The NFL expanded the playoffs this year, adding a seventh team in each conference. But apparently, the loaded AFC did not get the memo.
The reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs have secured the best record in the NFL and the top seed in the AFC playoffs. The Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers both own 12-3 records and are division champions. The AFC South title has yet to be determined as both the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts own 10-5 resumes and the former needs a win to capture its first division title since 2008.
Those two teams, along with the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, and Cleveland Browns, also own 10-5 records. Do the math. That’s half of the conference with double-digit victories. This year, the National Football League expanded the playoffs to 14 teams – seven each in the AFC and the NFC. The latter is a discussion for another time as the NFC East will be won by a team with a losing record.
As for the AFC, the Colts are the only team of the five 10-win teams that does not control its own destiny. If all five teams win on Sunday and none of them play each other, Indianapolis could become the first team since the 2008 New England Patriots to miss out on the postseason with an 11-5 record. In 1985, the 11-5 Denver Broncos were also on the outside looking in when it came to the playoffs but that was in a 10-team format.
Here’s a look at the teams to win at least 10 games and miss the playoffs since the postseason was expanded to 12 teams in 1990. We will see this list expanded after Sunday’s action.
Year Team Record Result
2015 N.Y. Jets 10-6 2nd, AFC East
2014 Philadelphia 10-6 2nd, NFC East
2013 Arizona 10-6 3rd, NFC West
2012 Chicago 10-6 3rd, NFC North
2010 Tampa Bay 10-6 3rd, NFC South
2010 N.Y. Giants 10-6 2nd, NFC East
2008 New England 11-5 2nd, AFC East
2007 Cleveland 10-6 2nd, AFC North
2005 Kansas City 10-6 2nd, AFC West
2003 Miami 10-6 2nd, AFC East
1991 Philadelphia 10-6 3rd, NFC East
1991 San Francisco 10-6 3rd, NFC West
Of course, now that the postseason invite list has swelled from 12 to 14 clubs. And the loaded AFC is going to send someone home after a double-digit win campaign. That’s just the way the ball bounces some seasons.