Be it injuries, incompetent coaching staffs, apathy, lack of depth or other reasons, teams like the San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys missed the playoffs despite having high hopes to begin the season.
Here are five teams that, despite missing the playoffs in 2010, could turn it around and win the 2011 Super Bowl.
In 2010, the Texans suffered from a lack of strength in the secondary and sputtered to the finish line.
With one of the NFL's best offenses, featuring Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and breakout star Arian Foster, the Texans can never be counted out.
However, Wade Phillips has now installed a new defensive philosophy and brought in Brandon Harris, potentially opening doors for the Texans to overcome their defensive woes and win a title.
Matthew Stafford is one of the game's most promising young stars, and if he can stay healthy, the Lions are capable of anything.
The defensive line is silly good, featuring rising stars Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, as well as accomplished veterans like Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cliff Avril and Corey Williams.
The Lions have a talented enough roster to surprise a lot of people in 2011, and if a few things fall their way, Detroit could win it all.
It was astounding the Chargers didn't make the playoffs, despite playing amazingly on both sides of the football.
San Diego's special teams play drove them into the ground, and after the Bolts dug themselves into a hole, the team couldn't claw their way out.
The Chargers finished the season strongly last year, and with Philip Rivers leading the show, this team can never be counted out as a strong Super Bowl contender.
With a full year from No. 1 wideout Vincent Jackson, watch the Chargers return to form in 2011 and capture a playoff berth after an off-year.
The Buccaneers surprised a lot of people in 2010, jumping to a 10-win season after a dismal 2009.
Led by young star Josh Freeman, the Buccaneers are looking strong, and this team can play with anyone in the league.
Effective leadership at the top with Mark Dominik and Raheem Morris opens doors for Tampa Bay, and if Da'Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn pan out, the Buccaneers could make even more noise in 2011.
This team shored up a big need in the draft by addressing the pass rush and are now in prime position to win for a long time.
Still, don't forget this team has—for the most part—been there for a Super Bowl run, and with the addition of Prince Amukamara, the Giants have improved enough to be in this discussion.
Look for the Giants to have diagnosed the problems that plagued them in 2010 and return with a renewed focus on not turning the ball over.
The Giants' defense is as strong as ever, and the offense looks to be able to follow suit in 2011 should they exercise more caution with the football.