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The National Football League (NFL) playoffs are a
single-elimination tournament upright=1.3, The tournament has been completed until the semifinals, the winner of Lisa-Ernie match and Andrew-Robert match will play in the final. A single-elimination, knockout, or sudden death tournament is a type of elimination tournament wh ...
held after the
regular season In an organized sports league A sports league is a group of sports team A sports team is a group of individuals who play sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain o ...
to determine the NFL champion. Currently, seven teams from each of the league's two conferences qualify for the
playoffs The playoffs, play-offs, postseason or finals of a sports league A sports league is a group of sports team A sports team is a group of individuals who play sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activi ...
. A tie-breaking procedure exists if required. The tournament culminates in the
Super Bowl The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game. Since 2004, the game has been played on the first Sunday ...
: the league's championship game in which two teams, one from each conference, play each other to become champion of the NFL. NFL postseason history can be traced to the first
NFL Championship Game Throughout its history, the National Football League (NFL) and other rival American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams o ...
in 1933, though in the early years, qualification for the game was based solely on regular-season records. From 1933 to 1966, the NFL postseason generally only consisted of the NFL Championship Game, which pitted the league's two division winners against each other (pending any
one-game playoff A one-game playoff, sometimes known as a pennant playoff, tiebreaker game or knockout game, is a tiebreaker in certain sports—usually but not always professional—to determine which of two teams, tied in the final standings, will qualify for a p ...
matches that needed to be held to break ties in the division standings). After 1967, the playoffs were expanded to allow four teams to qualify for the tournament. When the league
merged In corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are transactions in which the ownership of Company, companies, other business organizations, or their operating units are transferred or Consolidation (business), consolidated with other entit ...
with the
American Football League The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a re ...
(AFL) in 1970, the playoffs were expanded to eight teams. The playoffs were expanded to ten teams in 1978, twelve in 1990, and fourteen in 2020. Among the major professional sports leagues in the United States, the NFL postseason is the oldest continuously run playoffs to use a single-elimination tournament in all of its rounds.
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, leagu ...
(MLB) has traditionally used "best-of" series formats, first holding its Wild Card postseason round in 2012.
Major League Soccer Major League Soccer (MLS) is a men's professional soccer Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport played with a sphere, spherical Ball (association football), ball between two teams of 11 f ...
(MLS) did not begin to use a full single-elimination tournament until 2019. Both the
National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, m ...
(NBA) and the
National Hockey League The National Hockey League (NHL; french: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH) is a professional ice hockey sports league, league in North America comprising 32 teams—25 in the United States and 7 in Canada. It is considered to be the premier pro ...
(NHL) continue to use "best-of" series formats.


Current playoff system

The 32-team National Football League is divided into two conferences, the
American Football Conference The American Football Conference (AFC) is one of the two Athletic conference, conferences of the National Football League (NFL), the highest professional level of American football in the United States. This conference currently contains 16 team ...
(AFC) and the
National Football Conference The National Football Conference (NFC) is one of the two conferences A conference is a meeting of people who "confer" about a topic. Conference types include: Physical * Academic conference, in science and academic, a formal event where researc ...
(NFC). Since 2002, each conference has 16 teams and are further divided into four divisions of four teams each. As of 2020, qualification into the playoffs works as follows: * The four division champions from each conference (the team in each division with the best overall record) are
seeded
seeded
1 through 4 based on their overall won-lost-tied record. * Three wild-card qualifiers from each conference (the three teams with the best overall record of all remaining teams in the conference) are seeded 5, 6, and 7. If teams are tied (having the same regular season won-lost-tied record), the playoff seeding is determined by a set of tie-breaking rules. The names of the first two playoff rounds date back to the postseason format that was first used in 1978, when the league added a second wild-card team to each conference. The first round of the playoffs is dubbed the wild-card round (or super wild-card weekend). In this round, the second-seeded division winner hosts the seventh-seeded wild-card, the third hosts the sixth, and the fourth hosts the fifth. There are no restrictions regarding teams from the same division matching up in any round. The division winner with the best record from each conference receives a bye which automatically advances them to the second round, dubbed the divisional round and hosts the lowest-remaining seed from the first round, and the other two winners from the wild-card round play each other with the higher seed hosting. The two surviving teams from each conference's divisional-round playoff games then meet in the respective AFC and NFC Conference Championship games, hosted by the higher-seeded team. The winners of those contests go on to face one another in the
Super Bowl The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game. Since 2004, the game has been played on the first Sunday ...
which is played at a pre-determined neutral site. The
New York Giants The New York Giants are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...

