NFL Playoff Race: Worst Team to Make NFL Playoffs
|Published October 21, 2020
The NFL Playoff race is heating up with week 6 done. However, the winner of the NFC East might just be the worst team to make the NFL playoffs.
The Philadelphia Eagles currently lead the NFC East in point differential at -34. Say that number aloud one more time. It’s incredible how horrible this division has been so far and yet one of these teams will be hosting a playoff game come January.
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NFC East’s “Desire” to Make the NFL Playoffs
Throughout, the first six games, the NFC east has looked largely lifeless and incompetent. Quarterbacks have been struggling, defenses continuously give up big plays, and the losses continue to grow. Currently, here’s a look at how the NFC Playoffs Standings look.
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That’s right, superior teams like the Saints and 49ers are currently out of playoff contention while the 2-4 Dallas Cowboys hold on to a spot that will give them home-field advantage as well.
However, there are explanations for the poor performances thus far. The Philadelphia Eagles have been facing injuries across the board all season long, and the Cowboys just lost Dak Prescott (who was on fire by the way) to a season ending injury.
Regardless, that doesn’t make the division appear any more intimidating than the others.
Will the NFC East Winner Be the Worst NFL Playoff Team?
How does this year’s NFC East teams compare to other horrible teams that were able to make the playoffs? Well, as it stands the NFC East winner is set to finish with a losing record. If that is the case, they will be the third team in NFL history to make the playoffs with a sub-.500 record.
Who are the other teams that made the playoffs before with a losing record? And how did they do?
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1. 2010 Seattle Seahawks: 7-9
The Seahawks finished the 2010 season with a 7-9 record that was the best in the NFC West. As a result, they qualified for the playoffs earning homefield advantage in the wild-card round.
This was Pete Carroll’s first season with Seattle, and thus expectations were low. In fact, many went on to call the Seahawks the worst playoff team ever.
Nevertheless, the Seahawks pulled off a mighty upset in the first round of the playoffs as they beat Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints 41-36. However, their Cinderella story would end there as the lost to the Bears in the divisional round 35-24.
2. 2014 Carolina Panthers: 7-8-1
Similarly, the Panthers won the NFC South in 2014 with a losing record, going 7-8-1. The Panthers season seemed to be in doubt as Cam Newton was injured in a car accident.
However, Newton missed only one game and he pulled off 4 straight wins to lead Carolina to the playoffs. It was a remarkable effort by Newton considering the circumstances.
In the playoffs, the Panthers got lucky by facing a banged up Cardinals team that was missing starting quarterback Carson Palmer and backup quarterback Drew Stanton. This forced Ryan Lindley to start and well the results were abysmal.
The Panthers would beat the Cardinals 27-16 before eventually losing to the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round. The Seahawks would make it to the Super Bowl where they lost in dramatic fashion to the Patriots.
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