The NFL season produces a few new playoff teams each year. Last season we saw the Broncos, Texans and Bengals reach the playoffs in the AFC. For the Broncos, it was the first playoff appearance since the Jake Plummer era (2005). The Bengals missed the playoffs in 2010, after winning their division in 2009. For the Texans, it was their first playoff appearance in franchise history.
The NFC also produced three new playoff teams. The Giants returned to the playoffs after a two year absence, and won the Super Bowl. The 49ers made the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Finally, ending a big drought between playoff appearances, the Lions returned to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
The 2012 NFL season will see its share of new playoff teams as well.
Here they are.