Success and failure in the NFL is often based on circumstances.
In the last five years only 11 or just about 1/3 of the franchises in the NFL have been able to win ten games or more in back to back seasons.
Strength of schedule, turnover luck, injuries and a fluky play here or there can make a team that should win five games win eight or a team that should win ten games win six.
Full disclosure - I am going to pick the Arizona Cardinals to finish last in the NFC West. I don't think they can overcome the issues at quarterback or offensive line to be better than the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams or Seattle Seahawks.
Where I go from here it might seem like I'm playing both sides, but in this division there are so many variables.
The one position in the NFL that helps you avoid the ups and downs season to season is having an elite quarterback.
Alex Smith, Sam Bradford, Russell Wilson or Matt Flynn, none of those names come anywhere close to the elite level.
If the Cardinals play smart, turnover free football and the defense lives up to the lofty expectations winning the NFC West isn't out of the question. The 49ers are a prime drop back team, the Rams are one of the youngest teams in the NFL and the Seahawks lack big time talent on the perimeter of their offense.
Arizona isn't playing in a division with the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers or New Orleans Saints, which gives them a shred of hope.
All the teams in their division have weaknesses and question marks.
So while yes, I and many others will project the Cardinals to finish in the bottom of the NFC West, it's not out of the question for them to have a solid season.
Everything looks bleak right now, but circumstances can and will change.
Maybe, just maybe, this season for the Arizona Cardinals won't be as bad as expected.