4 NFL Teams That Will Make the Playoffs in 2019 After Missing Out in 2018

By Taylor Smith
New York Jets v Cleveland Browns
New York Jets v Cleveland Browns / Joe Robbins

Cover Photo: Getty Images

The NFL playoff landscape shifts from year to year. We saw this in 2018, where teams like the Chicago Bears land the right guys and zoom into the postseason while clubs like the Jacksonville Jaguars fall apart after appearing to be Super Bowl contenders. Unless you're the New England Patriots, injuries, free agents, and sometimes just a little bit of luck shift your season. Here are four NFL teams that are primed to make the playoffs in 2019 after missing out last season.

4. Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Will Vragovic

The Atlanta Falcons saw the worst possible injury luck in 2018. Their star middle linebacker, Deion Jones, suffered a multi-game injury in the season opener while running back Devonta Freeman had chronic knee issues throughout the season. Then their secondary started dropping like flies and they had to start signing guys off the street. After a 10-win season in 2017 and a Super Bowl appearance in 2016, their ailing roster dropped them to seven wins in 2018 and they missed the playoffs. They still have the offensive firepower to hang with the best teams in the NFL, and a healthy defense should get them back to the postseason in 2019.

3. New York Jets

New York Jets v New England Patriots
New York Jets v New England Patriots / Jim Rogash

The Jets are ascending at the perfect time. Despite some more hardware to the collection, Tom Brady and the Patriots have issues. Gronk is retired, their No. 2 receiver is Philip Dorsett, and they don't have a defensive coordinator after Greg Schiano abruptly left the building. Now the Jets have added talent on offense in Le'Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder, plus solidified their interior defense with C.J. Mosely and Steve McClendon. They might not knock off the Patriots in 2019, but an AFC Wild Card could be in the cards if Sam Darnold takes a step forward.

2. Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears
Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears / Jonathan Daniel

After back-to-back sub-.500 seasons, people seem to be forgetting about Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers is still one of the most feared quarterbacks in the NFL, and the team is finally taking pressure off of him by acquiring talent on defense. With a new linebacker duo of Preston Smith and Za'darius Smith, the squad should be able to slow opposing running games and let new safety Adrian Amos haunt quarterbacks.

1. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens
Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr

Baker Mayfield took over for the Browns and led them to a seven-win season, finishing third in the AFC North. Those seven wins were tied for their most in a season over the last decade. Then the club went out and acquired Kareem Hunt, Olivier Vernon, and Odell Beckham Jr. After those splash moves, the Browns are +700 to win the AFC Championship and +1400 to win the Super Bowl, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. After an 0-16 season in 2017, the Browns are looking like one of the best turnarounds we've seen in recent years.

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Taylor Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username jtsmittyyy. 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.