With new teams making the playoffs means new teams that will miss the playoffs for the upcoming 2022 season. After a wild offseason, especially in the AFC West, there are a lot of teams that will look different when week one rolls around. The AFC has more firepower than the NFC, but some decisions could still lead to a mix-up of teams in the playoffs for the NFC.
3 Teams That Will Miss the Playoffs After Making in 2021
The AFC is wide open, with many teams I can see making their way into the playoffs. There are many talented teams, and on any given week, there will be games with huge playoff implications. That also means there will be games that a playoff team from last season will be playing in and come up short. While the NFC seems more predictable, there will still be a change in playoff teams this season in the conference.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are one of the teams that will miss the playoffs this season. My biggest question mark for the team is the quarterback position. San Francisco is going with Trey Lance this season after he saw very minimal snaps last season behind Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo may not have put up spectacular stats, but he did do one thing very well. Win. Throughout his career, he has won repeatedly, posting a career record of 45-18- A winning percentage of .714. You can argue that winning percentage isn’t a quarterback stat, but having someone who wins as a key player that touches the ball every play on offense is something very important.
San Francisco also lost offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel. McDaniel has been a critical piece to the 49er coaching staff since 2017 and now is the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Yes, the 49ers will still have Deebo Samuel and George Kittle on offense, but unless Trey Lance or someone else steps up, I don’t see this team being as good offensively as they were last season.
The next team that will miss the playoffs this season would be the Tennessee Titans. They still have Derrick Henry, who will continue to be their workhorse, but their passing game isn’t there. They lost A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, who wasn’t the Julio Jones we expected him to be, but both are still pieces defenses would have to worry about in their game plans. Ryan Tannehill also threw 14 interceptions last season, and if he continues to underperform this season, fans could be quick to call for the coaching staff to bring in Malik Willis.
Their defensive line was outstanding last season and now will pose the question; was that a one-hit wonder or will they continue their reign of dominance? They will be a key to this team’s ability to make the playoffs, and I don’t see them performing to that same level. They held opposing teams to just 84.6 rushing yards per game last season, and we all remember the playoff game in which they sacked Joe Burrow nine times. The Indianapolis Colts are an improved team, and I don’t see Tennessee winning their division. With as much firepower as there is in the AFC, Tennessee will not make the playoffs as a wild card team.
New England Patriots
The last of the three teams that will miss the playoffs is the New England Patriots. With everything that happened in the AFC this offseason, one team that stayed quiet was the Patriots. They lost JC Jackson to the Los Angeles Chargers and signed Jalen Mills to replace him. They will be a run-first offense again with their committee of running backs. Mac Jones lacks an elite target to throw to.
The Patriots came as kind of a shock when they made the playoffs last season. I don’t see their roster as enough with the improvements we saw in their division. The New York Jets had a good draft, and the Miami Dolphins created a dynamic duo of Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill that will be extremely difficult to guard with their speed. The Buffalo Bills are still the team to beat as well.
There was a lot of talent on the move this past offseason, and these three teams didn’t do enough, and that’s why they will miss the playoffs this season. They’re still quality teams, but the wild card races in both conferences will be very close this season. The question will be, can these three teams win the games when they come down to the wire?
Since 1990, the NFL's postseason field has included at least four new teams every year.
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