While 12 NFL teams made the playoffs, 18 did not. Which of those non-playoff teams have the best shot at a run next season and getting to Super Bowl 55.
It was the Kansas City Chiefs that ultimately reached the mountaintop of the NFL this past season, ending the year hoisting the Lombardi Trophy following Super Bowl LIV. They, of course, beat out the San Francisco 49ers in the Big Game, both teams outlasting the other 10 groups that earned playoff berths this past season to get to that point.
Every season, however, there is a great deal of playoff turnover in terms of the teams involved. You’re almost guaranteed that four NFL teams who were outside of the postseason the previous year are going to make it the following season. So who are the candidates to not only do that but, to take it a step further, compete for a chance to make it to Super Bowl LV next season?
Looking at what happened in 2019 and what the rosters look like (and could look like after the offseason), these five NFL teams that missed the playoffs this past season have a good chance at making a Super Bowl run in 2020.
5. Atlanta Falcons
Because the Atlanta Falcons started the 2019 NFL season 1-7, they were essentially written off and forgotten about. That’s not the wrong thing to do as that kind of start essentially eliminates any team from having a chance at making the playoffs, especially in the highly competitive NFC this past season.
However, what they may have caused people to miss is the fact that Dan Quinn’s team found something over the second half of the season as they finished the year going 6-2. Yes, an overall record of 7-9 still isn’t going to get you into the postseason but that type of strong finish showed that this group led by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones still has some juice and isn’t a group that should be taken lightly moving into the 2020 campaign.
If the Falcons are able to make some smart personnel moves this season, particularly on defense where they can move on from Vic Beasley Jr. and get some reinforcements on the defensive line and in the secondary, this group is dangerous. Ryan, Jones, Calvin Ridley and Devonta Freeman are all great weapons while the Falcons also should get healthier and, thus, better on the offensive line.
They might be a dark horse to some people but the Falcons could be a good bet to make the playoffs in the 2020 season if you’re looking for good odds. The perception of this team doesn’t align with how they finished the year and, just as much, what the talent on this roster is capable of.