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2. Saints — The NFC South is a tough division with Atlanta and Carolina. But if the Saints play defense, they’ll contend.

3. Jets — Only a December meltdown kept the Jets out of the playoffs last year. They’ll get a boost from coach Rex Ryan and linebacker Bart Scott.

4. Seahawks — Matt Hasselbeck is back healthy, and he has a new target (T.J. Houshmandzadeh) who could spearhead a return to the playoffs.

5. Redskins — They should start fast again. They’re better than Dallas but will need to forge splits with the Giants and Eagles.