In the NFL, only a certain number of teams will make the playoffs. There are a variety of reasons why this ends up happening, including injuries, rebuilding, and pure bad luck. Now, that’s not to say a team can’t get better during the draft or offseason.
Last season, there were a number of teams that didn’t make the playoffs but could definitely return in 2022. Here are four examples of such teams.
Los Angeles Chargers
On paper, the Chargers definitely have a playoff roster. Quarterback Justin Herbert has proven to be the face of the franchise, racking up 5,014 passing yards and 38 touchdowns last season. The Chargers also have weapons in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, who combined for 2,284 receiving yards and 15 scores. On the defensive side of the ball, the team added J.C. Jackson from the New England Patriots and Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears.
These key pieces were brought in even though the team already had four-time Pro Bowler Joey Bosa on the roster. The only reason the Chargers did not make the playoffs last season was Brandon Staley’s infamous poor time management in which he used a timeout to aid the Las Vegas Raiders in the heart of the playoff hunt.
The Broncos had an offseason to remember. Last year, the team pivoted from Teddy Bridgewater to Drew Lock. The latter only amassed 787 passing yards while throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Broncos realized Lock wasn’t going to be the answer at the quarterback position, so they acquired quarterback Russell Wilson from Seattle. Denver also added notable players like Randy Gregory from the Dallas Cowboys and D.J. Jones from the San Francisco 49ers. Both will be key pieces on defense.
Needless to say, the Broncos got a whole lot better with their various additions via free agency, the draft, and the trade market. These moves will propel the Broncos into the playoffs in 2022.
The No. 1 reason why the Ravens did not make the playoffs last season? They were injured to hell and back. The injuries started rolling in during training camp, leaving their running back room decimated by injuries. The injury persisted as Lamar Jackson suffered a season-ending ankle injury, forcing the team to pivot to Tyler Huntley in his place.
The Ravens made some key offseason moves, headlined by the addition of Marcus Williams from the New Orleans Saints on defense. Last season, Williams had 74 tackles and two interceptions. With a healthy roster and key additions in tow, the Ravens will be a team that makes the playoffs.
Last season, the Colts enjoyed a very good roster headlined by star running back Jonathon Taylor. He finished the season with an NFL-most 1,811 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. On defense, the Colts have a stud in Shaquille Leonard, who totaled 122 tackles and four interceptions. At quarterback, the Colts have found an upgrade over Carson Wentz, who was shipped off to the Washington Commanders and replaced by reliable veteran Matt Ryan. Wentz’s departure was inevitable after the team choked away its playoff berth with two painful losses in Week 17 and 18.
The Colts’ Week 18 loss came at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who entered the contest with a record of 2-14. Translation: the Colts should have won, and Wentz was a major reason why Indianapolis missed the playoffs. Adding Ryan to a roster with a phenomenal running back, stunning offensive line, and dominant defense bodes well for the Colts’ odds to make the playoffs this season.
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