The 2022 NFL season featured a few surprises, as the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks did better than most expected them to and made the playoffs.
On the other hand, there were also a few negative surprises, such as the Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee Titans, and Arizona Cardinals, all of whom won seven or fewer games and missed the postseason.
In fact, all three teams did not win a single game against squads that did make it to the playoffs.
record vs playoff teams last year (W-L)
5-1: SF, PHI
3-2: BUF, MIN
3-5: CLE, PIT, DEN
2-4: TB, SEA
2-5: BAL, CAR, MIA, LV
2-6: IND, NO, NYG
1-7: CHI, HOU
0-9: LAR, TEN, ARI
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) April 12, 2023
The Rams, coming off their Super Bowl championship during the 2021 campaign, were widely expected to have a real shot at repeating as world champs last season.
Instead, key injuries and poor play from their offensive line caused them to sag to a 5-12 finish while losing star cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins.
Tennessee was picked by some to win the AFC South, but quarterback Ryan Tannehill showed his age, and despite starting with a very strong 7-3 record, they lost their last seven games.
The Cardinals were up against it from the beginning, as star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins served a six-game suspension to start the year after violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy.
Fellow wideout Marquise Brown, who was acquired from the Baltimore Ravens, suffered a foot injury, while quarterback Kyler Murray tore his ACL late in the year, and Arizona ended up finishing last in the NFC West with a 4-13 record.
In the NFL, where strength of schedule matters more than in other sports, teams must be able to defeat quality opponents in order to become a quality team, and the three aforementioned squads must rectify this issue in order to bounce back strong in 2023.
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