the team no one will want to face in the AFC at the end of the year.

Cincy’s first four games - New England, Kansas City, Washington, and Carolina will feature two rookie QBs, a team that doesn’t have a true identity yet on either side of the ball, and the Super Bowl champion.

This should be at least a 2-2 or 3-1 start for Burrow and co. as they look to put the best foot forward as he enters his prime. A positive finish for the Bengals is no doubt with some holes in their schedule they can exploit - including Weeks 9-11 with the Raiders, Ravens, and Chargers on tap.

2024 Projection: 10-7

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets at Bet365

Green Bay Packers

2023 Finish: 9-8 (Div. Round Loss)

Similar to Houston, Green Bay is ahead of schedule after a successful Year 1 with Jordan Love that nearly resulted in an NFC Championship game appearance. Boasting a young, deep pass-catching group, a top-tier offensive line, and an improved secondary, the Packers are poised to sit atop the NFC when it's all said and done. Drafting three safeties and signing Xavier McKinney to a four-year deal has bolstered the defense, adding talent behind an already strong linebacker corps. Without the "diva" of A-Rod, combined with a fantastic sophomore and rookie class and the underrated acquisition of Josh Jacobs, this team is ready to compete for the NFC Title in 2024.

As PFN stated, this defense exceeded 2023 expectations and should continue to trend upwards throughout 2024. This means the pressure will be off Jordan Love to throw 40-50 touchdowns to keep his team in games. While the NFC North is an improving division, the early season window is where Green Bay must capitalize. They face Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Minnesota, the Los Angeles Rams, and Arizona in Weeks 1-6—winnable games against susceptible defenses where Love could break out early.

2024 Projection: 11-6

Arizona Cardinals

2023 Finish: 4-13 (MP)

Although the Cardinals were without Kyler Murray for most of the season, it was still deemed a successful campaign under Coach Gannon. They had five one-possession losses and secured key victories over playoff teams like Philadelphia and Dallas.

The 2024 draft was a major success, addressing every need with top picks like WR Marvin Harrison Jr., FSU RB Trey Benson, DE Darius Robinson, and secondary playmakers Max Melton and Elijah Jones. With a rejuvenated roster, the Cardinals are poised to add more wins in 2024.

Their improved defensive line unit will be a significant boost for Gannon, who plans to use rotations to keep the group fresh and apply pressure on the opposing run game.

With Kyler Murray being the obvious X-factor for this team, his leadership and decision making are the two aspects of his game that will make the Cardinals a playoff contender or stagnant squad this season.

Post-bye-week (11) will become the dictator as to whether this is a successful or unsuccessful season for Arizona. Seattle, Minnesota, Seattle, New England, and Carolina will be the five games that Arizona must capitalize on. During this span, look for rookies Trey Benson and MHJ to have their best stretch of the season.

2024 Projection: 7-10

Trending Stories

No stories found.
Bettors Insider