In 2017, the NFL playoffs felt magical. Certain teams shocked the world by merely stringing together enough wins to qualify. However, the following year after a playoff berth is rarely guaranteed. With that said, we all know that one or two playoff teams will struggle to return. FPC editors Ray, Kelly, Smith, and Biggs will discuss which team they believe will fail to make the postseason.
Brandon Ray (Bills Managing Editor)
A 2017 playoff team who will hit a setback in 2018 will be the Kansas City Chiefs. This might be a bit of a shock with them going into a new era under Patrick Mahomes who has a lot of promise. However, it is only promise, it is nothing guaranteed.
The team has struggled in the playoffs the last couple of years, but with a new QB, anything is possible. I do not doubt Mahomes talent, but he has not shown his full potential yet. It could very well take some time. Moreover, Kareem Hunt is coming off as the leagues’ rushing champion and going into his sophomore season, it could be a slump year.
Another big factor is the signing of WR Sammy Watkins. A dynamic playmaker that can rack up 100+ yards easily, but with his injuries and his history of showing how fragile he is, no one knows what kind of production to expect.
The team is under a new QB, who is hopeful to be the franchise guy but nothing is set until results are produced, positive or negative.
Sam Smith (Vikings Managing Editor)
The Buffalo Bills. Buffalo snuck into the playoffs on the back of a takeaway defense and an adequate offense, but I fear their offense has taken a dramatic step back this offseason. There is a very real possibility the quarterback position has substantially downgraded. They have three options, none of whom is inspiring confidence now. If A.J. McCarron or Nathan Peterman start week one, they will likely be just a stopgap until Josh Allen’s time comes. Who knows when that will be? There is not a ton of weapons to work with, so odds are good Buffalo will bring their prized rookie along slowly.
This brings us to LeSean McCoy. There is a chance these accusations levied against him result in his suspension. There is also a chance he faces no consequences. The circumstances surrounding the alleged attack of McCoy’s ex-girlfriend seem to change daily. Nevertheless, if McCoy does have to miss time, Buffalo may suffer on offense.
None of this is to say I do not like the direction Buffalo is headed. On the contrary, I loved their draft. However, I do not see many of Buffalo’s additions making a strong enough impact to counter the weak offense they project to have.
Terrance Biggs (Raiders Managing Editor)
In all honesty, the Atlanta Falcons look the shakiest to me. First, the Panthers gave Cam Newton actual weapons and will battle the Saints for that division. Next, Aaron Rodgers returns healthy. In return, the Panthers and Packers will contend for playoff spots. If you look on the team, what happened to Matt Ryan? Even though the Falcons made the playoffs, Ryan threw almost twice as many picks and half as many touchdowns. The NFC looks like a minefield of brutal games. As a result, the Falcons could sit home in January.