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Friday open thread: Which teams will make the playoffs again?

Back-to-back postseason appearances is no easy feat.

NFL: NFC Championship Game-Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Parity is one of the big drivers of today’s NFL, and aside from the Patriots, there has been a pretty consistent turnover of power over the past couple decades. The 16-game season and single-elimination playoffs lead to more variance than other sports, and fans from every team are able to dream ahead of a new season.

Over the past five seasons, fewer than three teams on average make it back to the NFC playoffs from the previous season. Even the best squads in the conference struggle to make the postseason every single year, and it just takes one injury or some bad luck to spend January watching from home. Unlike the AFC, there really has not been a dynasty in recent times.

Making the playoffs in consecutive seasons is a difficult task, but odds are at least a couple teams will be able to do so. It may seem like an easy assessment, but come October, the landscape will look much different.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

How many 2018 NFC playoff teams will return to the playoffs in 2019?

My answer: As a refresher, here are the six squads from the 2018 playoffs: 1) New Orleans, 2) Los Angeles, 3) Chicago, 4) Dallas, 5) Seattle, 6) Philadelphia. The top two teams are probably safe locks to make it right now, as both looked dominant throughout most of last season. Questions about Todd Gurley remain, but these two teams are a notch above the rest of their divisions.

Chicago and Dallas cannot say the same. In the NFC North, there is just too much competition, as both Green Bay and Minnesota should be better than last year. The Bears have a solid roster but will be fighting to return to the playoffs. Dallas was not overly impressive last season and while the defensive line has improved, they do not look like the best team in the division.

Instead, that title belongs to Philadelphia. An improved running game and a healthy Carson Wentz should be enough to take the NFC East. Seattle has a chance at a Wild Card spot again, but it seems like time for someone else to enter the fray. With the Saints, Rams, and Eagles looking strong, I think we will see three of the six teams from last season’s playoffs make it back this year.

Your turn.

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