12 NFL teams that will not make the playoffs


Thursdays. Sundays. Mondays. Oh my! Yep—football is getting closer. All of the bickering, jeers and cheers, trades and incredible performances, it’s the NFL and it’s the best!  We are just over a week from the first action, which, of course, is a perfect time to look at what NFL teams won’t have any postseason hopes—the franchises that should begin thinking about the 2021 NFL Draft immediately.



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Ron Rivera has a massive rebuilding job—for an organization that is one trainwreck after another. Good on Washington to draft Chase Young; he will fortify the defense. Dwayne Haskins is a riddle, and Rivera needs to solve it quickly, or this team will continue going nowhere. Perhaps the only hope is for Alex Smith to continue his miraculous recovery story and somehow lead this team to success—but that’s a tall task.



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As long as we are on a Ron Rivera theme, let’s hope Matt Rhule has the time and patience to rebuild the Panthers. They fell apart last season, and Christian McCaffrey can only do so much. Can Teddy Bridgewater continue to prove the doubters that he is a top-tier QB who can lead a team over 17-plus weeks? There are too many “firsts” on this team for that to be a no-doubter.



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Sure, sign Nick Foles and then toss him like he never won a Super Bowl. Gardner Minshew makes for a fun show—but that means very little if the final act ends in a loss. Feels more likely the Khans will have success with AEW wrestling than Doug Marrone and the Jaguars.



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With apologies to Al Stewart, this will not be “The Year of the Cat” as the Lions join the Panthers and Jaguars on the outside of the playoffs. The team has made some changes to its roster, but how much does it matter under Matt Patricia? The Patriots’ juju didn’t follow the head coach to Detroit, where this year’s playoff miss might be Patricia’s last.



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Hard to imagine a sport with more feeble felines than the NFL. Joe Burrow’s first go as the team’s QB is exciting, but that’s about it for positive vibes in Ciny. The Bengals should focus on keeping Burrow upright and safe, so he can build confidence…and make it to a second season—that will be a victory in itself.



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From one Heisman winner to another, Kyler Murray and the Cardinals will improve as they did last season. However, with the 49ers, Seahawks, and Rams in the NFC West, those are hurdles too high to conquer to make a playoff run. The team is definitely trending in the right direction, though.



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Cleveland added a few sold pieces under first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski, which should help Baker Mayfield progress from last year’s wash, getting back to more of a 2018 vibe. But “should” is never a definite lock. Stefanski will have more luck with Cleveland’s egos and personalities than Freddie Kitchens experienced; however, it won’t enable the rookie coach to leapfrog Baltimore and resurgent Pittsburgh.



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Philip Rivers is gone, which leaves a hole that’s not easily filled, and the team also shipped off a dual-threat RB in Melvin Gordon (to Denver!). There’s a possibility—like always—that either Tyrod Taylor or rookie Justin Herbert steps up at QB and surprises the NFL. But the odds are not stacked in the Bolts favor. Overall, this is simply a team that is coming off a dismal season, and that doesn’t seem like anything head coach Anthony Lynn can fix in a hurry.



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From the Bolts to the Colts! Philip Rivers makes that move and won’t see the postseason with Indy. Tough competition in the division from Houston and Tennessee makes it a steep climb.



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There is a lot of hope for Chicago to rebound from a mediocre season in 2019. However, when you start with a potential quarterback controversy between Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky, it’s hard to imagine anyone in the front office (or the fan base) feels confident overtaking the NFC North.



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Hope is not as thin as the air in Denver, with John Elway (finally!) selecting a QB in the draft who has true potential—for more than a season, too. Yep, the Broncos seemed to be in the right direction. Veteran cornerback A.J. Bouye seems to be a solid replacement for Chris Harris Jr., and dreadful predictions aren’t accompanying notes in Broncos camp. But still—overthrowing Kansas City, while holing off an improved Las Vegas Raiser squad? Not yet, Mile High.



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They share a stadium, so they can share the top spot for having zero playoff chances. The Giants are without Eli Manning—we’re kidding, but Giants fans will need to have a bit of fun while battling the expected growing pains with first-year head coach Joe Judge. Jason Garrett’s role as the offensive coordinator remains an interesting aspect, but how does that relate to Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley? (Will it?) And for the Jets? Well, Adam Gase has not been the most popular coach, and some fans think that Sam Darnold avoiding mono is basically a positive season.



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13/13 SLIDES

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