The 14-team field for the NFL playoffs includes a couple of familiar faces and a few teams that haven’t made the postseason in over a decade.
Entering the 2020 season, these were the teams that owned the longest-active playoff droughts in the league: Cleveland Browns (2002), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2007) and the New York Jets (2010) – as well as the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos and the Washington Football Team (2015).
You can take three of those clubs off the list. The Cleveland Browns will play in Pittsburgh on Sunday night and look for their first postseason win since 1994 – when the original franchise (now in Baltimore) knocked off the New England Patriots in a battle of head-coaching legends in Bill Belichick (Browns) and Hall of Famer Bill Parcells (Patriots).
The Buccaneers will be in Washington on Saturday night looking to win a postseason contest for the first time since an impressive 48-21 victory over the then-Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego. While the Football Team was in the playoffs five years ago and went by another name, the club has not prevailed in the postseason since 2005, when Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Joe Gibbs was back at the controls and his team won at Tampa Bay, 17-10.
But wait, there’s more. The Buffalo Bills are AFC East champions for the first time since 1995, which also happens to be the last time that team won a postseason game. The Chicago Bears, who are in New Orleans on Sunday afternoon, saw their last playoff win come in 2010 over the Seattle Seahawks. And while the Baltimore Ravens are making their third consecutive postseason appearance, John Harbaugh’s squad hasn’t tasted victory since beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh in the 2014 wild card round.
There are quite a few clubs in this year’s postseason tournament that haven’t tasted victory in the playoffs for quite some time. It will be interesting to see how many can end their woes when it comes to this shortcoming. And it all begins in Orchard Park on Saturday afternoon.