The 2013 NFL season will soon kick off with nine teams that haven’t been to the playoffs for at least four years, and three teams – the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills, that haven’t seen a postseason game in over a decade.
Among the 20 teams that didn’t make the playoffs last year, only two of them; the New York Giants and the Oakland Raiders, have made their last appearance in a postseason game in the Super Bowl. For the Giants, it’s not that bad, with only one season without the playoffs since winning against the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Miami Dolphins – 4 Seasons
The last time the Dolphin made the playoffs was in the 2008 season, finishing on top of the AFC East with an 11-5 record, with Chad Pennington winning the comeback player of the year. They went on to lose 27-9 to the Baltimore Ravenss in the Wild Card playoffs. Since then they’ve gone 27-37, with Tony Sparano, who led them to the postseason in 2008, leaving the team in 2011. Todd Bowles got the internship job, and Joe Philbin has been with the team since the beginning of last season.
Carolina Panthers – 4 Seasons
The Panthers have enjoyed some impressive draft picks like Cam Netwon in 2011 and Luke Kuechly, the 2012 defensive rookie of the year, and decent records except for the 2010 season which ended in a 2-14 disaster, and John Fox leaving the team. Since then, Ron Rivera has been the head coach, going 13-19 since taking over the team.
Tennessee Titans – 4 Seasons
The Titans haven’t been to the playoffs since 2008, when they lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional playoffs after a 13-3 season. Unlike the rest of those sharing the drought characteristics, the Titans haven’t had disastrous seasons, going 29-35 since then, with Jeff Fisher leaving after 2010, and Mike Munchak taking over since then.
Jacksonville Jaguars – 5 Seasons
The Jags have been doing pretty badly over the last five seasons, not making the playoffs since losing to the Patriots in the 2007 playoffs after getting by the Pittsburgh Steelers a week earlier. They’ve posted a a 27-53 record over the last five seasons, including a franchise all-time worst 2-14 season in 2012. Since Jack Del Rio left in 2011, the Jags have had an interim coach, Mike Mularkey in 2012 and now Gus Bradley is taking over the team for his first season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 5 Seasons
The Bucs have actually have two winnings seasons since 2007, when they lost to the New York Giants in the Wild Card playoffs; a 9-7 year in 2008 and a 10-6 year in 2010, but they’ve also gone 3-13 and 4-12 in between. Last year, the first with Greg Schiano, was a 7-9 season, and hopefully they won’t suffer another regression, which seems to be the trend in recent years.
St. Louis Rams – 8 Seasons
The Rams reached the playoffs five times in six seasons between 1999 and 2004, including two Super Bowl appearances and one victory in the NFL final. But since then? Only one season with a .500 record, and a 7-8-1 year in 2012, with Jeff Fisher in charge. Overall they’ve posted a 36-91-1 record, including only six wins between 2007 and 2009. Since Mike Martz left in 2005, they’ve had four more head coaches before getting to Fisher, entering his second season with the team.
Cleveland Browns – 10 Seasons
The last time the Browns made the playoffs was in the 2002 season, the only time their new incarnation of a franchise made it into the postseason. They finished that year with a 9-7 record, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-33 in the Wild Card playoffs. Butch Davis was their head coach at the time, but he was fired in 2004. Rob Chudzinski is the fifth head coach since who’ll try and pick the team up from the bottom of the AFC North, as they’ve won only 50 games in the 10 seasons since, only 31.3% of their games.
Oakland Raiders – 10 Seasons
Out of all the teams who have been out of the postseason for two or more seasons, the Raiders are the only team to reach the Super Bowl on their last playoff appearance, losing to the Bucs in the Super Bowl XXXVII 48-21. Since then, they’ve posted only two .500 seasons (2010, 2011), but never anything better than 8-8, going a combined 49-111 over the last 10 years. Bill Callahan was their head coach in 2002, and he lasted one more season. Art Shell, Norv Turner, Lane Kiffin, Tom Cable, Hue Jackson and Dennis Allen (Still with the team) have failed bringing them back.
Buffalo Bills – 13 Seasons
The Bills haven’t been to the playoffs since 1999, when they lost in the Wild Card to Titans 22-16. Since then, they’ve finished above .500 only once (9-7, 2004), going 82-126 over the last 13 years, and Doug Marrone being the 7th head coach the team has had since that season. Wade Phillips was their head coach in 1999, but he lasted another season, fired at the end of the 2000 season.