NFL: Best Teams That Failed to Make the Postseason (11-Win Teams)

With Tom Brady Sidelined For The Season With A Knee Injury In Game 1 (Above), Matt Cassel Led The 2008 New England Patriots To An 11-5 Record - But No Postseason

With Tom Brady Sidelined For The Season Thanks To A Knee Injury In Game 1 (Above), Matt Cassel Led The 2008 New England Patriots To An 11-5 Record – But No Postseason

Pretty, pretty rare. That’s how often an NFL team has failed to make the postseason with 11 wins.

More specifically, five times since the playoffs were introduced in 1933 – and only twice since the 16-game schedule was introduced in 1978.

What about a 10-6 record? There must be plenty of teams that failed to make the postseason with that record over the past 36* completed seasons. Even teams that are 9-7 make the postseason here and there. Well, sort of.

According to my source for today’s post, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, just 21 teams won 10 games during this period and missed the playoffs. That averages out to a little more than one team (1.17) every other year.

Now, what about 2014? What is going on out there?

The same, and the opposite, too.

The AFC North’s worst record right now is 6-4. Another six AFC teams have at least that record. The NFC’s chances of producing a 10- or 11-win no-berth team are slimmer, but existent.

Meanwhile, look at the NFC South. The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons are tied for first at 4-6. One of those teams might join quite the contrary list of worst teams to make the postseason.

TEAM SEASON W-L RECORD
1. Detroit Lions 1962 11-3
2. Green Bay Packers 1963 11-2-1
3. Baltimore Colts 1967 11-1-2
4. Denver Broncos 1985 11-5
5. New England Patriots 2008 11-5

* including 1987, which was a 15-game, strike/replacement-player season, and 1982, which was a nine-game, strike-shortened season; not including current season (2014).

Photo: boston.sportsthenandnow.com

Posted on November 17, 2014, in NFL Football and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I think that’s ridiculous that teams with better records do not make the postseason but a team with a awful record does… Where does that make sense? It is bad this year like you said. The Saints and Falcons suck but are some how in the running for the playoffs. No Thank you! Even if they made it to the playoffs their chance of winning is close to none. Both teams are just a wasted spot in the playoff bracket. I am a Bears fan and they have the same record, but in a different division. Makes sense, but in a broad view it ultimately doesn’t.

    • Great comment. There are definitely others out there that share your sentiment, but I don’t see things changing. All 4 major NA sports do it (and college, too). Win your division and you’re in. That also has its merits. So much of every team’s schedule has more division games than anything else, so in a sense, it’s leagues within the Big League. Win your league and you’re invited to the Big League’s postseason. Or, for example, win your conference tournament as in college basketball and you make it to the Big Dance. That being said in my personal, long-existed fantasy league, we have two divisions, but early on decided we were still going to go with teams with the best records (regardless of division) making the playoffs, in agreement with your point. Thanks again for the comment and visiting the site.

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