Every season, surprise teams make the playoffs. In 2019, the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles won their divisions. Last season, the Washington Football Team won the NFC East while the Chicago Bears made the playoffs. This season, there are five teams that look primed for serious playoff runs. All five either missed the playoffs last season or, like in the case of Chicago, are huge underdogs to make the NFL’s postseason. Check out our NFL betting analysis so you can plan your bets against their NFL odds.
Which NFL Teams Will Make The Playoffs: Surprise
2021 NFL Season
- When: Sep. 9, 2021 – Jan. 9, 2022
Surprise NFL Teams With the Best Chance of Making the Playoffs
Denver traded for Teddy Bridgewater, which gives them a viable second-string quarterback. If Drew Lock doesn’t take the next step, Bridgewater will immediately step in and ensure the Broncos are competitive.
Defensively, Denver should be solid. Von Miller returns from an injury. Miller should help a talented linebacking corps. Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller make for one of the better cornerback duos in the league while this is the season Bradley Chubb should become elite
Most believe the Bears are in trouble. But we can’t forget that Chicago made the playoffs last season without Andy Dalton at quarterback. Dalton is a big step up from Mitch Trubisky.
Also, Green Bay may not play with Aaron Rodgers under center. The Bears’ defense should again be a fantastic unit. If everything comes together, Chicago could win the NFC North.
Los Angeles Chargers
Last season, the Bolts suffered big time injuries on the defensive side of the ball. That forced Los Angeles into a tough situation.
The offense played great, though. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns. Herbert also got sacked a ridiculous 32 times.
What did the Bolts do? They drafted Northwestern left tackle star Rashawn Slater. Rashawn should help Herbert stand up straight. If the defense bounces back, the Chargers could upset the Kansas City Chiefs and win the AFC West.
Sam Darnold in Carolina could either be a revelation or a disaster. If it’s a revelation, Darnold will throw for around 4,000 yards and close to 30 touchdowns and the Panthers will challenge the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints for the NFC South Division.
The Panthers’ defense isn’t great, but it’s good enough. So if Darnold can lead Carolina’s offense to 25 points or more per game, the Panthers should be a playoff contender.
Las Vegas Raiders
Last season, the Raiders went 8-8. This season, they can add a couple of wins to finish 10-6. Las Vegas is set at quarterback and running back.
QB Derek Carr and RB Josh Jacobs are two of the best at their position in the NFL. Darren Waller is a top tight-end while the defense should improve. Also, coach Jon Gruden finally has the team he’s always wanted.
Gruden has no excuses. He knows the Raiders must perform this season. Expect someone with Gruden’s drive to get the most he can from his players.