>New England Patriots
Who's in: WR Brandon Lloyd, OLB/DE Trevor Scott (Buffalo), S Steve Gregory, DE Chandler Jones, LB Dont'a Hightower.
Who's out: T Matt Light, RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB Kevin Faulk, DE Mark Anderson, S James Ihedigbo.
Last playoff appearance: 2011 (lost Super Bowl)
Longest playoff drought: 7 seasons (1987-93)
Other notable drought: New England hasn't had a Pro Bowl running back since 1996 (Curtis Martin).
On the spot: New left tackle Sebastian Vollmer will be tasked with protecting Tom Brady's blind side.
They'll win the Super Bowl if: Syracuse rookie Chandler Jones can generate a pass rush, helping mask some of the deficiencies of the secondary.
They'll lose in the postseason if: Teams devise a scheme to slow the Patriots' dynamic tight ends and Wes Welker. Good luck.
Who's in: DE Mario Williams, DE Mark Anderson, QB Tarvaris Jackson, CB Stephon Gilmore, LT Cordy Glenn.
Who's out: CB Drayton Florence, DE Shawne Merriman, WR Roscoe Parrish, LT Demetrius Bell.
Last playoff appearance: 1999 (lost in wild-card round)
Longest playoff drought: Current
Other notable drought: The Bills had lost 15 straight games to New England before ending that streak in Week Three last season.
On the spot: No. 2 receiver Donald Jones will have to stretch the field to open the underneath routes and take pressure off Stevie Johnson.
They'll finally make the playoffs if: The revamped defensive line lives up to its potential, putting the offense in favorable position.
They'll finish under .500 again if: The way quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick finished 2011 is closer to his true form than the way he started the season.
>New York Jets
Who's in: QB Tim Tebow, S LaRon Landry, DE Quinton Coples, WR Stephen Hill, RT Jason Smith.
Who's out: RB LaDainian Tomlinson, S Jim Leonhard, WR Plaxico Burress, S Brodney Pool, RT Wayne Hunter.
Last playoff appearance: 2010 (lost in conference championship)
Longest playoff drought: 11 seasons (1970-80)
Other notable drought: The Jets haven't had a receiver with a 200-yard game since Richard Caster had 204 on Sept. 24, 1972, at Baltimore.
On the spot: Head coach Rex Ryan has to be an effective ringleader of this circus.
They'll challenge for a wild card if: Coples can provide a good pass rush, forcing throws for cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis to feast on.
They'll fall apart if: Tebow Time comes too soon. The minute Mark Sanchez throws an interception, Tebow's faithful will be loudly calling for him. The potential is there for things to get ugly.
Who's in: QB Ryan Tannehill, QB David Garrard, DB Richard Marshall, WR Legedu Naanee, OL Artis Hicks.
Who's out: WR Brandon Marshall, LB Jason Taylor, S Yeremiah Bell, QB Chad Henne, CB Vontae Davis.
Last playoff appearance: 2008 (lost in wild card round)
Longest playoff drought: 6 seasons (2002-07)
Other notable drought: The Dolphins have had three straight losing seasons for the first time in their NFL history.
On the spot: Running back Reggie Bush is coming off his first 1,000-yard season. He'll be targeted by defenses as the Dolphins' only big-play threat.
They'll fight to stay out of the basement if: The defense, which has ranked eighth in points allowed the past two seasons, can keep them in games.
Why they'll be candidates for the top pick: Rookie quarterback Tannehill is awfully raw to be starting from Day One, but the Fins don't have much choice.Note: Capsules are in order of predicted finish.