5 Teams That Made The Playoffs But Wont Next Year
Only one more day until the NFL season officially comes to an end. No matter who wins tomorrow's Super Bowl there is a good chance these two teams can meet again in next year’s Super Bowl. There are twelve teams that make the playoffs every year. Not every team makes it back to the playoffs every year. As I wrote earlier about the 5 teams that missed the playoffs this year but can make it to the playoffs next year (click here to read that article). Here are 5 teams that made the playoffs this year but could have a hard time getting back to the playoffs next year.
The Panthers barely made it into the playoffs this year with a (7-8-1) record. At one point this year they looked to be fighting for a top 10 draft pick in the upcoming draft. By week 13 they were (3-8-1), but then went on a 4 game winning streak to make it into the playoffs. Carolina could have a tough time getting back to the playoffs since they have the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons in their division. The Saints finished (7-9) on the year and the Falcons finished (6-10). The Saints finished 31st and the Falcons finished 32nd in total defense. If they can improve their defense they could both be a good team, as they both finished in the top 10 in total offense.
The Bengals made the playoffs this year even though they were the 22nd worst defense in the NFL. For the Bengals to stay in the playoffs they will need quarterback Andy Dalton to play better. Before the season started Andy Dalton signed a 6 year $115 million and so far he hasn’t lived up to the contract. Dalton had 7 games this year where he threw for under 200 yards, one of those games he only threw for 86 yards.
The Lions don’t have good luck at making the playoffs. Since 2000 the Lions have only made the playoffs twice, one was this year and the other was in 2011. Defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley are both going to be free agents. Losing Suh could hurt the Lions defense that finished number 1 in rush defense.
The Steelers defense is getting older. The Steelers might have to restructure player salaries to help bring in other players. The Steelers also lost their long time defensive coach Dick LeBeau. Losing there long time coach could be a sign of changes coming to the team.
Many did not expect the Cowboys to make the playoffs this year. The Cowboys have two key free agents coming up; wide receiver Dez Bryant and running back Demarco Murray. Owner Jerry Jones has said no matter what he will use the franchise tag on Dez, so he’s not going anywhere, but there is a decent chance the Cowboys lose Murray though. Many didn’t expect the Cowboys to have a good defense, but they played over there head. Their defense could come back down to earth next year.