3 NFL Surprise Playoff Teams For 2010-2011 Season

BetVega.com Sports Betting NewsContributor IAugust 30, 2010

CHICAGO - AUGUST 28: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears looks for a receiver against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at Soldier Field on August 28, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cardinals defeated the Bears 14-9. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

As expected, both of last year's Super Bowl squads are also among the teams that are projected to cruise into the postseason again. While many of the top teams in the NFL from 2009 will return to the playoffs, there are always some surprise clubs that emerge each season.

Here's a look at three clubs that could disrupt this year's postseason party:

- Miami Dolphins (+140 odds to make 2010-2011 NFL Playoffs)

While most analysts are focused on the Patriots and Jets in the AFC East, the Dolphins are a team that shouldn't be overlooked. Miami was one of the top surprises in the league in 2008. The Dolphins went 11-5 to capture a division title. Last year, some injuries and a slow start led to a 7-9 campaign. Miami lost its first three games a year ago to fall into a quick hole. Injuries to quarterback Chad Pennington and running back Ronnie Brown hampered the offense in 2009. Still, the Dolphins were in a position to return to the playoffs before losing each of its final three games by a touchdown or less. The arrival of All-Pro wideout Brandon Marshall from Denver should provide a significant boost to the club's air game. Chad Henne is now the starting signal-caller after getting some valuable experience in 2009 after Pennington's injury. The defense will look to rebound from a regression last season.


- Chicago Bears (+175 odds to make 2010-2011 NFL Playoffs)

Since winning the NFC title in 2006, Chicago has been two games under the .500 mark. Chicago was supposed to make some noise last year after acquiring quarterback Jay Cutler from the Broncos. However, 2009 was a season to forget for the Bears. Star linebacker Brian Urlacher suffered a season-ending injury in the opener at Green Bay. The defense never recovered. On offense, Cutler fired a league-high 26 interceptions. While most teams did little in free agency this offseason, the Bears added some significant parts. All-Pro defensive lineman Julius Peppers will join a healthy Urlacher on defense. The offense received a boost with the signing of former Vikings running back Chester Taylor. With new offensive coordinator Mike Martz on board this season, Cutler should be able to protect the football better in 2010.


- Seattle Seahawks (+225 odds to make 2010-2011 NFL Playoffs)

Since reeling off four straight NFC West titles from 2004-07, the Seahawks have been limited to just nine victories. After an incredible run at USC, new head coach Pete Carroll will try to get Seattle back in the divisional race in 2010. While the Cardinals have won two straight NFC West crowns, the club could have trouble staying on top after the retirement of quarterback Kurt Warner. It hasn't taken much to win the division in recent years. Since 2004, the winner of the NFC West has won more than ten games on just one occasion. Veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck could be facing a pivotal year with the franchise after some struggles in the last two seasons. Carroll, a defensive specialist, should be able to help a unit that has ranked 25th in the league in scoring defense in each of the last two years.

NFL Odds to make 2010-2011 NFL Playoffs:


- Pittsburgh Steelers -125

- New England Patriots -175

- Dallas Cowboys -200

- New York Giants Ev

- Indianapolis Colts -250

- San Diego Chargers -700

- Baltimore Ravens -200

- Philadelphia Eagles -110

- New Orleans Saints -250

- Minnesota Vikings -155

- Carolina Panthers +300

- Tennessee Titans +150

- Atlanta Falcons -120

- Green Bay Packers -275

- Denver Broncos +300

- Jacksonville Jaguars +325

- Arizona Cardinals +165

- New York Jets -175

- Miami Dolphins +140

- Tampa Bay Buccaneers +550

- Buffalo Bills +650

- Chicago Bears +175

- Washington Redskins +175

- Seattle Seahawks +225

- Houston Texans +120

- San Francisco 49ers -175

- Cleveland Browns +600

- Oakland Raiders +350

- Cincinnati Bengals +160

- St Louis Rams +650

- Detroit Lions +600

- Kansas City Chiefs +375



Also check out updated 2011 Super Bowl Odds and winning NFL Picks


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