New York Giants
and
New York Jets The New York Jets are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American fo ...
have shared the same home stadium since 1984 (
Giants Stadium Giants Stadium (sometimes referred to as Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands or The Swamp) was a stadium A stadium (plural stadiums or stadia) is a place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field ...

Giants Stadium
from 1984 to 2009, and
MetLife Stadium MetLife Stadium is a stadium A stadium (plural stadiums or stadia) is a place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a tiered structure des ...
since 2010). Thus, if both teams need to host playoff games on the same weekend, they are required to play on separate days, even during the Conference Championship round when both games are normally scheduled the same day. The only time such a scheduling conflict has occurred was during Wild Card weekend in 1985, when only 10 teams qualified for the postseason and there were only two wild-card games. Instead of playing both Wild Card games on the same day, as was the case when the 10-team system was used from 1978 to 1989, the Jets hosted their game Saturday, December 28, before the Giants hosted their game on Sunday, December 29. This same scheduling conflict could occur for the
Los Angeles Chargers The Los Angeles Chargers are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular Ameri ...
and
Los Angeles Rams The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...
, who began sharing
SoFi Stadium SoFi Stadium is a stadium and entertainment complex in Inglewood, California, United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primar ...

SoFi Stadium
in 2020.


Breaking ties

Often, teams will finish a season with identical records. It becomes necessary, therefore, to devise means to , either to determine which teams will qualify for the playoffs, or to determine seeding in the playoff tournament. The rules below are applied in order until the tie is broken. If three teams are tied for one playoff spot and the third team is eliminated at any step, the tie breaker reverts to step one for the remaining two teams. If multiple playoff spots are at stake, the rules are applied in order until the first team qualifies, then the process is started again for the remaining teams. The tie-breaking rules have changed over the years, with the most recent changes being made in 2002 to accommodate the league's realignment into eight four-team divisions; record vs. common opponents and most of the other criteria involving wins and losses were moved up higher in the tie-breaking list, while those involving compiled stats such as points for and against were moved to the bottom. The current tiebreakers are as follows, with coin tosses used if all of the criteria fail:


Overtime rules

The NFL introduced overtime for any divisional tiebreak games beginning in , and for championship games beginning in . The first postseason game to be played under these rules was the 1958 NFL Championship Game between the
Baltimore Colts Baltimore ( , locally: ) is the most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city prope ...
and
New York Giants The New York Giants are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...
(the so-called "Greatest Game Ever Played"), decided by a one-yard touchdown run by Colts fullback
Alan Ameche Alan Ameche (; June 1, 1933 – August 8, 1988), nicknamed "The Iron Horse", or simply "The Horse", was an American football player who played six seasons with the History of the Baltimore Colts, Baltimore Colts in the National Football League (NFL ...

Alan Ameche
after eight minutes and fifteen seconds of extra time. Overtime under the original format was sudden death, the first team to score would be declared the winner. In March , the NFL amended its rules for postseason overtime, with the rule being extended into the regular season in March 2012. If a team scores a touchdown, or if the defense scores a safety on the (other team’s) first possession, it is declared the winner. If it scores a field goal on its first possession, however, it then kicks off to the opposing team, which has an opportunity to score; if the score is tied again after that possession, true sudden death rules apply and whoever scores next will win. True sudden death rules would continue for a second and subsequent overtime periods.


Double overtime

Since postseason games cannot end in a tie, unlike the preseason or regular season, additional overtime periods are played as necessary until a winner is determined. Furthermore, all clock rules apply as if a game had started over. Therefore, if the first overtime period ends with the score still tied, the teams switch ends of the field prior to the second overtime. If a game was still tied with two minutes to go in the second overtime, there would be a two-minute warning (but not during the first overtime period as in the regular season). And if it were still tied at the end of the second overtime, there would be a kickoff to start a third overtime period. Although a contest could theoretically last indefinitely, or last multiple overtime periods like several National Hockey League postseason games, no NFL playoff game has ever gone past two overtime periods. The longest NFL overtime game played to date is 82 minutes, 40 seconds:
Miami Dolphins The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football team based in the Miami metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member team of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC East, East division. The ...
kicker Garo Yepremian made the walk-off 37-yard field goal after 7:40 of the second overtime to defeat the
Kansas City Chiefs The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC West, West division. The t ...
, 27–24, in an AFC playoff game on December 25, 1971.


