Which NFL team has made it to the playoffs the most times?
Some NFL franchises have quite the track record when it comes to the postseason. Others? Not so much. Here’s a look at the total appearances in the NFL Playoffs for all 32 teams along with what happened the last time they made it that far.
|33||2018 - Lost Divisional Round
|Green Bay Packers|
|33||2019 - Lost NFC Championship Game
|New York Giants|
|32||2016 - Lost Wild Card Game
|31||2017 - Lost Divisional Round
|30||2019 - Lost Divisional Round
|Los Angeles Rams|
|29||2018 - Lost Super Bowl
|28||2018 - Lost Wild Card Game
|28||2018 - Lost Divisional Round
|New England Patriots|
|27||2019 - Lost Wild Card Game
|Philadelphia Eagles |
|27||2019 - Lost Wild Card Game
|San Francisco 49ers|
|27||2019 - Lost Super Bowl
|24||2002 - Lost Wild Card Game
|Washington Football Team|
|24||2015 - Lost Wild Card Game
|23||2016 - Lost Wild Card Game
|23||2019 - Lost AFC Championship Game
|22||2015 - Won Super Bowl
|Kansas City Chiefs|
|22||2019 - Won Super Bowl
|Las Vegas Raiders|
|22||2016 - Lost Wild Card Game
|Los Angeles Chargers|
|19||2018 - Lost Divisional Round
|18||2019 - Lost Wild Card Game
|18||2019 - Lost Divisional Round
|17||2016 - Lost Wild Card Game
|14||2017 - Lost Divisional Round
|14||2015 - Lost Wild Card Game
|New York Jets|
|14||2010 - Lost AFC Championship Game
|New Orleans Saints|
|13||2019 - Lost Wild Card Game
|12||2019 - Lost Divisional Round
|10||2015 - Lost NFC Championship Game
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|10||2007 - Lost Wild Card Game
|8||2017 - Lost Wild Card Game
|7||2017 - Lost AFC Championship Game
|6||2019 - Lost Divisional Round
Playoff teams for last 5 seasons if the new format was in place
There are routinely some close calls with teams coming up just short of the NFL Playoffs. A seventh team making the dance in each conference equals something else to strive for, but there will still be clubs that just miss. If we look back over the past five seasons, here’s what the field would’ve looked like if the new format was in place.
- 2019 NFL Playoffs
- AFC Seeds: 1. Ravens, 2. Chiefs, 3. Patriots, 4. Texans, 5. Bills, 6. Titans
- NFC Seeds: 1. 49ers, 2. Packers, 3. Saints, 4. Eagles, 5. Seahawks, 6. Vikings
On the AFC side, the Steelers were the bubble team with a mark of 8-8, while the Rams were on the outside looking in at the NFC with a record of 9-7. The Chiefs and Titans faced off in the AFC title game, while it was 49ers vs. Packers in the NFC. The Chiefs would go on to defeat the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV.
- 2018 NFL Playoffs
- AFC Seeds: 1. Chiefs, 2. Patriots, 3. Texans, 4. Ravens, 5. Chargers, 6. Colts
- NFC Seeds: 1. Saints, 2. Rams, 3. Bears, 4. Cowboys, 5. Seahawks, 6. Eagles
Once again, it was the Steelers who just missed out on the AFC side with a record of 9-6-1. The Vikings came up just short in the NFC at 8-7-1. The Patriots beat the Chiefs for the AFC crown, while the Rams handled the Saints to take the NFC. The Patriots would go on to victory over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
- 2017 NFL Playoffs
- AFC Seeds: 1. Patriots, 2. Steelers, 3. Jaguars, 4. Chiefs, 5. Titans, 6. Bills
- NFC Seeds: 1. Eagles, 2. Vikings, 3. Rams, 4. Saints, 5. Panthers, 6. Falcons
The Ravens and Chargers were the next in line in the AFC with matching records of 9-7. The former would’ve made it with a better conference winning percentage. There was a three-way tie at 9-7 for the 7th spot in the NFC. The Lions would’ve won tiebreakers over the Seahawks and Cowboys. It was Patriots over Jaguars in the AFC title game, and Eagles over Vikings in the NFC. The Eagles took down the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
- 2016 NFL Playoffs
- AFC Seeds: 1. Patriots, 2. Chiefs, 3. Steelers, 4. Texans, 5. Raiders, 6. Dolphins
- NFC Seeds: 1. Cowboys, 2. Falcons, 3. Seahawks, 4. Packers, 5. Giants, 6. Lions
The Titans and Broncos were tied at 9-7 in the AFC, but the former had the tiebreaker advantage. The Buccaneers would’ve been the 7th seed in the NFC at 9-7. The Patriots defeated the Steelers to win the AFC, while it was Falcons over Packers in the NFC. The Patriots came out on top of the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
- 2015 NFL Playoffs
- AFC Seeds: 1. Broncos, 2. Patriots, 3. Bengals, 4. Texans, 5. Chiefs, 6. Steelers
- NFC Seeds: 1. Panthers, 2. Cardinals, 3. Vikings, 4. Washington, 5. Packers, 6. Seahawks
The Jets just missed out on the party in the AFC at 10-6, while the Falcons would’ve been the last participant in the NFC at 8-8. The Broncos won the AFC title game over the Patriots, while it was the Panthers defeating the Cardinals in the NFC. The Broncos won Super Bowl 50 by a score of 24-10 over the Panthers.
