The 7 Worst NFL Playoff Teams of All-Time

Division champions automatically make the NFL playoffs. The end result, teams can scrape into the post season after an underwhelming season. Let's take a look at the worst teams of all-time to make the NFL playoffs.

7. 2008 San Diego Chargers (8-8)

A weak 2008 AFC West produced one of the worst teams to make the NFL playoffs, the 2008 San Diego Chargers becoming the first team since 1985 to go 8-8 and win their division.

Despite a 4-8 start to the season, wins against the Raiders, Chiefs, Buccaneers and the Broncos meant that the Chargers made the playoffs ahead of the 8-8 Denver Broncos on division win percentage.

Five teams that missed the playoffs finished the season with a better record than the Chargers. But the Chargers went on to stun the 12-4 Colts in the Wild Card playoff before a 24-35 loss against the Steelers in the AFC Divisional Round.

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6. 2020 Washington Football Team (7-9)

The 2020 NFC East was the worst season by any division in NFL history. Was it not for Washington's stunning win over the undefeated Steelers in Week 13, the NFC East would have produced the first ever 6-10 team to make the playoffs.

Washington became only the third team in history to make they playoffs with a losing record, and the only team to on the back of a 2-7 start to a season.

Washington lost 23-31 to eventual Super Bowl winners in an NFC wild-card match-up, the Tom Brady led Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Not before Washington's quarterback Taylor Heinicke produced a heroic display following Alex Smith being ruled out due to injury. His effort ensuring Washington aren't further down the list.

5. 2020 Chicago Bears (8-8)

The 2020 Bears started off the season 5-1 before a six game losing streak. The Bears limped to an 8-8 finish and became only the third team since the 1970 merger to make the playoffs following a six streak loss in a season.

The Bears would recover, scoring at least 30-points in the last four weeks of the season , the first time they've done so since 1965.

Despite the positives in the season the Bears finished with a poor 1-7 record against teams that made the playoffs. Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles were also horrible throughout the season.

A strong defense allowed the Bears to sneak into their playoffs but would suffer a 9-21 defeat to the Saints in the NFC wild-card playoff.

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4. 2017 Buffalo Bills (9-7)

The 2017 Buffalo Bills were able to end what was the longest playoff drought among the four major professional North American sports leagues, a 17-year playoff absence.

But horrible quarterback play and a -57 point differential made the 2017 Bills one of the worst teams to make the NFL playoffs, somehow clinching a Wild Card spot ahead of the 9-7 Ravens and Chargers.

Tyrod Taylor struggled with injuries and after a poor Week 10 performance against the Saints, was benched in favour of rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman.

Peterman threw 5 first half interceptions in a Week 11 loss to the Chargers and Taylor would ultimately start the Wild Card playoff against the Jags. He was limited to 134 yards and landing only 17-of-37 of his passes summing up the season.

Related: The Worst Team in NFL History: The 2008 Detroit Lions and the Winless 0-16 Season

3. 2011 Denver Broncos (8-8)

The 2011 Denver Broncos were crowned AFC West champions over the San Diego Charger with a better win percentage in common games. The reward was the Bronco's first playoff berth and division title since 2005.

Denver would head into the playoffs on a three game losing streak and a points differential of -81 points, the second worst for a playoff team in history.

Quarterback Kyle Orton started the season 1-4 before Tim Tebow came to the rescue with a six-game win streak despite a dismal 46.5% completion percentage for the season.

The Broncos finished the regular season 23rd in total yards gained and 25th in scoring but somehow stunned the 12-4 Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime in the Wild Card playoff before losing 45-10 to the Patriots.

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2. 2014 Carolina Panthers (7-8-1)

The Panthers lost six straight games in 2014 to drop to a 3-8-1 record and still ended up NFC South champions.

Seven teams in the NFL had a better record than Carolina and missed out on the playoffs. The poor season was summed up by a heavy Week 10 loss to the Eagles, quarterback Cam Newton sacked nine times.

Carolina would however shock a banged up 11-5 Cardinals in the Wild Card playoff, the Cardinals forced to start third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley. The Panthers went on to lose in the next round to the eventual Super Bowl winners the Seahawks.


1. 2010 Seattle Seahawks (7-9)

The 2010 Seattle Seahawks are the worst NFL playoff team of all-time, the first to win a division with a record below .500 and edging the St. Louis Rams by division win percentage.

Seattle would set up home field advantage against the defending Super Bowl Champions the New Orleans Saints (11-5) in a Wild Card playoff game.

The Seahawks had a -97 point differential for the season, the worst ever for a team making the NFL playoffs. In the Wild Card playoff the Seahawks stunned the Saints led by Marshawn Lynch's game-clinching touchdown run, a play known as 'Beast Quake'.

Seattle's total yardage for the season was ranked 28th on offense and 27th on defense.
Bizarrely the San Diego Chargers led the NFL in both categories but missed out on the playoffs even with a 9-7 record.

Related: The 5 Cities Deserving NFL Expansion Teams

This article was originally posted on Wolfgang Sport. All the way from the Land Down Under, I enjoy writing on the best sports leagues in British and American sports from a unique outsider's perspective. Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi.


How dare you have the Seahawks as your thumbnail next to this headline

Im so sorry bro. I just had to add Marshawns run in there, too good to overlook

An excellent post but please you need to comment more on other posts as I cannot submit this for extra curation. Just by not commenting you are missing out on so much extra. Takes 10 minutes to read a few posts and comment.

Thanks man I do try, I'll do my best with the little time I have

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