Which last-place team is biggest sleeper heading into the 2019 NFL season?

Eight teams finished at the bottom of their respective divisions in 2018:

» Arizona Cardinals
» Cincinnati Bengals
» Detroit Lions
» Jacksonville Jaguars
» New York Giants
» New York Jets
» Oakland Raiders
» Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Now, with the draft and most of free agency in the books, one question comes to mind: Which last-place team is the biggest sleeper heading into 2019?

Unpredictable AFC South leaves door open for Jaguars
How short our memories have become. Just 16 months ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars were running it up on the Killer Bs ... in Pittsburgh. Just eight months ago, the Blake Bortles-led Jags had the look of AFC favorites after stomping Tom Brady's Patriots in Week 2. Now, Jacksonville has swapped out Bortles for a Super Bowl MVP under center, and it still has most of the key pieces from its suffocating 2017 defense, even after the surprising news about Telvin Smith. Plus, the pass rush should get a boost from the selection of Josh Allen in this year's draft. Sure, the Jags are coming off an embarrassing 5-11 season, but in the Tom Coughlin Era, Part Deux-val, I see that campaign as an exception to the rule.

The AFC South remains the most unpredictable division in football, even in 2019, when the Jags have been cast back to the land of forgotten franchises in favor of Andrew Luck's Colts and Deshaun Watson's Texans. As the postseason proved, those squads are flawed, just as much as or more so than Jacksonville. All four AFC South teams have made the playoffs once in the past two seasons. Why can't the Jags get back to the postseason this time around?
Cardinals will thrive under rookie QB and new head coach
It might just be the hype talking, but I'm going with the Arizona Cardinals. It might also be because we're expecting Kliff Kingsbury to bring Arizona's offense into the 21st century after the Redbirds trotted out one of the harder-to-watch attacks in recent memory. That alone could make a big difference for a team that suffered four losses by three or fewer points in 2018. While the Rams are still poised to be the best team in the NFC West, there is room for another squad to make a run. With a new scheme and a little luck, the Cards could open some eyes this year.
Expect Jacksonville to be back in the playoffs in 2019
Too many people are sleeping on my friends down in Duval County, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Now, obviously last year didn't go as well as they would have liked after their run to the AFC Championship Game the previous year ( Myles Jack wasn't down, TBH). The Telvin Smith news was a bit unexpected. But the Jaguars are still one of the most talented defensive teams in the league. They somehow landed edge rusher Josh Allen seventh overall in the draft. And, I'm not sure if you heard about this, but they signed Nick Freaking Foles. It's the biggest signing for the Khan family since it inked Chris Jericho to AEW (just trust me on this). I fully expect the Jaguars to be back in the playoffs this season.
New York Jets could surprise with bolstered roster
The Oakland Raiders made a ton of big moves this offseason, so no one's sleeping on them. The Jets, however, will be far better than people give them credit for -- even after firing their general manager a few months before the 2019 season begins. The roster has improved immensely on both sides of the ball. With LB C.J. Mosley, who was the team's best offseason acquisition, S Jamal Adams and rookie DT Quinnen Williams manning the middle of the field, this defense should be stout against the run and put a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Offensively, Adam Gase's play-calling, along with Le'Veon Bell in the backfield and an improved O-line, should help Sam Darnold grow in Year 2.
Nick Foles will elevate Jags back to 2017 form
I do think a lot of people are sleeping on the New York Giants, but I won't be a homer. Instead, I'll take the Jags. One year removed from an AFC title game appearance, Jacksonville had a stellar offseason -- minus the Telvin Smith news. Quarterback Nick Foles makes this offense a completely different unit than when it was headed by Blake Bortles, bringing an air attack that can be as good as the run game. Not to mention, the Jaguars landed two high-caliber draft picks who should contribute immediately in Josh Allen and Jawaan Taylor.