What Does It Take to Make the Playoffs?
This topic came up during some of the pregame shows last weekend. There was speculation that the San Diego Chargers might not make the playoffs even with 11 wins. One of our good buddies of the blog even mentioned that in an email to me.
My response was that I could only think of one instance where a team with 11 wins had not made the postseason in the Super Bowl era, and it's a doozy. The Baltimore Colts in 1967 had 11 wins, one loss and two ties, and were beaten out for a playoff spot by the Los Angeles Rams, who had an identical record but had beaten the Colts in the final game of the regular season.
So I took a look at the last 14 years. How many teams had finished with eight wins and made the playoffs (not many). What about nine, ten and eleven wins?
Here's the chart:
8 48 3 6.3%
9 50 28 56.0%
10 43 40 93.0%
11 30 30 100.0%
As you can see, most teams with even nine victories made it to the Super Bowl Tournament. Almost all teams with ten wins made it, and every team with eleven wins has been dancing.