Playoff and championship history

The NFL's method for determining its champions has changed over the years.


Early years

From the league's founding in 1920 until 1932, there was no scheduled championship game. From 1920–1923, the championship was awarded to a team by a vote of team owners at the annual owners' meeting. From 1924–1932, the team having the best winning percentage was awarded the championship (the ''de facto'' standard owners had been using anyway). As each team played a different number of games, simply counting wins and losses would have been insufficient. Additionally, tie games were not counted in the standings in figuring winning percentage (under modern rules, ties count as ½ win and ½ loss). There was a head-to-head tiebreaker, which also was weighted toward the end of the season: for two teams that played each other twice, each winning once, the team winning the second game was determined to be the champion (the criteria used to decide the 1921 NFL Championship controversy, 1921 title).


1932 playoff game

In 1932 NFL season, 1932, the Chicago Bears (6–1–6) and the Portsmouth Spartans (6–1–4) were tied at the end of the season with the identical winning percentage of .857. Of note, the Green Bay Packers (10–3–1) had more wins, but a lower winning percentage (.769) as calculated under the rules of the day, which ignored ties. An additional game was therefore needed to determine a champion. It was agreed that the game would be played in Chicago at Wrigley Field, but severe winter weather and fear of a low turnout forced the game to be moved indoors to Chicago Stadium. The game was played under modified rules on a shortened 80-yard dirt field, and the Bears won with a final score of 9–0. As a result of the game, the Bears had the better winning percentage (.875) and won the league title. The loss gave the Spartans a final winning percentage of .750, and moved them to third place behind the Packers. While there is no consensus that this game was a real "championship" game (or even a playoff game), it generated considerable interest and led to the creation of the official NFL Championship Game in 1933 NFL season, 1933.


Before the Super Bowl

Given the interest of the impromptu "championship game", and the desire of the league to create a more equitable means of determining a champion, the league divided into two conferences beginning in 1933 NFL season, 1933. The winners of each conference (the first place teams in the conferences) met in the NFL Championship Game after the season. There was no tie-breaker system in place; any ties in the final standings of either conference resulted in a playoff game being played in 1941, 1943, 1947, two games in 1950, and one each in 1952, 1957, 1958, and 1965. Since the venue and date of the championship game were often not known until the last game of the season had been played, these playoff games sometimes resulted in delaying the end of the season by one week. The playoff structure used from 1933 to 1966 was considered inequitable by some because of the number of times it failed to match the teams with the two best records in the championship game, as ''only'' the conference winners would qualify for playoff contention. Four times between 1950 and 1966 (in 1951, 1956, 1960, and 1963) the team with the second-best win-loss record did not qualify for the playoffs while the team with the best record in the other conference, but only the third-best in the league, would advance to the championship game. For the 1967 NFL season, the NFL expanded to 16 teams, and split its two conferences into two divisions each, with four teams in each division. The four division champions would advance to the NFL playoffs, and to remain on schedule, a tie-breaker system was introduced. The first round of playoffs determined the conference's champion and its representative in the NFL Championship Game, played the following week. Thus, 1967 NFL season, 1967 was the first season there was a scheduled playoff tournament to determine the teams to play for the NFL Championship. During the three years (1967–69) that this playoff structure was in effect, there was one use of the tie-breaker system. In 1967, the
Los Angeles Rams The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...
and Baltimore Colts ended the season tied at 11–1–2 for the lead in the Coastal Division. The Colts came into the last game of the season undefeated, but were beaten by the Rams. Though the Colts shared the best win/loss record in the NFL that year, they failed to advance to the playoffs while three other teams with worse records won their divisions. This event figured into the decision in 1970 to include a wild card (sports), wild-card team in the playoff tournament after the AFL–NFL merger. During the 1960s, a third-place playoff game was played in Miami, Florida, Miami, called the Playoff Bowl. It was contested in early January following the 1960 NFL season, 1960–1969 NFL season, 69 seasons. Though official playoff games at the time they were played, the NFL now officially classifies these ten games (and statistics) as exhibitions, not as playoff games.


