Here are 3 Sleeper NFL Playoff Teams For 2021 That Missed Last Year’s Postseason.
With the 2021 NFL Draft finished up, it’s already time to look ahead to the 2021-2022 NFL season. And with the season already being dubbed as the “biggest season ever” due to a new 17-game 2021-2022 NFL schedule, there’s a lot to look forward to.
There were many winners and some losers coming out of the 2021 NFL Draft, as per usual. With that, though, some teams made huge strides coming out of it. Adding young talent to go along with some free agency signings, some non-playoff teams last year might be able to get in this year.
Read our full 2021 NFL Draft Recap to catch up on all the new members of the NFL’s 32 teams.
Here at The Game Day, we take a closer look at three non-playoff teams from 2020 that could make the 2021-2022 NFL playoffs this upcoming season following the 2021 NFL Draft.
3 Sleeper NFL Playoff Teams For 2021 That Missed Last Year’s Postseason
1. Miami Dolphins (2020 Record: 10-6)
The Miami Dolphins just barely missed out last year, being the only team with a winning record to miss the NFL playoffs. Guess that’s what happens when the three Wild Card teams finish 11-5.
Miami had a fantastic draft, having four picks inside the first two rounds. Reuniting Jaylen Waddle with Tua Tagovailoa is a significant confidence boost for the young quarterback.
Adding Jaelan Phillips and Jevon Holland to an already strong defense is huge.
The Dolphins also drafted Liam Eichenberg, who will probably start immediately on the right side of the line and protect Tagovailoa’s blindside.
Honestly, the Dolphins’ success comes down to how well Tagovailoa can play. He showed flashes last year, throwing for over 300 yards twice. Now that he’s the clear-cut starter with Ryan Fitzpatrick out of town, this is his opportunity to take over. He has the weapons to succeed and the defense to back him up. It’s Tua time in Miami.
Dolphins 2021 Record Prediction: 11-6
Miami Dolphins Odds to Make Playoffs in 2021 (+125) @BetMGM
2. New York Giants (2020 Record: 6-10)
The New York Giants have an advantage that not many teams have in the NFL: being in a bad division. The NFC East was the worst division in the league during the 2020 season, with the only team in the playoffs with a losing record (Washington Football Team). Had the Philadelphia Eagles beaten Washington in the last game of the season, New York would’ve won the division.
This group of NFL teams set to return to the playoffs seems to be a theme with young quarterbacks, as the Giants’ success comes down to Daniel Jones.
The offense is loaded with weapons, as the team went out and signed Kenny Golladay, John Ross, and Kyle Rudolph. They’re joining an offense that already has Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and Evan Engram, along with a healthy, returning Saquon Barkley. To further prove this is all on Jones, New York drafted speedster Kadarius Toney in the first round.
The Giants also drafted Azeez Ojulari in the second round, a dangerous pass-rusher that should’ve gone in the first round. The team has been steadily improving on defense, adding Adoree’ Jackson, and the G-Men have one of the best offenses in the league on paper.
The Giants have all the opportunity in the world to make the 2021-2022 NFL playoffs, but it all comes down to Jones’ success in Year 3.
Giants 2021 Record Prediction: 10-7
New York Giants Odds to Make Playoffs in 2021 (+250) @BetMGM
3. Los Angeles Chargers (2020 Record: 7-9)
Brandon Staley enters his first year as head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers in a great position. He inherits one of the best young quarterbacks in the league in Justin Herbert and a team with elite talent all over the roster.
The Chargers were blessed on draft night as they were able to draft Rashawn Slater at 13th overall. They had the NFL’s worst offensive line, and they were able to improve it greatly overnight. Slater will be joining newcomers Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler on the line.
Los Angeles continued to get blessed in the draft, as cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. fell to them in the second round. Along with a returning safety Derwin James, they add to an already dangerous secondary.
Herbert had one of the best rookie campaigns for a quarterback in NFL history behind an NFL-worst offensive line. The Chargers addressed the issue immediately while they also added talent elsewhere to an already bolstered roster. If Herbert was able to put up the numbers he did with the offensive line he had last year, imagine what he will be able to do this year.
Chargers 2021 Record Prediction: 12-5
Los Angeles Chargers Odds to Make Playoffs in 2021 (+150) @BetMGM
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