3 Non-Playoff Teams That Could Make the Postseason Next Year
For fans of a team that didn't make the NFL playoffs, the last few weeks have been a major letdown. However, there's always next year, as they say.
And there are a few teams that missed out on the playoffs in 2019 that looked poised for a bounce-back campaign next year.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Considering how bad the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked when they went 5-11 in 2018, this first season under Bruce Arians has been a success. The Buccaneers won four straight between Week 12 and Week 15, but their playoff hopes were crushed by a 2-6 start. Jameis Winston has grabbed headlines for his turnovers this season (28 interceptions, five fumbles lost), but Tampa Bay's defense has been surprisingly effective. The Buccaneers check in at No. 6 in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA metric, and they actually rank No. 1 in rush defense DVOA. Pairing a solid defense with the league's third-best scoring offense suggests Tampa Bay has a chance to make the playoffs in 2020, provided Winston can cut down on the turnovers.
2. Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams definitely have issues, but there's reason to believe they can turn it around in 2020. The Rams are the league's eighth-best defense by DVOA, but an underwhelming season from Jared Goff and the offense really hurt this team's chances. Despite that regression, Los Angeles is still the league's 12th-best scoring offense. In fact, the Rams and Buccaneers are the only two teams in the NFL that are both a top-12 scoring offense, and a top 10 defense by DVOA that didn't make the postseason. The Rams aren't as dynamic as they have been in the past, but this is still a solid team on both sides of the ball, and Los Angeles should be in the playoff hunt in 2020.
3. Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers' season has been derailed by a string of close losses, but they actually have a positive point differential (plus two). They've lost nine one possession games this season, and that can usually be attributed to bad luck more than anything. Additionally, Derwin James missed the team's first 11 games this year, and having him for a full season should help shore up a defense that ranks No. 21 in DVOA (No. 8 in 2018). Philip Rivers' future with the team looks murky at best, but even with his inconsistent play the Chargers' offense still ranks No. 12 in offensive DVOA. If the Chargers' can turn some of those one-score losses into wins, Los Angeles should be in the postseason hunt next year.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.