Championship windows close quickly in the NFL. The Jacksonville Jaguars were a quarter away from beating the New England Patriots and marching into the Super Bowl two years ago.
But they lost. Then the following season they went 5-11. And now they have Nick Foles there. Their window was one season and it shut immediately.
Here are 5 NFL teams whose championship windows are closed after this season:
1. Dallas Cowboys
Some would say that the Cowboys don’t have a chance to win the Super Bowl but Dallas could easily take the NFC and if you win your division, you’re in Super Bowl contention.
The problem is, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot are both due for paydays which puts Dallas in a strange position. Dak has a 32-16 career win-loss record as a starter.
He’s also a coward that doesn’t throw the ball down the field and in an era where every QB is putting up historic numbers, Dak very much is not.
Ezekiel Elliot uh, can’t stop hitting men, women and children. He’s also a running back in 2019 which means he’s one injury away from irrelevancy. *stares at Todd Gurley*
It’s a WRAP for Dallas if they don’t make the correct financial moves.
2. San Diego Chargers
It’s wild that this round-faced elderly man who throws a football like he’s tossing around pizza dough is not only still in the NFL but still perennially one of the league’s leading passers.
Phil Rivers has more children than he has reasons to continue to play in the NFL yet here we are running it back again. So strange to have a new child every year and then spend zero time with them for a majority of the year.
Chances are, this is it for Rivers and although their defense is young and talented as hell, I can’t imagine a Ryan Fitzpatrick-type bridging the gap in 2020 and being successful.
They’re going to have to groom a young guy for a couple of seasons and that’s going to close their championship window, even if it’s only for a year or two.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers window might be closed already. You don’t lose the best running back and the best wide receiver and lose your star middle linebacker and walk back into the Super Bowl.
Steelers are OUT of here.
4. Minnesota Vikings
Here’s the problem with paying your quarterback a record high salary *whispers* you can’t pay anyone else. Kirk Cousins is what he is. He’s Matty Stafford minus all of the 4th quarter comebacks. He’s the mendoza line. He’s one of the highest paid quarterbacks ever.
There exists not a world in which Kirk Cousins has yet another disappointing season in Minnesota that he rallies the troops in 2020 and they run it back for a triumphant Super Bowl march.
Nah b, he fails one more time and everyone in that facility is blocking Cousins’s phone number.
5. New England Patriots
I could’ve made this list every year for the past decade and I would’ve been dumb enough to put New England on this list every single time. BUT, Rob Gronkowski is the first of many retirements to come and with Tom Brady’s No. 1 weapon gone, we might see the floor fall out from under him. This might be the worst statistical season of his career.
This might be the end of Tom’s career but this could also be the end of Belichick. Again, I could write this annually and these two men will continue to play.
Look, I titled this list 5 teams and I needed a 5th. I could’ve put Green Bay but Aaron Rodgers isn’t going anywhere and their new head coach should revitalize the team.
So that’s it. Patriots are done. You heard it here first. For the last decade.