AFL and AAFC playoffs

For the 1960–68 seasons, the American Football League, AFL used the two-divisional format identical to the NFL to determine its champion. There was no tie-breaker system in place, so ties atop the Eastern Division final standings in 1963 and Western Division in 1968 necessitated playoff games to determine each division's representative in the championship. For the 1969 season, the final season before its merger with the NFL, the AFL added a first round whereby each division winner played the second-place team from the other division. The winners of these games met in the AFL Championship Game. In the only year of this format, the AFL Champion Kansas City Chiefs were the second-place team in the Western division. The Chiefs went on to win Super Bowl IV that season, thus becoming the first non-division winner to win a
Super Bowl The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game. Since 2004, the game has been played on the first Sunday ...
. During its brief history, the AAFC, which would merge into the NFL for the 1950 season, used an identical playoff format to the NFL from 1946 to 1948. In 1949 (its last year), the AAFC would merge its two conferences when one of its teams folded, and use a four-team playoff system. In 1948, the aforementioned issue of playoff inequity came into play when the San Francisco 49ers would miss the playoffs with a 12–2 record; they were in the same conference as the 14–0 Cleveland Browns, who would go on to win the Western Conference and then the AAFC's championship game against the 7–7 Buffalo Bills (AAFC).


Super Bowl and merger

The Super Bowl began as an inter-league championship game between the AFL and NFL, an idea first proposed by Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt. This compromise was the result of pressures the upstart AFL was placing on the older NFL. The success of the rival league eventually led to a full merger of the two leagues. From the 1966 season to the 1969 season (Super Bowls I–IV) the game featured the champions of the AFL and NFL. Since the 1970 season, the game has featured the champions of the
National Football Conference The National Football Conference (NFC) is one of the two conferences A conference is a meeting of people who "confer" about a topic. Conference types include: Physical * Academic conference, in science and academic, a formal event where researc ...
(NFC) and the
American Football Conference The American Football Conference (AFC) is one of the two Athletic conference, conferences of the National Football League (NFL), the highest professional level of American football in the United States. This conference currently contains 16 team ...
(AFC). When the leagues merged in 1970, the new NFL (with 26 teams) reorganized into two conferences of three divisions each. From the 1970 season to the 1977 season, four teams from each conference (for a total of eight teams) qualified for the playoffs each year. These four teams included the three division champions, and a fourth Wild card (sports), wild-card team. Originally, the home teams in the playoffs were decided based on a yearly rotation. From 1970 to 1974, the divisional playoff round rotated which of the three division champions have home-field advantage, with the wild-card teams and their opponents they faced in the divisional playoff game will never get it. Starting in 1970, the divisional playoff games consisted of the AFC Central champions and the NFC West champions playing their games on the road. Then in 1971 it rotated to the AFC East champions and the NFC East champions playing their games on the road. In the 1972 divisional playoff games, the AFC West champions and the NFC Central champions were the visiting teams. And 1973 it would start all over with the AFC Central and NFC West again, and so on. The rotation system led to several playoff inequities, such as: * In 1971, the teams with the two best records in each conference met in the divisional round. Meanwhile, the wild card teams had better records than the division winners they faced (the Browns and 49ers were each 9-5). * In 1972, the Dolphins had to take their perfect record to Three Rivers Stadium to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, who went 11–3, in the AFC championship game. * In 1973, the 10-4 Bengals had to play at the 12-2 Dolphins in the divisional round, while the 9-4-1 Raiders hosted the wild card Steelers. * In 1973, the Cowboys finished 10–4 but hosted two 12–2 teams, the
Los Angeles Rams The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...
and Minnesota. * In 1974, the 11-3 Dolphins had to play at the 12-2 Raiders in the divisional round, while the 10-3-1 Steelers hosted the wild card Bills. * In 1974, the Vikings hosted the Rams in the NFC championship even though both teams went 10-4 and Los Angeles defeated Minnesota in the regular season. The league did not institute a seeding system for the playoffs until 1975, where the surviving clubs with the higher seeds were made the home teams for each playoff round. Thus, the top seeded division winner played the wild-card team, and the remaining two division winners played at the home stadium of the better seed, forcing the worst-ranked division winner had to open the postseason on the road. However, two teams from the same division could not meet prior to the conference championship game. Thus, there would be times when the pairing in the divisional playoff round would be the 1 seed vs. the 3 seed and 2 vs. 4.


