Five NFL Teams That Will Be Back in the 2021 NFL Playoffs

2021 NFL Playoffs
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With less than two weeks left until the start of the 2021 NFL season, all 32 teams will look to utilize their new rosters for a potential Super Bowl run. This season, several teams can make a legitimate claim for a playoff appearance. Among those teams with a great chance for a playoff spot are teams that were just short of reaching the playoffs last season. After an off-season of a roster rebuild, five teams have the biggest chance to make the 2021 NFL Playoffs after missing out on the playoffs last season.

2021 NFL Playoffs: Five Teams Who Will Return After 2020 Absence

Arizona Cardinals (8-8 in 2020)

The Cardinals made one of the best additions to their team in the previous off-season by trading for star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The biggest downfall for Arizona last season was a tough NFC West division and an up-and-down defense. After an off-season of solid free-agent additions and a great NFL Draft, the Cardinals look to be serious competitors for the NFC West title. It will help the Cardinals that they could have an MVP-caliber season from Hopkins or quarterback Kyler Murray. The Cardinals have the 15th easiest 2021 NFL schedule based on win-loss records from the 2020 season. They have the easiest schedule of all the teams in the NFC West Division this upcoming season. It will be difficult for Arizona to overthrow the Los Angeles Rams or Seattle Seahawks, but they have a potential shot for a wild card.

Dallas Cowboys (6-10 in 2020)

Unlike the NFC West, the NFC East has teams that will not be contenders for the wildcard spot. The representative of the NFC East team in the playoffs will be the divisional winner. The Cowboys are one of the favorites, along with the Washington Football Team, to win the NFC East. Dallas had a good 2021 NFL Draft process, but they have a healthy Dak Prescott back as their starting quarterback. The Cowboys have been progressively getting worse on the field since winning the division in 2018 despite having the proper talent. They also made several additions on the defensive side of the ball, an area that was a disaster last season. The Cowboys are healthier, have more efficient talent throughout their roster, and a year of preparations without COVID affecting them. They also have the third-easiest schedule in the league this season.

Denver Broncos (5-11 in 2020)

It takes a miracle for a team that accounted for an overall record of 5-11 the previous season to make the playoffs. The Broncos took a big approach to upgrading their roster and addressing their most alarming needs. Even though the Broncos missed out on trading for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but they feel confident in the abilities of Teddy Bridgewater. They will return Von Miller, who missed all of last season with an ACL injury. The Broncos are more complete on both sides of the ball than last year. They had the best off-season additions and moves of all the AFC West teams. Denver will be a competitor for the AFC wildcard this upcoming season.

Los Angeles Chargers (7-9 in 2020)

Chargers Nation feels confident in the potential that NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year recipient  Justin Hebert has to lead the franchise. Now that he has a solid blindside blocker in Rashawn Slater, the offense will be even better. The Chargers will also have safety Derwin James returning after a torn meniscus before the beginning of last season. James has not played a meaningful game since week 16 of the 2019 regular season. The Chargers even made the change at head coach with Brandon Staley as head coach to help with the defensive woes. Having all the additions and returning talent on their team will make them AFC Wildcard competitors for the 2021 NFL Playoffs.

Miami Dolphins (10-6 in 2020)

The Miami Dolphins were the last team to be eliminated from playoff contention in 2020. The Dolphins had a strong display on defense, but their offense was up-and-down through an inconsistent offensive line, young running back core, an unreliable set of receivers, a young and rehabbing quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, and a terrible offensive coordinator in Chan Gailey. The Dolphins upgraded almost every position on offense and allowed Tagovailoa to train more after his hip injury in 2019. This season, co-offensive coordinators Eric Studesville and George Godsey will control the Dolphins’ offense. The offense, led by Tagovailoa, will have a breakout year thanks to the new impact players they picked up in the 2021 NFL Draft and free agency. They should make a serious case for the AFC East title with the Buffalo Bills, but at least for the AFC Wildcard.

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