The Superbowl Champion Giants have a 50/50 chance of not even making the playoffs this season...
Over the last 20 years, the National Football League has repeatedly raised the bar for success in professional sports. One of the main reasons for this continued growth is simple: competitive parity.
Since 1996, the NFL is averaging a 50 percent turnover ratio in playoff teams from the prior season. That means that six of the 12 teams that make it this year wont make it the next. And no matter how bad your team was last year, your team could be heading to the show next season.
Here are five teams out, and five teams in for the 2013 NFL playoffs.
A Sophomore Slump could put Andy Dalton and the Bengals back in the cellar for 2013.
Rookie QB Andy Dalton led Cincinnati on a memorable run in 2012. However, that doesn’t change the fact that this team was a bad 4-12 the year before, and is still very young.
These growing pains will catch up to, and slow the Bengals in 2013.
Jake Locker has all of the tools it takes to be a successful NFL Quarterback.
The Titans have one of the toughest schedules in the league this year. Look for them to start slow, but really pick up steam going into the postseason.
Don’t be surprised if Jake Locker is a household name by the end of the year.
Tim Tebow has moved on to the Big Apple. Can Peyton Manning pull off some magic of his own?
It took an act of God to get this team to the postseason last year. In fact, if you watched many Denver games, you will concede that it took several small miracles to get this team to eight wins.
The Broncos have since forsaken their miracle worker and replaced him with a false idol. Watch for John Elway and the Broncos to reap what they have sown.
Can the Chargers play inspired football in 2013?
The Chargers have faded over the past couple of years, and lacked true leaders since the departure of LT and Junior Seau. The time may have passed on their best opportunity to be a winner. Fortunately for them, they play in one of the worst divisions in the league.
Can this team struck by tragedy play inspired football?
R.I.P. Junior Seau.
Can the Giants get back to the post season in 2013?
The Giants are a team built for the postseason. The problem with that is that they aren’t built for the regular season. Their mediocre play over the first 16 weeks will catch up with them this year, and the defending champs will spend the winter months at home.
Watch for Vick and the Eagles to fly high in 2013.
The Eagles are loaded with talent. The addition of DeMeco Ryans could give this team a real boost on the defensive side of the ball. He is a leader in the locker room and could bring that defense to its full potential if he is healthy.
Meanwhile, Michael Vick needs to stay healthy for this team to succeed, and he will.
The Lions have a lot of skill on their roster, but not a lot of maturity...
The Lions have built a team full of weapons over the past few drafts. With young talent and poor leadership, expectations to win will bring out the immaturity in this locker room.
If Matt Forte can come back 100%, the Bears will be a tough team to beat in 2013.
The Saints are a mess... Just ask Drew Brees.
The Saints' troubles this offseason have been well documented. The team leader is embroiled in a contract dispute, the head coach has been exiled from the league and other coaches are under intense pressure to pick up the slack.
With no clear leader or direction, this team will struggle to find an identity this fall.
Cam Newton shocked the world with is Rookie campaign. Can he do it again?
The 2012 Carolina Panthers may have been one of the most exciting six-win teams in the history of the league.
In seven of their losses, they scored 21 points or more. You may not consider that a large feat, but the Cleveland Browns only once scored north of 21 points in the whole season (Week 2, against the 2-14 Colts).
If Ron Rivera and Sean McDermott can coach this team up on defense, they could be a nightmare coming out of the NFC.
Will Skelton lead the Cardinals to the promised land in 2013?
Will a team like the Patriots or Packers lose their starting QB to injury? Will the Browns shock us all and take the top spot in the AFC North? Will John Skelton lead the Cardinals to a wild-card birth in Arizona?
Tell me, who will be the sixth playoff team this year that didn't make it last season, and who will they replace?