With the Final Four tipping off tonight, we thought it would be fun to look at the 2014 NFL Final Four (New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts) and examine which team has the best chance of missing out on the 2015 NFL postseason altogether.
I think out of all four teams, the Indianapolis Colts have the best opportunity on returning to the postseason. I don't think they're the best team out of this group, but they have the easiest road to the playoffs. The AFC South is incredibly weak with the Jaguars, Texans and Titans. None of those teams have a solid quarterback, and the Colts are far better than those bottom-feeders, making the division title an almost certainty. It also doesn't hurt Indy's chances that they play quarterback-challenged teams like the Bucs, Jets and Bills in 2015. The Colts also signed veterans Frank Gore, Andre Johnson and Trent Cole this offseason.
My second team that should return -- Seattle. The Seahawks got fantastic news when Marshawn Lynch decided that he would return to the team after reportedly mulling retirement. Seattle also significantly improved its passing game with the acquisition of New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. I guarantee you that if the Seahawks had Graham in this past year's Super Bowl, they would've won the game.
The Packers should also return to the playoffs next season. Aaron Rodgers is the best player in football, and the Packers have one of the best offenses in the game with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy. They're also going to have a long offseason to think about how they choked away the NFC Championship game, and that should motivate them.
That leaves the New England Patriots as the team most likely to miss out on the playoffs. Now, I'm not saying they're going to miss the playoffs, but out of this group, they have the best chance to watch the playoffs from home. New England didn't have the best offseason. They lost Darrelle Revis to the Jets, Vince Wilfork signed with the Texans and the entire AFC East got significantly better -- just ask Rex Ryan about that. The gap that New England held over Buffalo, Miami and New York has shrunk.