NFL The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs  

Originally by
9.6k votes 2.9k voters 98.4k views 25 items Embed

List Rules Vote for teams based on how poor their teams were

The worst teams to ever make the NFL Playoffs are not just okay teams, they are simply bad teams that somehow managed to qualify for the National Football League postseason following a really crappy season. We're not talking about the borderline 9-7 teams that somehow squeak into the playoffs, we're talking a handful of teams that had losing seasons and still managed to win their division and earn that automatic playoff spot.

The process for selecting teams for the NFL Playoffs is pretty simple. The winners in each of the six divisions automatically qualify along with two wild card teams from each of the two conferences based on their regular season win-loss record. Usually this means the best teams in the league compete for the chance to play in the Super Bowl but as these teams prove, that logic is not always flawless.

With the exception of the shortened 1982 NFL season in which both the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns entered the playoffs with 4-5 records, never has a team with a losing record in a 16-game season qualified for the playoffs until the 2010 season. The Seattle Seahawks managed to win the beyond weak NFC West with a losing 7-9 record and earn the automatic bid into the postseason. Meanwhile, a 10-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the competitive NFC South sat home and watched with their 10-6 record getting them nowhere. Seattle was pretty bad during the year, allowing 407 points compared to scoring 310, but managed to shock everyone in the first round of the 2010 NFL Playoffs by upsetting the defending-champion New Orleans Saints.

Only slightly better than teams with a losing record that qualified for the NFL Playoffs are teams that went an even .500 on the year and still reached the postseason. Since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978 through 2010, 10 teams have qualified for the playoffs with an even 8-8 record. Many argued that allowing these sub-par teams into the playoffs was a travesty, especially in cases where other teams with much better records sat home, such as the case of the Tom Brady-less New England Patriots who went 11-5 in 2008 and spent their winter on vacation, not competing to play in the Super Bowl. Hmm, sounds like they may have a point.

What are the worst teams to make the playoffs? There are some really bad teams on this list, some might have even had the worst record in NFL history, and there are plenty options to vote for so choose wisely.
list ordered by

1
396 172
1982 Detroit Lions is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
1982 Detroit Lions 4-5

The Best Quarterbacks of All Time The Biggest Sports Team Collapses in History

2
374 169
1982 Cleveland Browns is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
1982 Cleveland Browns 4-5

3
382 169
1991 New York Jets is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
1991 New York Jets 8-8

4
423 208
1999 Detroit Lions is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
1999 Detroit Lions 8-8

5
353 148
1969 Houston Oilers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
1969 Houston Oilers 6-6-2

6
950 533
2010 Seattle Seahawks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
2010 Seattle Seahawks 7-9

7
461 236
1999 Dallas Cowboys is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
1999 Dallas Cowboys 8-8

8
309 167
2004 St. Louis Rams is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
2004 St. Louis Rams 8-8

9
278 183
2004 Minnesota Vikings is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
2004 Minnesota Vikings 8-8

10
255 155
1990 New Orleans Saints is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
1990 New Orleans Saints 8-8

11
252 172
1985 Cleveland Browns is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
1985 Cleveland Browns 8-8

12
340 256
2010 Kansas City Chiefs is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
snarfer added 2010 Kansas City Chiefs 10-6

13
280 195
2008 San Diego Chargers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
2008 San Diego Chargers 8-8

14
124 95
2011 Denver Broncos is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
Pallknowing1 added 2011 Denver Broncos

15
287 219
2006 New York Giants is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
2006 New York Giants 8-8

The Best Current NFL Helmets The Best Football Players of the 00s

16
176 146
1992 San Diego Chargers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
DarrenDaPenguinDunham added 1992 San Diego Chargers Started the season 0-4, won the division and the wild-card game, but got blown out by 31-0 by the same Miami team that could only score 10 points at home against Buffalo...yes, that Buffalo, that got blown out 52-17 in the Super ...

17
62 29
2009 New York Jets is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
Jamison12 added 2009 New York Jets

18
128 114
1977 Chicago Bears is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
JeannaArfsten added 1977 Chicago Bears

19
30 21
2011 Cincinnati Bengals is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
cincycheetahs added 2011 Cincinnati Bengals

20
20 8
2014 Carolina Panthers is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
KT32889MD added 2014 Carolina Panthers

21
8 4
1998 Arizona Cardinals is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
KT32889MD added 1998 Arizona Cardinals

22
11 6
2012 Minnesota Vikings is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
KT32889MD added 2012 Minnesota Vikings

23
8 7
2008 Miami Dolphins is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
KT32889MD added 2008 Miami Dolphins

24
9 8
1970 Cincinnati Bengals is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
KT32889MD added 1970 Cincinnati Bengals

25
6 14
1989 Steelers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs
KT32889MD added 1989 Steelers