It’s certainly not the best time of year to be negative after every team is coming off of free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft, but we gotta be real with some of you here. We know the NFL is built for parity to reign supreme, and the 2023 season should not be expected to be any different.
In the 2021-22 season, there were seven new NFL playoff teams compared to the 2020-21 season. In The 2022-23 season, there were once again seven teams that made it that did not the year prior:
7 new NFL playoff teams in 2022-23
- Seattle Seahawks
- Minnesota Vikings
- New York Giants
- Baltimore Ravens
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Los Angeles Chargers
- Miami Dolphins
Now, that’s not to say that seven teams will once again enter the playoff picture again. Some of these teams could further establish themselves in either conference. But recent history and 14 total spots up for grabs would tell us that there’s a pretty good chance of 5-7 new teams entering the postseason in 2023, which means 5-7 teams that made it last year are going to miss out.
6 NFL teams that are not returning to the playoffs in 2023-24
6. Miami Dolphins
The 49ers were the only team on my list from last season that I actually got wrong. I’m not going to make that mistake again in 2023, although I think if you want to pick an honorable mention for this list, it’s got to be the 49ers with their question marks at QB and the loss of defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans.
At any rate, I’m taking the Miami Dolphins in the 6th slot here, although Dolphins fans should take comfort in knowing I have very little conviction in this. I think Miami made arguably the biggest move of the 2023 offseason by hiring Vic Fangio as their next head coach. Does that mean they are automatically going back to the playoffs? No, but I think it gives them a pretty darn good chance, especially after also trading for Jalen Ramsey.
The key here, and the primary issue, is the season-long status of Tua Tagovailoa. You literally have this guy learning how to fall in the 2023 offseason. It’s not mean to be a joke or to make light of his head injuries, but that fact alone doesn’t give me the most confidence that we’re going to see Tua for a full 17-game slate in 2023.
If that’s the case, we expect Mike White to lead the Dolphins to the playoffs in a division that now has Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, and Bill Belichick?
I’m not so sure.