Turnover is a fact of life in the NFL. Even as the league added two playoff teams to make a 14-team bracket in 2020, five of the 12 teams that made it to the postseason in 2019 didn't make a return trip this season. That's a group that includes the 49ers, who were the top seed in the NFC and its representatives in Super Bowl LIV, and the Patriots, who had made it to the playoffs in 17 of the previous 19 seasons. The Texans, Vikings and Eagles also failed to make it back into January, with two of those three not even coming particularly close.
Let's try to project what the 2021 playoff picture might look like by the time we get to the end of next season. Let me start with the obvious: It's going to be wrong. We don't know who will even be coaching the Eagles or Texans or whether their starting quarterbacks will be sticking around for another season. In doing this, I'm predicting that there's a small chance either Deshaun Watson or Carson Wentz will be traded to one of their more obvious suitors, such as the Dolphins or Jets.
We know that the Colts will have a new starting quarterback, as Philip Rivers announced his retirement Wednesday, but Drew Brees' future with the Saints is still up in the air. We don't even know whether fans will be able to cheer in stadiums come September.