In the National Football League, any team can go to the Super Bowl from one year to the next.
Last season, several teams that many people believed were up-and-coming squads fell flat and came up short of their goals. They went from having fairly impressive campaigns in 2010, to completely underachieving in 2011.
So the question is, can they turn things around this season? These teams are hoping to do just that.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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2. Kansas City Chiefs
Two years ago, Kansas City went 10-6 and won the AFC West. But in 2011, they finished 7-9 and missed the postseason completely. They were plagued by injuries, with Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles, and Tony Moeaki all going down in the first two weeks of the season with torn ACLs. This season, the Chiefs will have all those guys returning, so the question is -- can they bounce back? I believe their biggest problem right now is team leadership, or lack thereof. Quarterback Matt Cassel needs to step up and lead these guys, or just move out of the way and let someone else do it. If Kansas City underachieves again this year, Cassel is probably gone.
3. Seattle Seahawks
Last season, the Seahawks went 7-9 and missed the playoffs. But in 2010, they had the same record and made the postseason, beating the then reigning Super Bowl champion Saints in the Wild-Card Round. Their biggest problems in 2011 were the carousel they had at the quarterback position, and the amazing turnaround the 49ers had within the division. During this offseason, Seattle made a huge move by signing free agent quarterback Matt Flynn. With the addition of Flynn, look for this team to turn things around in 2012 and make a move towards the top in the NFC West.