Almost exactly one year ago, we asked you here on BTB which 2019 playoff teams would miss the playoffs in 2020.
1,300 of our readers responded to the poll, and collectively proved to be both highly prescient and incredibly blinded by hindsight at the same time - if such a thing is even possible. Case in point, the following poll results from September 2020:
It was pretty clear to most Cowboys fans - and most people outside of Philadelphia, to be frank - that the Eagles would crash and burn in 2020. And boy, did they ever!
The Vikings were a wildcard team in 2019, so it wasn’t a big leap to assume they’d miss the playoffs the following year. Combined with the Eagles votes, 77% of the poll participants correctly predicted which team would miss the playoffs. But we collectively missed badly on the 49ers.
The 49ers had closed the regular season as the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a 13-3 record and made it all the way to the Super Bowl in 2019. But in 2020, nothing came together for San Francisco and they finished 6-10 and last in the division.
Which just goes to show that what you accomplished last year has no relevance for what you will accomplish this year, or as Bill Parcells said:
“You never pick up one year where you left off the previous year. Never.”
The league moved to a 12-team playoff format in 1990, and every year since, an average of about six new teams made the playoffs every year. This long history of churn among NFL teams means it’s highly probable that half of the teams that made the playoffs in 2020 will miss the playoffs in 2021.
Coincidentally, that means that 10 of the 16 NFC teams made the playoffs the last two seasons. And if we go back one more year, 12 of 16 NFC teams made the playoffs in the three-year span from 2018-2020. And remarkably, if you go back to 2017, only one NFC team made the playoffs in each of the last four years, and that team are the Brees-enhanced Saints, who will play as the Brees-diminished Saints this year.
Almost as remarkable, only three teams failed to make the playoffs at any time over that four-year span: the perennially underachieving Lions, the QB-challenged Giants, and the woeful Cardinals, who last made the playoffs in 2015 with Carson Palmer under center.
Which brings us to a repeat of last year’s question and to our question of the day: Last year, the NFC was represented in the playoffs, in order of seeding, by Green Bay, New Orleans, Seattle, and Washington as the division winners, along with Tampa Bay, the LA Rams, and Chicago as the wild card teams.
Which of these teams do you think are in for a rude awakening in 2021 and will not make it back to the playoffs?
Place your vote in the attached poll. If you can’t see the poll on your device, feel free to leave your take in the comments section below.
Which of these six NFC playoff participants from 2020 do you think will miss the 2021 playoffs?
This poll is closed