New Year’s resolution: Surround Tom Brady with more explosive playmakers. The Patriots made 26 transactions at wide receiver since 2017 training camp began, which reflected their struggles to decisively address the position. That put more of the burden on the 41-year-old Brady, who invested heavily in bringing along Josh Gordon before the receiver was lost to an indefinite NFL suspension in mid-December. — Mike Reiss
7. Houston Texans (11-5)
Week 17 ranking: 7
New Year’s resolution: Make the offensive line the priority in free agency and the NFL draft so you can ensure Deshaun Watson is able to remain on the field. The Texans gave up an NFL-high 62 sacks in the regular season. Watson has been sacked 81 times in 23 career games; he can’t continue to take that kind of beating. The Texans need to bring in an offensive lineman in free agency and target one of the top offensive tackles in the draft. — Turron Davenport
8. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
Week 17 ranking: 8
New Year’s resolution: Develop Lamar Jackson as a passer. There’s no question Jackson is an electric runner and a poised leader. The next step in Jackson’s evolution is in the passing game. In seven starts, Jackson completed 58.2 percent of this passes, throwing five touchdowns and three interceptions (82.6 passer rating). With a full offseason, teams are going to pick apart Baltimore’s dominant rushing attack. To counter that, Jackson has to become more consistent with his throws. — Jamison Hensley
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9. Seattle Seahawks (10-6)
Week 17 ranking: 9
New Year’s resolution: Tighten things up on defense. One of the hallmarks of Pete Carroll’s Seahawks teams has been that they rarely give up big gains, but that hasn’t been the case this season. The Seahawks have allowed 5.92 yards per play, easily the most in any of Carroll’s nine seasons in Seattle and almost a full yard more than they allowed in 2017. Adding a playmaker at safety or linebacker this offseason would help, but the Seahawks will need the improvement to come from within during the playoffs, especially if they run into a big-play offense such as that of the Rams or Saints. — Brady Henderson
10. Indianapolis Colts (10-6)
Week 17 ranking: 10
New Year’s resolution: Acquire a complementary receiver to go with T.Y. Hilton. The Colts’ second-best receiver has been tight end Eric Ebron, who had a team-high 13 touchdown catches during the regular season. Dontrelle Inman, who was signed after Week 6 because of injuries at the position, moved all the way up to the No. 2 receiver by late in the season. But he turns 30 at the end of January. Getting a young No. 2 receiver — or one just as good as Hilton — will make an already impressive offense that finished sixth overall even better. — Mike Wells
11. Dallas Cowboys (10-6)
Week 17 ranking: 12
New Year’s resolution: Reach a long-term deal with DeMarcus Lawrence. The Cowboys wanted Lawrence to prove he was not a one-hit wonder after he recorded 14.5 sacks in 2017, so they placed the franchise tag on him. He answered in 2018 with another Pro Bowl season and 10.5 more sacks. The Cowboys have a history of keeping their own players off the market, and Jerry Jones has sought a “war daddy” pass-rusher since DeMarcus Ware’s departure. Lawrence has shown he is one of the best pass-rushers in the league, and the Cowboys will have the cap room necessary to keep him. — Todd Archer