Many teams have bounced back from a down year and punched their ticket into the playoffs the next year. Here are the five teams that should be able to make the playoffs next year.
The Miami Dolphins finished the 2020-2021 season with a 10-6 record, just barely missing the playoffs. The Miami Dolphins defense was the most consistent side for them, totaling 41 sacks with two defensive touchdowns. Although the QB situation wasn’t a certainty throughout the season, the Dolphins found a way to make it work.
The Dolphins found a 7th round gem in this year’s draft in Myles Gaskins. Miami’s offense is a few pieces away from being an elite offense in today’s NFL. Going into the 2021-2022 season with a ton of cap space and rumors about inquiring quarterback Deshaun Watson Miami has a ton to look forward to next season.
The Minnesota Vikings landed them a star receiver in Justin Jefferson right in time to replace Stefon Diggs. After a 1-5 start to the season, the Viking ended their season off on a strong note. Finishing the season 6-4 after their bye, they have a lot to look forward to next season. Although Kirk Cousins is aging, he is still playing at a very high-level throwing for 4000 plus yards and 35 touchdowns.
Dalvin Cook played the best football of his career this season. Cook accounted for 1900 scrimmage yards, and that is without playing in the last game of the season due to personal reasons. The Vikings were without star defensive end Danielle Hunter who is a very crucial piece to their defense. The Vikings hold the 14th pick in this year’s NFL draft.
New York Giants
The New York Giants fell just short of their first division title since 2011 by only one win. The Giants defense ranked 9th in the entire NFL, and that was because of three key contributors in Blake Martinez and James Bradberry. Leonard Williams made a big leap from his first season, with the Giants only having 0.5 sacks, to this season where he totaled 11.5.
Daniel Jones made a solid decrease with his turnovers in year two but still left many question marks that remain to be answered in his third year. Saquon Barkley‘s loss set Daniel Jones back a bit, considering Jones played significantly better with him on the field. With Barkley on the field with Jones, he averaged 271.3 passing yards per game and went 21 touchdowns and only six interceptions and a passer rating of 95.5.
The Dallas Cowboys got hit with the injury bug quite often this season. It led to the loss of their franchise quarterback Dak Prescott. Before Dak got hurt, he was having a career year, having thrown for nearly 2000 yards and nine touchdowns in just five games. The Cowboys have maybe the most lethal wide receiving core in the league. Containing Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Ceedee Lamb.
Newly hired defensive coordinator Dan Quinn who has a Superbowl under his belt as a defensive coordinator is hoping to make a complete 180 from how bad the defense was this season.
San Francisco 49ers
The SanFrancisco 49ers fell to 6-10, mostly due to injuries. The 49ers, at one point, did not have one starter on their offense who played in last year’s Super Bowl due to injury. They also lost guys like Dee Ford and Nick Bosa, who were crucial to their pass rush. The 49ers will be getting all their players back and maybe even a new quarterback.
Jimmy Garoppolo has failed to be the guy despite being their Super Bowl quarterback last year. In last year’s postseason, Garoppolo threw only two touchdowns and three interceptions. This team, who had a top-five defense and one of the best head coaches in all of football, will be back in the playoffs come next season.