clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Who has been eliminated from 2020 NFL playoff contention

Plenty of teams will be fighting to the wire for playoff berths. Let’s celebrate the teams that burn out early. We’ll run down every team as they are eliminated from playoff contention.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ryan Finley is sacked by Oakland Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby after getting past Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle John Jerry during the fourth quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL playoffs are still a ways off and nobody will be securing a playoff berth until after Thanksgiving. However, teams will most certainly start getting eliminated from playoff contention before the holidays. In fact, we’ve already started seeing teams get knocked out with the Cincinnati Bengals officially eliminated after Week 11.

We’ll be updating this article with each team that gets eliminated until we have the final 12-team playoff pool. We’ll include a brief look at their win total numbers, preseason playoff odds, and how things went south for them. Each team is listed with their record at the time of playoff elimination.

Cleveland Browns (6-9)

When eliminated: Week 16

How eliminated: Lost to the Ravens 31-15.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: Opened at +2000, which ranked ninth best. They improved to +1400 by the start of the season, but went south in a hurry as the season fell apart.

Win Total: Their preseason win total was 9.5. They locked in the UNDER in Week 13.

What went wrong: For a team getting Super Bowl love all preseason, their collapse most of the season was rather stunning. Baker Mayfield took a step back, Odell Beckham Jr. dealt with a season-long sports hernia injury, and the defense stumbled and lost Myles Garrett to a lengthy suspension. Freddie Kitchens might survive this disaster, but he’s going to be on a short leash in 2020.

Los Angeles Rams (8-7)

When eliminated: Week 16

How eliminated: Lost to the Saints 34-7.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: Opened at +750, which was tied for tops following their trip to Super Bowl 53. They were +800 following Week 3, but then slowly declined from there.

Win Total: Their preseason win total was 10.5. They locked in the under with their loss to Dallas in Week 15.

What went wrong: The regression was real. Jared Goff had his moments, but he took a step back with an inconsistent 2019. Todd Gurley struggled to get going until it was too late. The defense actually improved in a lot of ways, ranking eighth in DVOA a year after rankings 18th. They had some consistency issues, but it was more on the offense.

Indianapolis Colts (6-8)

When eliminated: Week 15

How eliminated: Lost to the Saints 34-7.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: Opened at +1400, which was tied for fifth best. They stayed the same all offseason until Andrew Luck retired.

Win Total: Their preseason win total was 6.5. They can still secure the over with one win over the final two weeks.

What went wrong: Andrew Luck retiring caught everybody off guard. The Colts didn’t go into a tailspin, opening the season 5-2. However, losing Jacoby Brissett to a knee injury cost them two straight wins, and they’ve lost four of five since he returned. T.Y. Hilton has dealt with a nagging calf injury in that stretch and Marlon Mack broke his hand and missed three weeks. The defense has been fairly average and has not been able to carry them amidst offensive issues.

Denver Broncos (5-9)

When eliminated: Week 15

How eliminated: Lost to the Chiefs 23-3.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: Opened at +7500, tied for seventh worst. They climbed to +6600 in the offseason, but went down from the get go thanks to a four-game losing streak to open the season.

Win Total: Their preseason win total was 6.5. They can still get over with two straight wins to close the season.

What went wrong: Joe Flacco proved to be the wrong choice of quarterback to serve as a bridge to the future. Drew Lock has impressed in recent weeks, but it took eight weeks of Flacco and another three weeks of Allen before the move was made. The ground game has been decent but not spectacular, while the passing offense has been miserable most of the season. The defense has been solid, although not quite the big playmakers they were hoping to be.

Chicago Bears (7-7)

When eliminated: Week 15

How eliminated: Lost to the Packers 21-13 and that coupled with the Vikings win over the Chargers eliminated them.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: Opened at +1700, which were eighth best. They improved to +1600 by the start of the season, then declined steadily from there.

Win Total: Their preseason win total was 9.5. They secured the under with the loss to Green Bay.

What went wrong: Regression caught up with the Bears in a hurry on both sides of the ball. The team started to come together late in the season, winning three straight and getting some impressive performances from Mitchell Trubisky, but it was too late to turn around this sinking ship.