Expansion

Following an expansion of the regular season from 14 to 16 games in , the league added one more wild-card team for each conference. The two wild-card teams played the week before the division winners. The winner of this game played the top seeded division winner as was done from 1970–1977. The league continued to prohibit intra-divisional games in the divisional playoffs, but allowed such contests in the wild-card round. This ten-team playoff format was used through the 1989 season. Under this system, the Oakland Raiders became the first wild-card team to win a Super Bowl following the 1980 season. During the strike-shortened 1982 NFL season, 1982 season, only nine regular season games were played, and a modified playoff format was instituted. Divisional play was ignored (there were some cases where division rivals had both games wiped out by the strike, although each division ultimately sent at least one team to the playoffs), and the top eight teams from each conference (based on W-L-T record) were advanced to the playoffs. As a result, this became the first time that teams with losing records qualified for the playoffs: the 4–5 Cleveland Browns and the 4–5 Detroit Lions. Several times between 1978–89, the two wild-card games had to be played on different days. Normally they both would be held on Sunday. In 1983 and 1988, the games were split between Saturday and Monday because Sunday was Christmas, and the NFL had avoided playing on that day at the time. In 1984, both games were played in the Pacific Time Zone, so they had to be played on Saturday and Sunday to accommodate for time differences. In 1985, both the
New York Giants The New York Giants are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...

New York Giants
and New York Jets, Jets hosted wild-card games. As they have shared a home stadium since 1984, the games had to be played on different days. For the 1990 NFL season, 1990 season, a third wild-card team for each conference was added, expanding the playoffs to twelve teams. The lowest-seeded division winner was then "demoted" to the wild-card weekend. Also, the restrictions on intra-divisional games during the divisional playoffs were removed. The 2001 NFL season, 2001 season became the first time that playoff games were played in prime time. Thus, the league no longer had the same restrictions like in 1984 as to when to schedule games in the Pacific Time Zone. The 1990 format continued until the 2002 NFL season#Expansion and realignment, 2002 expansion and realignment into eight divisions. In this format, used until the 2019 season, the four division winners and two wild cards in both conferences are seeded 1–6, respectively, with the top two seeds receiving byes, and the highest seed in each round guaranteed to host the lowest seed. A limitation of the 12-team format was that division winners, including one with a .500 regular season record or a losing season, could play a home playoff game against a wild card teams who had superior regular season records. Home field advantage does not guarantee success, however; during the 2015–16 NFL playoffs, 2015–16 season, every road team won their respective playoff game, the first such occurrence in NFL history. Through 2019 however, NFL owners remained adamant that every division winner should still be rewarded with a home playoff game regardless of record. Calls to expand the playoffs to 14 teams began in 2006. Proponents of expansion noted the increased revenue that could be gained from an additional two playoff games. They also noted that the 12-team playoff system was implemented when the league still had 28 teams, four fewer than the 2002 expansion. The opposition to such a move notes that an expansion of the playoffs would "water down" the field by giving access to lower-caliber teams. Opponents to expansion further point to the NBA playoffs and the Stanley Cup playoffs, NHL playoffs where more than half of the teams qualify for the postseason, and there is often a decreased emphasis on regular season performance as a result. In October 2013, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced plans to revisit the idea to expand the playoffs to 14 teams, with the increased revenue gained from the two additional postseason games being used to offset plans to shorten the preseason. The 14-team playoff proposal remained tabled until December 2014, when no team in the NFC South could finish better than .500; Goodell stated that the league would vote on it at the March 2015 Owners' Meetings. However, by February 2015, the ''Washington Post'' reported that support among team owners had eroded, and league leaders expressed reluctance to make a change until the end of the 2015 season. The proposal then lost all interest by 2017. The league eventually revisited and implemented the 14-team playoff format in 2020, placing a third wild-card team in each conference, and only giving the top seed a bye (#Current playoff system, as explained above).


NFL playoff appearances

''Correct as of end of the 2020 regular season (including 2020–21 NFL playoffs, 2020 playoff berths).'' *Tiebreaker playoff appearances based on the team with the more recent playoff appearance.


Appearances by active teams


Current playoff appearance streaks

* ''Bold italics'' including ''longest streak'' indicates that the streak is also the team's longest-ever streak for consecutive playoff seasons. ''Updated through January 3, 2021.''


