6 NFL teams that are a franchise quarterback away from being contenders

Nick Foles #9 of the Chicago Bears and Mitchell Trubisky #10 (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
Nick Foles #9 of the Chicago Bears and Mitchell Trubisky #10 (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /
1 of 6
Indianapolis Colts (Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) /

These six NFL teams could be playoff contenders if they had the right quarterback.

There isn’t a position in sports more important than that of the quarterback position in the NFL. The quarterback typically dictates how well the offense is going to look whether it’s good or bad. If a team is fortunate enough to land their franchise quarterback, they’ll be considered playoff contenders (and even Super Bowl contenders) every year.

NFL teams that don’t have their franchise quarterbacks have a tougher path to the playoffs. Maybe their run game is really good or their defense is one of the league’s best and their quarterback is average to below average. While that works in the regular season, it typically won’t cut it when the playoffs roll around.

These six teams fall into the category of teams who have the talent to be a playoff contender, but their quarterback is either holding them back or they just don’t know if he’s the answer yet.

Maybe they drafted a guy just a few years ago and he hasn’t had enough opportunities to prove himself yet. Maybe it’s one final chance for the guy to prove he can lead his team to the promised land.

Whatever the reasoning, these six teams find themselves in a position where they’re just a quarterback away from truly contending in the NFL.

Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears (Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports) /

6. Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears tried to find their quarterback of the future three years ago in the 2017 NFL Draft and traded up one spot to do so. They went with Mitchell Trubisky at the No. 2 pick, passing on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in the process (and surely Bears fans are tired of hearing about that by now).

More from NFL Spin Zone

Trubisky had a decent season in 2018, helping the Bears win the NFC North. He regressed big time in 2019, however, and despite winning the starting job in 2020, was eventually replaced by journeyman Nick Foles. The Bears are 5-3 under Foles’ tutelage and while he’s a better option than Trubisky, the Bears still don’t have the playmaker they’re seeking at the quarterback position.

The defense is really good this season, allowing an average of 20.8 points per game. The Bears beat what looks to be a really good Bucs team and did so behind their smothering defense making Tom Brady’s night a living hell. Imagine if they had the quarterback to pair with that kind of defense.

The Bears will surely be looking to either draft a quarterback this offseason or find one on the free-agent market because that really does appear to be the biggest missing link with them this season.