The NFL gets lots of attention for a team’s ability to go from worst to first. There is obviously some truth to this, it happens every year. The Kansas City Chiefs were the success story last season. No NFL predictions called that. Who’s going to be this season’s success story?
When viewed through a larger scope the NFL also features tons of stability — well-run organizations with good coaches and strong quarterback play have the ability to string together years of quality play.
Lets look at the 12 playoff teams from the 2013 season: New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers, Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.
- Patriots – made the playoffs five consecutive years
- Bengals – made the playoffs three consecutive years
- Colts – made the playoffs two consecutive years
- Broncos – made the playoffs three consecutive years
- Chargers – one playoff appearance in last four years
- Chiefs – one playoff appearance last three years
- Eagles - made playoffs four of last six years and 10 times since 2000
- Packers – made playoffs five consecutive years
- Panthers – one playoff appearance in last five years
- Saints – made playoffs four of last five years
- Seahawks – made playoffs two consecutive years
- 49ers – made playoffs three consecutive years
Nine of the 12 teams to make the postseason have been consistently good football teams in recent years.
Since the year 2000, there have been 168 playoff spots in the NFL 113 of those have been in consecutive years, while only 55 have not. That means 67% of the playoff spots have gone to teams going back to back or even longer streaks.
44-percent of the playoff appearances belong to the Ravens, Broncos, Packers, Patriots, Steelers, Seahawks, Colts and Eagles. That means 44-percent of the spots during that time belonged to 25-percent of the league.
With a 16-game season and fluky plays such as turnovers having a large determination in the outcome of games there will always be opportunity for a jump. The rise from bottom to top just isn’t as prevalent as the image presented.
Lets hit this year’s predictions.