Breakdown by division

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Other current streaks of accomplishment

All streaks can be verified on the team encyclopedias at Pro-football-reference.com. ''Updated through January 3, 2021''


Current consecutive 7+ win seasons


Current consecutive 8+ win seasons


Current consecutive 9+ win seasons


Current consecutive 10+ win seasons


Current consecutive 11+ win seasons


Current consecutive 12+ win seasons


Current consecutive 13+ win seasons


All-time streaks of accomplishment

Notable current streaks in table are listed below in bold. Only the longest streak for each team is listed. Note that the regular season increased from 14 to 16 games in 1978 NFL season, 1978, and teams only played 9 regular-season games in 1982 NFL season, 1982. All streaks can be verified on the team pages at Pro-Football-Reference.com.


Most consecutive playoff appearances all time

* 11 seasons: New England Patriots 2009–19 * 9 seasons: Dallas Cowboys 1975–83, Indianapolis Colts 2002–10 * 8 seasons: Pittsburgh Steelers 1972–79, Los Angeles Rams 1973–80, San Francisco 49ers 1983–90, Green Bay Packers 2009–16 * 7 seasons: Houston Oilers 1987–93 * 6 seasons: Cleveland Browns 1950–55, Oakland Raiders 1972–77, Minnesota Vikings 1973–78, Buffalo Bills 1988–93, Kansas City Chiefs (1990–95, 2015–20) * 5 seasons: Miami Dolphins (1970–74, 1981–85, 1997–2001), Chicago Bears 1984–88, Philadelphia Eagles 2000–04, Seattle Seahawks (2003–07, 2012–16), Baltimore Ravens 2008–12, Cincinnati Bengals 2011–15, Denver Broncos 2011–15 * 4 seasons: Washington Redskins 1971–75, San Diego Chargers (1979–82, 2006–09), Jacksonville Jaguars 1996–99, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1999–2002, New York Giants 2005–08, New Orleans Saints 2017–20 * 3 seasons: Detroit Lions (1952–54, 1993–95), Atlanta Falcons 2010–12, Carolina Panthers 2013–15 * 2 seasons: Arizona Cardinals (1947–48, 1974–75, 2008–09, 2014–15), New York Jets (1968–69, 1981–82, 1985–86, 2001–02, 2009–10), Houston Texans (2011–12, 2015–16, 2018–19)


Longest consecutive streak with a playoff win

Streaks can be verified at Pro Football Reference.com Team Franchise Pages * 8 seasons: New England Patriots 2011–19 * 6 seasons: Dallas Cowboys 1991–96 * 5 seasons: Oakland Raiders 1973–77, Green Bay Packers 1993–97, Philadelphia Eagles 2000–04, Baltimore Ravens 2008–12, Seattle Seahawks 2012–16 * 4 seasons: Buffalo Bills 1990–93, Pittsburgh Steelers 1994–97, Minnesota Vikings 1997–2000 * 3 seasons: Miami Dolphins (1971–73, 1998–2000), Los Angeles Rams 1974–76, San Diego Chargers 1980–82, New York Giants 1984–86, San Francisco 49ers (1998–90, 1992–94, 1996–98, 2011–13), Washington Redskins 1990–92, Kansas City Chiefs 2018–20 * 2 seasons: Chicago Bears (1940–41, 1984–85), Detroit Lions 1952–53, Cleveland Browns (1954–55, 1986–87), Baltimore Colts (1958–59, 1970–71, 2003–04, 2013–14), Houston Oilers/ Tennessee Titans (1960–61, 1978–79, 1987–88, 2002–03), Denver Broncos (1986–87, 1997–98), Jacksonville Jaguars 1998–99, Arizona Cardinals 2008–09, New York Jets 2009–10, Houston Texans 2011–12, Carolina Panthers 2014–15, Atlanta Falcons 2016–17, New Orleans Saints 2017–18 * *Teams to not win a playoff game in consecutive seasons: Bengals, Buccaneers


Most consecutive 7+ win seasons

* 22 seasons: Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders 1965–86 *21 seasons: New England Patriots 2001–21 *17 seasons: Cleveland Browns 1957–73, Dallas Cowboys 1965–81, Pittsburgh Steelers, 2004–20 * 16 seasons: San Francisco 49ers 1983–98, * 15 seasons: Miami Dolphins 1989–03, New Orleans Saints 2006–20 * 14 seasons: Minnesota Vikings 1968–81 * 13 seasons: Green Bay Packers 1992–04 * 12 seasons: Washington Redskins 1981–92, Kansas City Chiefs 1989–2000, * 11 seasons: Baltimore Colts 1961–71, San Diego Chargers 2004–14, Seattle Seahawks 2010–20, * 10 seasons: Buffalo Bills 1987–96, Philadelphia Eagles 1987–96, Denver Broncos 2000–09, * 9 seasons: Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans 1995–2003, Chicago Bears 2005–13,
New York Giants The New York Giants are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...