Los Angeles Chargers (5-8)

When eliminated: Week 14

How eliminated: Beat the Jaguars 45-10, but eliminated due to Steelers win over Cardinals.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: Opened at +1400, tied for fifth best. They never improved from there.

Win Total: Their preseason win total was 9.5. They failed to secure the over already.

What went wrong: It’s been an odd season for the Chargers. Melvin Gordon’s holdout didn’t help, and when he returned, it took some time and a fired OC before the ground game improved. All eight of their losses have been by a touchdown or less. Special teams have been a problem and injuries have piled up.

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9)

When eliminated: Week 14

How eliminated: Lost 45-10 to the Chargers, but also would have been eliminated due to Titans win over Raiders.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: Opened at +4000. They improved to +3300 heading into Week 1, and then things went south.

Win Total: Their preseason win total was 8, which means they have secured the under.

What went wrong: It’s been a disaster. Nick Foles looked solid in Week 1 before breaking his collarbone. Gardner Minshew got off to a decent start but came back to earth. Foles returned and still stinks. Leonard Fournette staying healthy and productive and D.J. Chark’s emergence might be the only really good things to come out of this season.

New York Jets (5-8)

When eliminated: Week 14

How eliminated: Beat the Dolphins 22-21, but lost because the Steelers and Titans both won.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: Opened at +7500. They improved to +5000 during free agency and the draft, but never got better.

Win Total: Their preseason win total was 7.5. They have to win out to exceed that total.

What went wrong: Sam Darnold got mono and things went south from there. The Jets were a favored breakout candidate, but their secondary was a mess and the offense took too much time to get even close to on track.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7)

When eliminated: Week 14

How eliminated: The Bucs beat the Colts 38-35, but they were eliminated when the Vikings beat the Lions.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: Opened at +4000. They sunk from there before improving to +6600 in the first month of the season. It went south after Week 4.

Win Total: Their preseason win total was 6.5. The win over the Bucs improves them to 6-7, which gives them three shots to get over the total.

What went wrong: Jameis Winston remains a turnover machine who is way too inconsistent to get this offense on track. Ronald Jones showed some signs of breaking out, but pass protection has still been an issue. In spite of an impressive defense and Mike Evans and Chris Godwin breaking out, the team could not turn it around.

Carolina Panthers (5-8)

When eliminated: Week 14

How eliminated: Lost 40-20 to the Falcons, but also would have been eliminated with the Vikings win over the Lions.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: Opened at +6600. They peaked in Week 8 when they reached +3000. Things quickly fell apart.

Win Total: Their preseason win total was 7.5. At 5-8, they’ll need to win out to exceed that mark.

What went wrong: Cam Newton hurt his foot in the preseason and aggravated the injury in Week 2. Kyle Allen showed some promise, but just as people started to suggest he was the future, it went south. The pass defense has been atrocious, and Ron Rivera has now been fired.

Washington (3-10)

When eliminated: Week 14

How eliminated: Lost 20-15 to the Packers to officially end their long-shot bid at an ugly NFC East title.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: Opened at +10000, which were tied for the fourth worst odds. They never improved from that, growing progressively worse each week.

Win Total: Their preseason win total was 6. At 3-10, they can still technically push with three straight wins to close out the season.

What went wrong: Things went south last year when Alex Smith suffered a devastating broken leg injury. The team brought in Case Keenum and drafted Dwayne Haskins to be their quarterback of the future. However, Trent Williams held out and the offensive line was a mess. They were never expected to be contenders, and things went about as many expected.

Miami Dolphins (3-9)

When eliminated: Week 13

How eliminated: The Dolphins won, but they were eliminated when the Steelers beat the Browns 20-13.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: Opened at +15000, which were the worst Super Bowl 54 odds. They improved slightly to +12500 heading into the preseason, but went downhill from there.

Win Total: The Dolphins preseason win total was 5. They are 3-9, and have some winnable games to close out the season. They travel to the Jets and Giants, host the Bengals, and travel to the Patriots to close out the season.

