3 NFL Teams that missed the playoffs in 2021 that could make it in 2022

The 2021 NFL playoffs was one of the most exciting in recent memory, and with so many NFL teams getting better over the off-season, it's safe to say that this season could top even that. There's so much young talent around the league now, that each and every season seems to top the last, and if big injuries can be avoided, it may be one of the toughest and most unpredictable years yet.

None of those teams from a year ago have gotten significantly worse, but with free agency, the NFL Draft and a crazy amount of trades, the landscape of the entire league has changed, and come crunch time, we may be seeing plenty of new faces and teams.

So without further ado, the following three teams are ones that missed the playoffs in 2021, that could shock the world (or in some cases, finally live up to potential), and be there when it matters most in 2022. 

3. The Los Angeles Chargers

This one is the most obvious, as the Chargers have put together one of the best young teams in the NFL, but the additions of Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson to an already stacked squad seemingly makes them a favourite in the AFC. Unfortunately for Justin Herbert and this talented team, they play in the AFC West, a division featuring Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr and now Russell Wilson, meaning if they are to finally take the next step and deliver on all of their potential, they're going to have to fight and claw for 18 weeks to make it happen. 

With the new Wild Card playoff seeding, it gives all four teams a much better shot at making the playoffs, but when you stack this squad up against the rest of the AFC West, they should be able to hold their own against just about every team. Simply put, the Chargers window is now, and if Justin Herbet can be every bit the gamer we all see him to be, there's no reason that this team shouldn't be a strong Wild Card heading into a deep playoff run. 

2. The Minnesota Vikings 

The Green Bay Packers have been the dominant force in not only the NFC North, but the whole NFC over the past several years, but given their lack of weapons, it may finally be time that we see a new team step up and reign supreme. No team in the NFC North is perfect, but if anyone is built well enough when healthy to go on a significant run, it's the Vikings, led by Kirk Cousins and incredible weapons like Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook. 

The Lions are certainly getting better, but there's a few teams in the NFC that have shown weaknesses since last years playoffs, and if the Vikings can stay healthy, they have the pieces on both sides of the ball to make Minnesota a fortress and run through the division. It's way too soon to write off the back-to-back MVP, but there's no doubting his weapons have all but dried up, and if there's any time in the next two or three years to strike the weakened Packers, this is it.

1. The New York Jets

The New York Jets may be flying under everyone's radar, but with all the upgrades this team has made to the lineup and the culture over this past off-season, there's no reason why they can't sneak past both Miami and New England to claim a Wild Card spot in 2022. If Zach Wilson can take the steps that many within the organization expect, this offense, with weapons like Elijah Moore, Breece Hall, Michael Carter, Garrett Wilson and Corey Davis, could be one of the best in the entire AFC.

Given how bad the Jets organization has been since the back-to-back AFC Championship games over a decade ago, they will need to prove they can win before anyone believes in them, but given the meteoric rise of the Bengals just a year ago, there's no reason why the Jets can't follow suit. In a division dominated by the Patriots for two decades, followed by the incoming Bills reign, the Jets have struggled to find their footing, but with a young coach, General Manager and roster, this team is in the perfect position to be the NFL's dark horse in 2022. 

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