New York Giants
2005–13 * 8 seasons:
Los Angeles Rams The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...
1973–80, Carolina Panthers 2002–09 * 7 seasons: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1997–2003, Baltimore Ravens 2008–14 * 6 seasons: Cincinnati Bengals (1972–77, 1981–86),
New York Jets The New York Jets are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American fo ...
1997–2002 * 5 seasons: Detroit Lions (1934–38, 2013–17), Jacksonville Jaguars 1996–2000, Atlanta Falcons (2008–12, 2015–19), Arizona Cardinals 2013–17 * 3 seasons: Houston Texans (2007–09, 2014–16)


Most consecutive 8+ win seasons

* 19 seasons: New England Patriots 2001–19 * 17 seasons: Pittsburgh Steelers 2004–20 * 16 seasons: Oakland Raiders 1965–80, Dallas Cowboys 1966–81, San Francisco 49ers 1983–98 * 15 seasons: Miami Dolphins 1989–2003 * 13 seasons: Green Bay Packers 1992–2004 * 10 seasons: Minnesota Vikings 1991–2000 * 9 seasons: Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts (1963–71, 2002–10), Washington Redskins 1971–79, Kansas City Chiefs 1989–97, Seattle Seahawks 2012–20 * 8 seasons: Los Angeles Rams 1973–80, San Diego Chargers 2004–11, New York Giants 2005–12 * 7 seasons: Cleveland Browns 1963–69, New Orleans Saints 1987–93, Houston Oilers 1987–93, Denver Broncos 2000–06, Baltimore Ravens 2008–14 * 6 seasons: Chicago Bears 1983–88, Buffalo Bills 1988–93, Philadelphia Eagles (1988–93, 2006–11), New York Jets 1997–2002, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1997–2002 * 5 seasons: Atlanta Falcons 2008–12, Cincinnati Bengals 2011–15 * 4 seasons: Jacksonville Jaguars 1996–99


Most consecutive 9+ win seasons

* 19 seasons: New England Patriots 2001–19 * 16 seasons: San Francisco 49ers 1983–98 * 9 seasons: Oakland Raiders 1972–80, Pittsburgh Steelers 1972–80, Indianapolis Colts 2002–10, Seattle Seahawks 2012–20 * 8 seasons: Dallas Cowboys 1966–73,
Los Angeles Rams The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...
1973–80, Kansas City Chiefs (1990–97, 2013–20) * 7 seasons: Cleveland Browns 1963–69, Houston Oilers 1987–93, Green Bay Packers 1992–98, Miami Dolphins 1997–2003 * 6 seasons: Buffalo Bills 1988–93 * 5 seasons: Minnesota Vikings 1973–77, Washington Redskins 1983–87, Denver Broncos (1983–87, 2002–06, 2012–16), Chicago Bears 1984–88, Philadelphia Eagles (1988–92, 2000–04), Atlanta Falcons 2008–12, Baltimore Ravens 2008–12, List of Cincinnati Bengals seasons, Cincinnati Bengals 2011–15 * 4 seasons: San Diego Chargers (1978–81, 2004–07), Jacksonville Jaguars 1996–99, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1999–2002, New Orleans Saints 2017–20 * 3 seasons: Detroit Lions (1952–54, 1993–95),
New York Giants The New York Giants are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...

