A handful of NFL teams who failed the playoffs last year changed things in 2020. An additional placeholder in both conferences does not do any harm if possible deep playoff runs are projected.
The beauty of the NFL playoffs is that every team has the chance to collect a Super Bowl fee. Teams with stars on either side of the ball, an even attack, or a strong coaching staff can get hot at the right time and land a few wins to sneak into the Super Bowl. For example, look at the Eagles run by Nick Foles during the 2017 season or the 2012 Ravens run by Joe Flacco for another.
Here are some teams as of week 11 who quietly look like Super Bowl competitors.
After missing the playoffs in their first season without Andrew Luck in 2019, the Indianapolis Colts were able to complete a deep playoff run in 2020.
Last week’s 34-17 win over the Tennessee Titans put the Colts in first place at the AFC South. It also showed how imposing they can look thanks to their talented defenses against playoff teams.
The Colts are first in the league in team defense and only allow 290. 4 meters per game. The first seven feature some great players including Darius Leonard, DeForest Buckner, and Justin Houston. In the meantime, Grover Stewart has become such a useful player that after this season the local media are calling him a must-sign free agent.
Philip Rivers is doing just enough to keep the offense going. After making an effort to take care of the ball to start the year, he’s only thrown one interception in the last three games.
The floor play was inefficient and finished 29th with only 3. space. 8 meters per attempt. If Rivers can take care of the ball and keep the offensive moving, then the defense is dominant enough to sustain this team.
NFC West is the most dominant division in the NFL, and while the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals are getting a lot of attention, the Los Angeles Rams are quietly putting together a strong season.
They held the Seahawks offensively last Sunday with a 23:16 win in their worst week. Star receiver DK Metcalf was a non-factor with only two receptions, and Russell Wilson had two interceptions and no touchdowns.
Jalen Ramsey and two-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald have anchored an impressive Rams defense. Los Angeles currently ranks second in both yards and points allowed per game while Donald continues to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. In nine games he has already collected nine sacks and three forced fiddling to campaign for another DPOY award.
While the Rams haven’t knocked anyone on the offensive this year, their even attack has helped them averaging 24 points per game. Darrell Henderson turned out to be the team’s first response averaging 4. 8 yards per carry with 611 yards before scrimmage and a total of five touchdowns. Thanks to a backfield committee that includes Malcolm Brown and rookie Cam Akers, he should be able to stay fresh for a playoff run.
Head coach Sean McVay helped the Rams make a Super Bowl appearance two years ago, and he has the pieces on either side of the ball to do the same this year, even when Los Angeles isn’t in is able to win the ball division.
The Las Vegas Raiders are the only team to beat defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs this year. If they make it again on Sunday, they’ll look less like a dark horse and more like a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
After their third straight win, the Raiders have begun to find a rhythm on either side of the ball. Derek Carr is having the best season of his career at 69. 3 percent of his passports for 2nd. 156 yards, 16 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Its 107. The rating with 4 passers-by is currently the fifth best brand in the league.
General Manager Mike Mayock has put as many guns on Carr as possible. Darren Waller was a dependable safety blanket while Nelson Agholor, Hunter Renfrow, and Henry Ruggs III were productive recipients. Josh Jacobs, of course, looks like the real deal in its second season.
Defense needs to be improved, especially the rush of passers-by. The team’s 11 sacks are tied for the second smallest in the NFL.
Fortunately for Raiders fans, the defense gave up an average of 14. 7 points in the last three games. As long as this trend continues, the Raiders shouldn’t have much of a problem securing a spot in the playoffs and causing some problems for the AFC in the postseason.
The Cleveland Browns haven’t appeared in the postseason since 2002, but this year’s team may have enough talent to secure more than a spot in the playoffs.
Led by a dominant ground game, the Browns are 6-3 in the middle of the wildcard race. Nick Chubb’s return from a knee injury against the Houston Texans last week earned him 126 yards and a touchdown to just 19 carry. In five games he has an average of 6. 1 yards per carry.
A healthy Chubb will take the pressure off Baker Mayfield, who has had a quiet season with just 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The loss of Odell Beckham Jr. . The year is an obvious blow, but having such a strong ground game with Chubb and Kareem Hunt means Mayfield just needs to avoid costly sales to keep the offensive going.
On defense, Myles Garrett makes a strong case for Defensive Player of the Year as he leads the league at 9. 5 sacks and four forced fiddling.
A strong running game and an elite pass rusher are key qualities of a Super Bowl competitor. With games remaining against the Eagles, Jaguars, Giants and Jets, the Browns are in a great position to secure a post-season berth before they possibly make some noise in the playoffs.
A year after their 5:11 win, the Miami Dolphins have already surpassed last season’s winnings. And now that a new quarterback is the focus, they’re thinking about more than just a playoff spot.
Since taking over rookie Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins have won 3-0 against the Rams and Cardinals. Looking more like a veteran than a newbie, he graduated 63. 6 percent of his passes for 519 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Defense has also continued to collapse as Miami only allows 20. 2 points per game, the fifth smallest in the league. Xavien Howard and Byron Jones lead strong secondary schools while young defenders Christian Wilkins and Raekwon Davis have made an impression in the trenches.
Head coach Brian Flores flipped the Dolphins in less than two full seasons, and the former Patriots assistant deserves credit, as does general manager Chris Grier. That roster will only get better in the future, especially with four picks in the first two rounds of the 2021 draft thanks to the deal with Laremy Tunsil.
The Dolphins are well positioned for a playoff appearance, and Tagovailoa is playing well enough to run the franchise for the foreseeable future.
Jake Scott, Miami Dolphins, NFL, Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award, Georgia Bulldogs Football, American Football, 1972 Miami Dolphins Season
World News – USA – 5 Dark-Horse NFL teams that could make Super Bowl runs in 2020
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