Ceiling ... *You can be a U.S. Senator one day! *
Floor ... Will you be moving out before you're 28?
The highs and lows of expectations -- they're all around. From our parents. From our employers. And, of course, we turn around and project the same on our favorite football teams. If everything breaks right, the Kansas City Chiefs will go 12-4. If everything breaks down -- that is, Justin Houston misses too much time and Jamaal Charles isn't himself -- maybe 7-9 is on the horizon. With the margin of victory so slim in today's NFL -- the realization of former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue's vision of parity -- a five-game swing is actually a pretty narrow range. And the cool thing? We can do this for every franchise, you and I.
Well, I did. Below you will find the hypotheticals -- the hot-dogs-and-apple-pie version as well as the doom-and-gloom scenario -- for every team in the NFC, with the AFC coming Wednesday. Bear in mind, these scenarios include eventualities where everything either goes very right or very wrong. In other words, don't get upset at the mere mention of the possibility that the Packerscould go 8-8. Much would have to go awry -- like the return of Brian Brohm. Yet, if you still have an issue with these narratives, @HarrisonNFL is the place.
Let's get the dual-universe predictions going...
NOTE: Check back for the AFC on Wednesday.
Floor: 9-7. The division is not strong enough to knock the Panthers down to .500. But if the kids in the secondary struggle to fill the Norman void -- and the edge rush isn't there again -- Carolina could lose much more often in 2016. Receiver Kelvin Benjamin starting slowly after missing 2015 with a torn ACL would turn bad quickly.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Floor: 5-11. Speaking of Ingram, Drew Brees needs help. In the 5-11 scenario, 37-year-old QB hits the career wall, leaving even more in the defense's hands. Tight end Coby Fleener is on-again, off-again, like he was for much of his career in Indy. Still, Brees and New Orleans are too good at home to only win three games.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Floor: 4-12. Dirk Koetter struggles in his transition to head coach. Doug Martin resembles the 2013and '14Doug Martin, not the 2015 vintage. Veteran pass catcher Vincent Jackson shows his age, with Mike Evans struggling with a basic function of being a wide receiver: catching the football. Honestly, I think the Bucs go 8-8.