Every Season there are twelve teams who make it to the NFL playoffs. Very often, there are teams who come very close, but fail to make it into the post-season. Here are the five teams who did not make it last year, but have a very good chance of making it this year.
1. St.Louis Rams- Don't get me wrong here. I don't think that the Rams are a great team, or even a very good team for that matter, but in an extremely weak NFC West, I think the Rams can pull off 8 or 9 wins and win the division. After coming so close last season, (they lost their last regular season game which would have clinched the division for them) I think the Rams are destined for the playoffs.
2. Houston Texans- The Texans are a dark-horse team this year which could really make life difficult for many teams. With a dynamic duo of Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson, an excellent running back (Arian Foster), and a defense that boasts Mario Williams and Brian Cushing, this team might just sneak into a Wild Card game.
3. San Diego Chargers- What happened to the Chargers last season? Despite scoring 119 more points than they allowed, they could only manage a 9-7 record. The only team in the AFC West that should offer the Chargers any trouble is the Chiefs. If the Chargers can manage to win their divisional games against the Chiefs, I see no reason why they can't make the playoffs.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Although they posted a solid 10-6 record last year, the Buccaneers failed to make the playoffs. Even with a tough NFC South division, the Buccaneers are definitely a Wild Card contender. Last season the Packers, Eagles, Giants, and Buccaneers had 10-6 records, however only the Packers and Eagles managed to make the playoffs. This season could be different, however, and it might be the Buccaneers going to the playoffs instead.
5. San Francisco 49ers- The 49ers are hardly the typical playoff team. Their starting quarterback is a well-known bust, their 2010 record was 6-10, and they only managed to win one game on the road last season. But in a division where even a 7-9 record is good enough to earn a playoff spot, why can't the 49ers be a playoff team? They have some solid players on offense including Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Braylon Edwards, and Michael Crabtree, while on defense, they have one of the best linebackers in the NFL: Patrick Willis. If for some reason, the Rams and Seahawks perform below expectations, it could very easily be the 49ers at the top of the NFC West.