The 5 biggest upsets in recent NFL Playoff history
Throughout the history of the NFL, there have been some memorable upsets in the postseason. In recent times, we’ve seen some stunners that have shaken up the landscape. Here’s a look back at five that moved the needle in the NFL Playoffs.
- Titans over Ravens, 2019 Divisional Round: The Ravens entered the game as 10-point home favorites, but the Titans had vastly different ideas. The Tennessee running game went bonkers, while the defense handled the rest in a 28-12 beatdown.
- Steelers over Jaguars, 2017 Divisional Round: Jacksonville took the trek to Pittsburgh as 7-point underdogs. An unexpected shootout developed, and it was the Jaguars with a surprising 45-42 win to advance to the AFC title game.
- Ravens over Broncos, 2012 Divisional Round: Led by Peyton Manning, the Broncos were 9.5-point home favorites over the visiting Ravens. In one of the most thrilling playoff games of the past decades, Baltimore pulled out a 38-35 stunner in double overtime.
- Jets over Patriots, 2010 Divisional Round: The Patriots have dominated the AFC East since the turn of the century. However, the division rival Jets were able to gain more than temporary bragging rights with a 28-21 win as 9-point road underdogs.
- Seahawks over Saints, 2010 Wild Card: The Seahawks backed into the playoffs with a mark of 7-9, while the Saints were 11-5 and defending Super Bowl champs. Marshawn Lynch had a 67-yard TD run for the ages as part of a shocking 41-36 win for Seattle.
The 5 best NFL teams that didn’t make it to the Super Bowl
Football is a game of inches, and even the best teams in the NFL will come up short at certain times. When that happens in the postseason, it’s all the more devastating. Here’s a look back at five teams that were more than talented enough to win a Super Bowl, but they never even got a chance to prove it.
- 1998 Minnesota Vikings
- Record: 15-1
- Playoffs: Lost NFC Championship Game at home to Atlanta Falcons in OT
One of the most prolific offenses in NFL history and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs didn’t translate into a Super Bowl berth. Minnesota made it back to the title game two seasons later, but they were smoked on the road by the New York Giants.
- 1989 Philadelphia Eagles
- Record: 11-5
- Playoffs: Lost Wild Card game at home to Los Angeles Rams
A dynamic playmaker at the helm in Randall Cunningham, as well as a loaded defense didn’t translate into playoff success for Philadelphia. The Eagles of this era had the goods but came up short in three straight postseasons.
- 1986 Cleveland Browns
- Record: 12-4
- Playoffs: Lost to Denver Broncos in AFC Championship Game at home in OT
Cleveland was looking like the real deal in the mid- to late-80s, but it just wasn’t meant to be. This was the first of three losses in the AFC title tilt in four years, all coming at the hands of the Broncos.
- 1980 San Diego Chargers
- Record: 11-5
- Playoffs: Lost AFC Championship Game at home to Oakland Raiders
This squad had a potent offense, led by Hall of Famer Dan Fouts, and the home-field advantage for the AFC title tilt. Three turnovers later, it was the Raiders representing the AFC in the Super Bowl.
- 1979 Houston Oilers
- Record: 11-5
- Playoffs: Lost at Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Championship Game
The team that would go on to become the Tennessee Titans was a huge factor in the AFC in the late-70s. Unfortunately, so were the Steelers. The Oilers lost to the Pittsburgh dynasty in the AFC title game two years in a row.