NFL Playoffs: History Against Teams with Less Than 10 Wins

Don Wright@AngryGuyASContributor IJanuary 8, 2012

Will the 9-7 Giants buck the trend?
Will the 9-7 Giants buck the trend?Rich Schultz/Getty Images

  Lets face it, this is no longer your fathers NFL.  History can't be ignored, but like dad's Oldsmobile, sometimes it becomes irrelevant. The NFL today is far different than even15 years ago. With that in mind, I decided to look back at ten years of Superbowl teams, just for kicks. 

Other than the obvious fact that I need to get out more, I also found that recent history is against teams with less than ten wins even getting to the big game, much less winning it.

 In the last ten seasons, only the Cardinals at 9-7 made it to the Superbowl. No team less than 10-6 has won it.  Last years Packers and the '07 Giants both won it all after a 10-6 regular season.  Naturally, this doesn't guarantee an early exit for teams backing into the playoffs, it only suggests the odds are against them.

It seemed to be proven again with the 9-7 Bengals loss to 10-6 Houston. Today we have the 10-6 Falcons battling the 9-7 Giants and the12-4 Steelers taking on the 8-8 Broncos. It will be interesting to see if one of these teams will buck the trend of the last ten seasons. Here is a look at past teams and their records.

Season Winner Record Loser


2010 / 2011 Packers 10-6 Steelers 12-4
2009 / 2010 Saints 13-3 Colts 14-2
2008 / 2009 Steelers 12-4 Cardinals 9-7
2007 / 2008 Giants 10-6 Patriots 16-0
2006 / 2007 Colts 12-4 Bears 13-3
2005 / 2006 Steelers 11-5 Seahawks 13-3
2004 / 2005 Patriots 14-2 Eagles 13-3
2003 / 2004 Patriots 14-2 Panthers 11-5
2002 / 2003 Bucs 12-4 Raiders 11-5
2001 / 2002 Patriots 11-5 Rams 14-2
Average W 11.9 L 4.1
W 12.6 L 3.4


What does all of this mean?  In reality, probably not much, but it does point at trends. Out of the twenty Superbowl teams over the last ten years, only one had a record less than 10-6. The fact that the average record of the losing teams is better than the winners suggests that in the NFL, anything is possible.  Don't put away your Broncos jersey yet.