Being stuck in the middle ground of the NFL – not powered by high drafts but not fighting for a Super Bowl title – is a frustrating place to be for the NFL fan base. Especially right after another unsuccessful season.
But sometimes moderate franchises do extremely well in just one offseason. The top play-off seeds in 2019, of course, were not remarkable in 2018. The Ravens went from a 10-6 team that was demolished in the wild card round by the Chargers to a power plant leading an MVP-caliber season by Lamar Jackson. The 49ers didn’t make the postseason a year before taking control of a stacked NFC West division that featured key Rams conference champions and always dangerous Seahawks.
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It is therefore likely that at least two inferior successes this season will break the next campaign. Who will he be? It is impossible to say for sure. Some teams, however, seem more prepared to move on than others, based on internal talent and / or positioning.
Here’s a handful of organizations that are running as potential playoff 2020 contenders:
Why could Dallas make the postseason in 2020?
The Cowboys were an absolute disaster in the second half of the season, making the NFL laugh as they collapsed in five losses in the last eight games. They threw the NFC East in the mid-eagles. And yet, their roster is loaded with high-profile talent, and their front office has proven capable of making the plan, indicating that the 2020 rollover is on the horizon.
Few teams that didn’t make the playoffs in 2019 can boast an aggressive core as much as the Dallas Prescott / Ezekiel Elliott / Amari Cooper trio. The Cowboys will have to pay to keep Cooper moving forward, of course, but they also have 23-year-old catcher Michael Gallup (1,107 yards, six touchdowns) around Cooper. The depth of receipt will most likely be a highlight for Dallas in the NFL Draft 2020, regardless of Cooper’s result. They are lucky there: Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Tee Higgins and Henry Ruggs III all have a deep class of options available.
While the Cowboys have failed to live up to their expectations in the last two decades, the transition from longtime coach Jason Garrett – expected but not yet done – could be the added boost that pushes them back into the playoffs and gives them more hope. , get there.
Why Chicago could make the postseason in 2020
The Bears – appearing as NFC’s annual threats in 2018 behind a fierce defense – have backed off on this campaign mainly due to their poor play on the other side of the ball. The good news is that things can’t get much worse offensive: They were bottom three in grooves and degrees, and even a marginal step forward could get them back in the playoffs.
Chicago has to decide whether to move Mitch Trubisky out of this away match. If he cuts his losses with the downbeat caller and seeks similar ones to Cam Newton or Philip Rivers, there is a chance of rapid improvement. Or the team could be so good at shutting down opposing attacks that keeping Trubisky at center doesn’t matter. After all, the Bears went to the Super Bowl in 2006 with Rex Grossman.
Not having a first round pick in the coming draft makes a bit, but the existing tracks are still capable of brushing aside a frustrating 8-8 season.
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Why could Las Vegas make the postseason in 2020?
The Raiders have an opening to make their first season in Las Vegas a success with Broncos and Chargers unknown products. Despite plenty of drama this year, they went 7-9 and had two offensive tackles shining in Josh Jacobs and Hunter Renfrow. The team also has a pair of top 20 picks that could clear it of a very important defender.
Why both Los Angeles teams could make the postseason in 2020
The Rams clearly have the talent to be a playoff team, having gone to the Super Bowl last year. But competition in the West NFC makes the challenge of winning the necessary wins. They also have a huge portion of their wage distribution dedicated to Jared Goff and Todd Gurley, who could limit their options to free agency. Still, any team loaded with receiving talent and defensive players such as the Rams should be considered a legitimate contender.
Like the Rams, the Chargers hope that 2018 will reflect more on their talent than 2019. They have the advantage of playing in the much weaker AFC West division. Their defense is still above average. But can they stop playing games late? What happens to a strategist with the likely departure of Philip Rivers will largely determine his fate there – and play a leading role in a very promising but uncertain 2020.