New York Giants
(1961–63, 1984–86, 1988–90, 2010–12), List of Arizona Cardinals seasons, Arizona Cardinals (1974–76, 2013–15), Houston Texans 2014–16 ----


Most consecutive 10+ win seasons

* 17 seasons: New England Patriots 2003–19 * 16 seasons: San Francisco 49ers 1983–98 * 9 seasons: Indianapolis Colts 2002–10 * 7 seasons: Dallas Cowboys 1975–81 * 6 seasons: Miami Dolphins 1970–75, Los Angeles Rams 1973–78, Kansas City Chiefs 2015–20 * 5 seasons: Pittsburgh Steelers 1972–76, Washington Redskins 1983–87, Chicago Bears 1984–88, Philadelphia Eagles (1988–92, 2000–04), Seattle Seahawks 2012–16 * 4 seasons: Minnesota Vikings 1973–76, Oakland Raiders 1974–77, Denver Broncos (1984–87, 2012–15), Buffalo Bills 1990–93, Green Bay Packers (1929–32, 1995–98, 2001–04, 2009–12), Cincinnati Bengals 2012–15, New Orleans Saints 2017–20 * 3 seasons: Houston Oilers (1960–62, 1978–80, 1991–93), New York Giants (1961–63, 1988–90), Cleveland Browns (1963–65, 1986–88), St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals (1974–76, 2013–15), San Diego Chargers 1979–81, Jacksonville Jaguars 1997–99, Atlanta Falcons 2010–12, Baltimore Ravens 2010–12 ----


Most consecutive 11+ win seasons

* 10 seasons: New England Patriots 2010–19 * 7 seasons: Indianapolis Colts 2003–09 * 6 seasons: Dallas Cowboys 1976–81 * 5 seasons: San Francisco 49ers 1994–98, Philadelphia Eagles 2000–04 * 4 seasons: Oakland Raiders 1974–77, Chicago Bears 1985–88, Buffalo Bills 1990–93, Green Bay Packers 1995–98, Denver Broncos 2012–15, New Orleans Saints 2017–20 * 3 seasons: Minnesota Vikings 1969–71, Miami Dolphins (1972–74, 1983–85), Jacksonville Jaguars 1997–99, Denver Broncos 1997–99, Seattle Seahawks 2012–14, Kansas City Chiefs 2018–20 * 2 seasons: San Diego Chargers (1979–80, 2006–07), Washington Redskins (1983–84, 1986–87), New York Giants (1929–30, 1962–63, 1989–90), Pittsburgh Steelers (1978–79, 1994–95, 2004–05, 2010–11, 2016–17), Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans (1979–80, 1999–2000, 2002–03), Baltimore Ravens 2010–11, Arizona Cardinals 2014–15, Los Angeles Rams 2017–18 ----


Most consecutive 12+ win seasons

* 8 seasons: New England Patriots 2010–17 * 7 seasons: Indianapolis Colts 2003–09 * 4 seasons: Dallas Cowboys 1992–95, Denver Broncos 2012–15 * 3 seasons: Oakland Raiders 1967–69, Miami Dolphins 1983–85, San Francisco 49ers 1996–98, Denver Broncos 1997–99, Philadelphia Eagles 2002–04, Kansas City Chiefs 2018–20, New Orleans Saints 2018–20 * 2 seasons: New York Giants (1929–30, 1962–63, 1989–90), Minnesota Vikings 1969–70, Pittsburgh Steelers (1978–79, 2010–11), Chicago Bears 1985–86, Buffalo Bills 1990–91, Green Bay Packers (1996–97, 2001–02, 2019–20), Tennessee Titans 1999–2000, Baltimore Ravens 2010–11, Seattle Seahawks 2013–14 ----


Most consecutive 13+ win seasons

* 2 seasons:
New York Giants The New York Giants are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...

New York Giants
1929–30, Chicago Bears 1985–86, San Francisco 49ers 1989–90, Buffalo Bills 1990–91, Green Bay Packers (1996–97, 2019–20, Tennessee Titans 1999–2000, New England Patriots (2003–04, 2010–11, 2016–17), Denver Broncos 2012–13, New Orleans Saints 2018–19 ----


Most consecutive 14+ win seasons

* 2 seasons: Chicago Bears 1985–86, San Francisco 49ers 1989–90, New England Patriots 2003–04 ----


See also

* Active NFL playoff appearance streaks * List of NFL playoff games * National Football League championships * NFL playoff results * List of NFL franchise post-season droughts * NFL starting quarterback playoff records


References


Further reading

* * *


External links


Super Bowl History

Pro-Football-Reference.com
– Large online database of NFL data and statistics. Many of the game scores and records in this article can be found there. {{DEFAULTSORT:National Football League Playoffs National Football League playoffs,