What went wrong: One could argue nothing actually went wrong in getting eliminated. They dumped players for draft picks to boost their opportunity to rebuild the franchise. The only thing wrong was not losing enough games!

New York Giants (3-9)

When eliminated: Week 13

How eliminated: Lost to the Packers 31-13.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: Opened at +4000, which was tied for the 19th best Super Bowl 54 odds. They sunk to +6000 after free agency and only went down from there.

Win Total: The Giants preseason win total was 5.5. They are 2-10, which means they need to win out to hit the over.

What went wrong: The Giants decision to draft Saquon Barkley in 2018 and stick with Eli Manning to start 2019 suggests they thought they could compete for the division. Things went south and Daniel Jones replaced Manning. Jones has taken his lumps, and while he’s made some solid plays for stretches, he’s also struggled with turnovers.

Arizona Cardinals (3-8-1)

When eliminated: Week 13

How eliminated: Lost to the Rams 34-7.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: The Cardinals opened at +10000, which were tied for the fourth worst Super Bowl 54 odds. They sunk to +12500 after free agency and kept going down from there.

Win Total: The Cardinals preseason win total was 5. They are 3-8-1, which leaves them with a shot at the over in their final four games vs. Pittsburgh and Cleveland and at Seattle and the Rams.

What went wrong: This was always an uphill climb for Arizona. They turned over their coaching staff and quarterback position, hiring Kliff Kingsbury and then drafting Kyler Murray in the 2019 NFL Draft. They impressed enough this season that there is optimism for 2020.

Atlanta Falcons (3-9)

When eliminated: Week 13

How eliminated: Lost to the Saints 26-18. They almost worked their way back, converting three straight onside kicks, but an atrocious Matt Ryan performance (two interceptions, one lost fumble, nine sacks) cost them.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: The Falcons were tied for the 13th best Super Bowl 54 odds (+2500) when they opened this past February. They never got higher than that as things went south in a hurry after Week 2.

Win Total: The Falcons preseason win total was 8.5. They secured the under last week with their loss to Tampa Bay.

What went wrong: Everything. The offensive line has been a disaster, with Ryan leading the league in sacks taken. The ground game ranks in the bottom ten of the league as Devonta Freeman has been pedestrian at best. The defense ranks second to last in adjusted sack rate. They’ve dealt with a fair number of injuries, but ineffectiveness was a bigger issue this season.

Detroit Lions (3-8-1)

When eliminated: Week 13

How eliminated: Lost to the Bears 24-20 after Mitchell Trubisky drove Chicago 90 yards on nine plays in 4:23 for the go-ahead score. Rookie QB David Blough drove the Lions as far the Bears 26 before throwing a game-ending interception.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: The Lions were tied for the fourth worst Super Bowl 54 odds when they opened this past February. Following a Week 3 win that improved them to 2-0-1, their odds reached their height at +5000. They then lost three straight and after a win over the Giants have lost five straight to sink their odds.

Win Total: The Lions preseason win total was 6.5, so at 3-8-1, another loss will guarantee the under.

What went wrong: Matthew Stafford suffered fractures in his back, but that came after they had lost four of five to drop to 3-4-1. Losing Kerryon Johnson in Week 6 hurt, but their defense has been a dumpster fire for much of the season.

Cincinnati Bengals (0-10)

When eliminated: Week 11

How eliminated: Lost to the Raiders 17-10 to become the earliest team eliminated from playoff contention since at least 2002, per Pro Football Talk.

Preseason Super Bowl Odds: The Bengals have consistently been near the bottom of the Super Bowl odds board. Following free agency, their +12500 odds were just ahead of the Miami Dolphins. They remained just ahead of Miami even as they have become the first team formally eliminated.

Win Total: The Bengals preseason win total was five, so at 0-10, another loss will guarantee no more than a push on that bet. They could become the first team to secure the under on their win total.

What went wrong: Just about everything. First round pick Jonah Williams went on IR, A.J. Green tore ligaments in his ankle and has yet to return from the injury. Andy Dalton stunk up the joint and was benched for Ryan Finley. It has been an ugly season and an 0-16 record is a real possibility.