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10 NFL teams most likely to reach playoffs after missing in 2016

The National Football League is a crazy place. Unlike the NBA where most of the elite teams stay in power for something close to forever, the NFL is very fickle. Unless you are the New England Patriots, then you never lose a game.

This year, 20 of the 32 teams missed out on the postseason, some by wider margins than others. Here are 10 teams that we should expect to bounce back and find themselves in the playoff race in 2017.

10. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts have a chance because of Andrew Luck, and a weak division. That being said, the general manager and head coach certainly scare you.

9. Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore has a great structure at the top with Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco. If they can get younger and replace Steve Smith, this team could challenge once more.

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers have a real chance to make noise. After retaining defensive coordinator Mike Smith, they could find 10 wins and a playoff berth. The major question is the weapons around Jameis Winston.

7. Carolina Panthers

You might have expected to see Carolina higher, but here’s the deal. Cam Newton is a great athlete, but his quarterback has always been lacking. Also, what to make of Luke Kuechly’s concussions and Thomas Davis’s age?

6. Denver Broncos

Another team you might have thought to be higher. Denver has a bad quarterback situation, a leaky offensive line and a new coaching staff. Still, the defense is elite, so they have a real chance to make a run in the West.

5. Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati made the playoffs five straight years before this season. Look for the Bengals to bounce back and be in the thick of things for an AFC playoff berth.

4. Washington Redskins

The Redskins need to retain some major free agents, including DeSean Jackson and Kirk Cousins. They also need to get used to a new defense after firing the coordinator in Joe Barry. That said, Washington can score points in bunches and the division, while strong, could be there for the taking.

3. Tennessee Titans

Tennessee is going to be a real threat in the AFC South. Marcus Mariota can play, the defense could be addressed with two first-round picks and cap space, and the coaching staff is solid. This might be the year Tennessee makes a move.

2. Minnesota Vikings

If it wasn’t for Teddy Bridgewater getting hurt, this team likely makes the playoffs. The Vikings have some warts such as offensive line and running back, but those can be addressed. Mike Zimmer will have his team back on track in 2017.

1. Arizona Cardinals

Arizona has one of the best rosters in football. The Cardinals should be back in the playoffs without question, provided Carson Palmer doesn’t completely fall apart.

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