The 2021-2022 NFL season is less than four months away from kickoff. Four teams are entering the upcoming season with the most prolonged playoff droughts. The New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, and the Cincinnati Bengals have the longest playoff drought.
When looking at the four teams' upgrades over the last two seasons, two out of the four may make the playoffs in 2021. The Jets, Broncos, and Bengals had top-ten picks in the 2021 NFL Draft and made great selections with their choices. Let's take a look at which of the four teams have the best chance at ending their drought.
Two NFL Teams that will remain on the outside of the NFL Playoffs in 2021
#1 New York Jets
The New York Jets made a massive selection during the 2021 NFL Draft. New York turned over their franchise's success to former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. The Jets are taking a significant gamble on Wilson because he is projected to be the bust of the draft.
Zach Wilson is entering a franchise with more issues inside their front office than on the football field. The New York Jets didn't sign a top wide receiver. Instead, they signed a mediocre wideout that was not the first option on his former team in Corey Davis.
The Jets have the longest playoff drought out of the four teams. New York hasn't made a playoff appearance since the 2010-2011 NFL season. With the New York Jets failing to improve their team significantly, it looks like their playoff drought will continue in 2021.
#2 Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals made significant upgrades to their offense during the 2021 NFL Draft. Cincinnati reunited Joe Burrow with his former college teammate Ja'Marr Chase. Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase were a part of the 2019 LSU Tigers team that finished undefeated and won the College Football Playoffs National Championship Game.
When Burrow and Chase played on the same team, Ja'Marr Chase registered 84 receptions for 1,780 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns. The decision to select Ja'Marr Chase was based solely on the chemistry between Burrow and Chase. Cincinnati is hoping their chemistry carries over to the NFL.
The Bengals are welcoming back their franchise quarterback from an ACL injury. Cincinnati needs to keep Burrow off the weekly injury report if they want to have a successful 2021 season. They pass on Penei Sewell and draft Ja'Marr Chase. The decision to take Chase over Sewell will make life challenging for the Bengals when it comes to keeping Burrow healthy.
One NFL team that has the best chance at ending their playoff drought in 2021
The Arizona Cardinals haven't made an appearance in the NFL playoffs since the 2016 season. Arizona has completed upgrades on offense by signing running back James Conner and veteran wide receiver A.J. Green. The Cardinals are also in the race to land one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, Julio Jones.
Arizona's second-year quarterback Kyler Murray has lived up to the hype of being a number one overall pick. The Cardinals were one game away from making the playoffs last season. With the Arizona Cardinals playing in the NFC West, they have the most challenging road to breaking their playoff drought.
The Arizona Cardinals' opponents in 2021 finished the 2020-2021 NFL season with an overall record of (138-134-0). Arizona may have the most challenging road, but they're the most talented team out of the four teams on the list. The Cardinals will make the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season.
A trade determines one NFL team's chances at ending their playoff drought
The Denver Broncos are on the right side of the list because they have the best chance at landing Aaron Rodgers. If the Broncos can land Rodgers, it will improve their playoff chances tremendously.
The Denver Broncos currently have Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock as their quarterback options. If Bridgewater and Lock remain as the two options for Denver, their chances of ending the playoff drought have a great chance of continuing. Denver has a massive amount of talent on the defensive side of the ball, but year after year, the NFL proves that it's a quarterback league.
The Denver Broncos are in the same division with two top-five quarterbacks in the NFL Patrick Mahomes, and Justin Herbert. Denver can't enter the upcoming season with Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock to make a playoff run. The Broncos with Aaron Rodgers ends the drought, but without they'll remain on the outside looking in.