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Which 2015 playoff teams won't return to the postseason in 2016?

We've got our hunches.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

In 2015, there were a few obvious playoff teams (Seattle, New England) and a few surprises (Washington, Minnesota). At least a couple of those teams won't return to the postseason in 2016, and I'm interested in wildly predicting which ones those might be.

The playoff field tends to turn over quite a bit from year to year, with surprise teams emerging and teams who fell just short the year before making that extra push. It's not a stretch to think the New York Jets, who impressed in their first year, might be a good example of the latter. With a strong ground game, a chance to improve at quarterback and an elite defense, the now-Los Angeles Rams could be the former.

My predictions below are relatively light on turnover, and you'll notice they do not include the Atlanta Falcons. Given how irresponsibly early these predictions are, don't hold it against me.


1. New England Patriots

2. Denver Broncos

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

4. Indianapolis Colts

5. New York Jets

6. Cincinnati Bengals


1. Seattle Seahawks

2. Dallas Cowboys

3. Green Bay Packers

4. Carolina Panthers

5. Arizona Cardinals

6. Los Angeles Rams

As you'll note, my list excludes the Minnesota Vikings, who are a good, young team I expect to fade a little before returning to relevance in 2017. It also excludes Washington (lucky to play in a terrible division with a Tony Romo-less Cowboys team), the Chiefs (victim to a tough AFC West), and Texans (because c'mon, really).

Who have you got heading to the playoffs next year?