Last season, five of the NFL teams that made the playoffs in 2018 did not return to the playoffs in 2019.
This is a common trend with playoff teams not being able to repeat in consecutive years. Few teams like the New England Patriots return year after year as teams evolve in different ways. There could be at least four teams though that might miss out this season.
2019 NFL Playoff Teams That Could Miss Out
New England Patriots
Tom Brady is no longer in New England which brings many questions to the table. Jarrett Stidham appears to be jumping into the starting quarterback role. His lack of experience on the field leaves many to wonder if the Patriots are the class of the NFL.
Bill Belichick is one of the greatest head coaches in NFL history so if anyone can rebuild this team, he can do it. Belichick has only missed the playoffs three times as Patriots head coach and only one losing season in New England.
The Patriots lost a lot of key players like Kyle Van Noy, Danny Shelton, Jamie Collins, and Phillip Dorsett. They also cut longtime kicker Stephen Gostkowski from the team. New England avoided any big signings as they focused more on the draft and signing players to small deals.
Despite the loss of Brady, the Patriots still have talent on both sides of the ball. Sony Michel could have a breakout season as the featured back in the offense. Julian Edelman is always reliable and Mohamed Sanu as well as N’Keal Harry could have bigger roles in the passing game. The Patriots’ secondary is the strength of the defense led by Stephon Gilmore, Devin & Jason McCourty, and Patrick Chung.
It seems bleak that the Patriots would make the playoffs as they are in rebuild mode. The talent is there, but it may take a year or two for them to get back to where they were with Brady there.
Last season felt so much like a fluke of a season for the Tennessee Titans. It was a true tale of a Cinderella season with the backup quarterback in Ryan Tannehill bringing new energy to Tennessee. Derrick Henry broke through the barrier and became the NFL’s leading rusher. The defense completely shutdown the Patriots and Ravens in the playoffs. It was a memorable season for Tennessee.
The defense saw some turnover with Logan Ryan, Cameron Wake, and Wesley Woodyard no longer there. Not to mention they traded top tier defensive lineman Jurrell Casey for a low draft pick. They did add some key pieces with Vic Beasley helping the Titan’s pass rush. Ryan Tannehill is secured with a big contract and now the sole leader at quarterback.
Tennessee has finished 9-7 four years in a row with two out of the four being in the playoffs. Fans have to start wondering if this team can move past that and make a Super Bowl run. The moves they made this offseason doesn’t blow anyone away. It looks like another potential 9-7 season that could go either way on if they make the playoffs.
Minnesota is no doubt a very talented team, but don’t they feel like this season’s Los Angeles Chargers? A team that should be playoff bound, but have a distract with a running back holdout that could ruin the season. It all feels so familiar to what Charger fans suffered with last year.
Kirk Cousins is back after having one of his best seasons in his career, but lost his top weapon in Stefon Diggs. Adam Thielen takes over the number one receiver spot with rookie Justin Jefferson looking to be the next man up. Dalvin Cook’s holdout situation will have to be monitored during training camp. If it ends up like Melvin Gordon’s situation last year, Minnesota might be in trouble.
The defense lost multiple pieces to their defense to free agency and cutting down on their salary cap. Despite that, Danielle Hunter is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL and Ifeadi Odenigbo had a breakout season with seven sacks on the defensive line. Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks are still top tier linebackers filling the box for Minnesota. The secondary is young, but Harrison Smith’s impact and leadership should help their development.
Key pieces are gone and Cook’s holdout could cause an unnecessary distraction. Cousins needs this season to get over the next hump of making a conference title game. Too many questions to a talented team typically smells trouble for the season.
Since the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2017, the team has sneaked into the NFL playoffs at 9-7 two seasons in a row. Injuries have plagued this team the last two years as well. The saying is that it is better to be lucky than good, but has luck run out on the Eagles?
Carson Wentz completed a full regular season at quarterback, but suffered a concussion in the Wild Card game loss to Seattle. The receiver position was a mess for the team, but added plenty of speed through the NFL draft. Miles Sanders had a breakout rookie season that leaves many to believe more is to come. The defense got better with the additions of Darius Slay and Javon Hargrove.
Once again for Philadelphia, the pieces are there for them. Many are expecting big things from the Eagles in terms of making a Super Bowl run. Brandon Brooks’ injury might make some believe it might be a bad omen for the season. If Philadelphia has another injury-plagued season, can they survive to the end?