FanPost

Making the Leap


Our Detroit Lions face the daunting task this year of overcoming a sub .500 record (one in, of course, a loooong series of sub .500 records) to make the postseason.  But as extreme a task as that might seem, it happens almost every single year in the NFL for at least one team, if not more.  Without fail, season after season, teams make the leap from also-ran to in the running.  In this post, we're going to take a quick look at the last 10 years of NFL football and how many teams have overcome their previous sub .500 record and make their way to the promised land of playoff football.

 

2010 Season:

Kansas City Chiefs: 2010: 10-6 (AFC WEST CHAMPS) 2009: 4-12. Finish: Eliminated WC Round

Seattle Seahawks: 2010: 7-9 (NFC WEST CHAMPS) 2009: 5-11 Finish: Eliminated Divisional Round.

 

2009 Season:

Cincinnati Bengals: 2009: 10-6 (AFC NORTH CHAMPS) 2008: 4-11-1 (lol Donovan McNabb) Finish: Eliminated WC Round

Green Bay Packers: 2009: 11-5 (WILD CARD) 2008: 6-10 Finish:Eliminated WC Round

 

2008 Season:

Miami Dolphins: 2008: 11-5 (AFC EAST CHAMPS) 2007: 1-15 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

Baltimore Ravens: 2008: 11-5 (WILD CARD) 2007: 5-11 Finish: Eliminated AFC Championship

Carolina Panthers: 2008: 12-4 (NFC SOUTH CHAMPS) 2006: 7-9 Finish: Eliminated Divisional Round

Atlanta Falcons: 2008: 11-5: (WILD CARD) 2006: 4-12 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

 

2007 Season:

Washington Redskins: 2007: 9-7 (WILD CARD) 2006: 5-11 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2007: 9-7 (NFC SOUTH CHAMPION) 2006: 4-12 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

 

2006 Season:

New York Jets: 2006: 10-6 (WILD CARD) 2005: 4-12 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

Baltimore Ravens: 2006: 13-3 (AFC NORTH CHAMPS) 2005: 6-10 Finish: Eliminated Divisional Round

Philadelphia Eagles: 2006: 10-6 (NFC EAST CHAMPS) 2005: 6-10 Finish: Eliminated Divisional Round

New Orleans Saints: 2006: 10-6 (NFC SOUTH CHAMPS) 2005: 3-13 Finish: Eliminated NFC Championship

2005 Season:

New York Giants: 2005: 11-5 (NFC EAST CHAMPS) 2004: 6-10 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

Washington Redskins: 2005: 10-6 (WILD CARD) 2004: 6-10 Finish: Eliminated Divisional Round

Chicago Bears: 2005: 11-5 (NFC NORTH CHAMPS) 2004: 5-11 Finish: Eliminated Divisional Round

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2005: 11-5 (NFC SOUTH CHAMPS) 2004: 5-11 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

Carolina Panthers: 2005: 11-5 (WILD CARD) 2004: 7-9 Finish: Eliminated NFC Championship

2004 Season:

New York Jets: 2004: 10-6 (WILD CARD) 2003: 6-10 Finish: Eliminated Divisional Round

Pittsburgh Steelers: 2004: 15-1 (AFC NORTH CHAMPS) 2003: 6-10 Finish: Eliminated AFC Championship

San Diego Chargers: 2004:12-4 (AFC WEST CHAMPS) 2003: 4-12 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

Atlanta Falcons: 2004: 11-5: (NFC SOUTH CHAMPS) 2003: 5-11 Finish: Eliminated NFC Championship

2003 Season:

Baltimore Ravens: 2003: 10-6 (AFC NORTH CHAMPS) 2002: 7-9 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

Dallas Cowboys: 2003: 10-6 (WILD CARD) 2002: 5-11 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

Carolina Panthers: 2003: 11-5 (NFC SOUTH CHAMPS) 2002: 7-9 Finish: Lost Super Bowl

St. Louis Rams: 2003: 12-4 (NFC WEST CHAMPS) 2002: 7-9 Finish: Eliminated Divisional Round

Seattle Seahawks: 2003: 10-6 (WILD CARD) 2002: 7-9 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

2002 Season:

Cleveland Browns: 2002: 9-7 (WILD CARD) 2001: 7-9 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

Tennessee Titans: 2002: 11-5 (AFC SOUTH CHAMPS) 2001: 7-9 Finish: Eliminated AFC Championship

Indianapolis Colts: 2002: 10-6 (WILD CARD) 2001: 6-10 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

New York Giants: 2002: 10-6 (WILD CARD) 2001: 7-9 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

Atlanta Falcons: 2002: 9-6-1 (WILD CARD) 2001: 7-9 Finish: Eliminated Divisional Round

2001 Season:

Chicago Bears: 2001: 13-3 (NFC CENTRAL CHAMPS) 2000: 5-11 Finish: Eliminated Divisional Round

San Fransisco 49ers: 2001: 12-4 (WILD CARD) 2000 6-10 Finish: Eliminated WC Round

New England Patriots: 2001: 11-5 (AFC EAST CHAMPS) 2000: 5-11 Finish: Super Bowl Champions

 

There you have it, 10 years of football, and multiple teams making the leap every single year, as many as 5 in one year a few times.  Here are some interesting stats. 

 

Out of 120 Playoff Teams over the past decade, 36 of them have been sub .500 the year before.  That equates to 30% of all playoff teams over the past 10 years, a full 3 in 10, or an average of 3.6 sub .500 teams making the playoffs every year.  Not too shabby.

Of the 36 teams, here are the breakdown of their year before records.

1-15: 1

2-14: 0

3-13: 1

4-12: 5

4-11-1: 1

5-11: 9

6-10: 9

7-9: 10

 

Here's the breakdown of their finishes:

Lost WC Round: 18

Lost Div Round: 10

Lost Conference Championship: 6

Lost Super Bowl: 1

Won Super Bowl: 1

 

And since this is getting long, just one last stat.  Records of teams that finished the previous year 6-10

15-1: 1

13-3: 1

12-4: 1

11-5: 2

10-6: 4

9-7: 0

So, there it is, all on the table.  The good news? It's not at all crazy for a team like the Lions to make the playoffs.  The bad news?  It's really hard to go deep into the playoffs after you make them.  Lets just hope the Lions can channel both their inner 2004 Steelers and 2001 Patriots simultaneously, eh?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.

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