The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs Football Teams (American)
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The Worst NFL Teams to Ever Make Playoffs

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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, so there are plenty options to vote for so choose wisely.

List Criteria: Vote for teams based on how poor their teams were

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  Name Score
  1. 1
    Up 296
    Down 122

    1982 Cleveland Browns

    100
    4-5
  2. 2
    Up 313
    Down 130

    1982 Detroit Lions

    96
    4-5
  3. 3
    Up 328
    Down 126

    1991 New York Jets

    94
    8-8
  4. 4
    Up 365
    Down 171

    1999 Detroit Lions

    89
    8-8
  5. 5
    Up 409
    Down 197

    1999 Dallas Cowboys

    83
    8-8
  6. 6
    Up 302
    Down 119

    1969 Houston Oilers

    80
    6-6-2
  7. 7
    Up 308
    Down 192

    2010 Kansas City Chiefs

    76
    added by: snarfer
    10-6
  8. 8
    Up 213
    Down 147

    1985 Cleveland Browns

    74
    8-8
  9. 9
    Up 242
    Down 151

    2004 Minnesota Vikings

    73
    8-8
  10. 10
    Up 78
    Down 58

    2011 Denver Broncos

    72
    added by: Pallknowing1
  11. 11
    Up 268
    Down 139

    2004 St. Louis Rams

    72
    8-8
  12. 12
    Up 834
    Down 499

    2010 Seattle Seahawks

    71
    7-9
  13. 13
    Up 141
    Down 117

    1992 San Diego Chargers

    69
    added by: DarrenDaPenguinDunham
    Started the season 0-4, won the division and the wild-card game, but got blown out by 31-0 by ... more
  14. 14
    Up 238
    Down 171

    2008 San Diego Chargers

    65
    8-8
  15. 15
    Up 216
    Down 133

    1990 New Orleans Saints

    59
    8-8
  16. 16
    Up 251
    Down 197

    2006 New York Giants

    55
    8-8
  17. 17
    Up 3
    Down 0

    2011 Cincinnati Bengals

    53
    added by: cincycheetahs
  18. 18
    Up 99
    Down 101

    1977 Chicago Bears

    50
    added by: JeannaArfsten
  19. 19
    Up 22
    Down 8

    2009 New York Jets

    36
    added by: Jamison12
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