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NFL Playoffs - Longest Active Playoff Droughts

Since there are only 12 NFL teams that make the postseason every year, that means there is always exactly 20 NFL teams that did not make the playoffs. Adding two more playoff teams for the 2020-21 season will improve the ratio to 14:18.

Currently, no team has missed the playoffs in more consecutive seasons than the Cleveland Browns (17). The only other team with a playoff drought of double-digit seasons is Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12), who have signed Tom Brady in free agency.

Longest Active NFL Playoff Droughts

In the table below, you will see the full list of teams that missed the playoffs last season and how long their active playoff drought is.

Franchise# of seasons
Cleveland Browns17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers12
New York Jets9
Arizona Cardinals4
Cincinnati Bengals4
Denver Broncos4
Washington Redskins4
Detroit Lions3
Miami Dolphins3
New York Giants3
Las Vegas Raiders3
Atlanta Falcons2
Carolina Panthers2
Jacksonville Jaguars2
Pittsburgh Steelers2
Los Angeles Rams1
Dallas Cowboys1
Los Angeles Chargers1
Indianapolis Colts1
Chicago Bears1

Longest Active NFL Playoff Streaks

Due to the parity in the NFL, it's difficult to sustain postseason success.

Only the Patriots (11) have made the postseason in more than five consecutive seasons and will look to keep that streak alive without Tom Brady. Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid have the second-longest streak (five seasons) after winning the Super Bowl in February.

With that said, here are the longest active streaks of NFL teams qualifying for the postseason:

Franchise# of seasons
New England Patriots11
Kansas City Chiefs5
New Orleans Saints3
Philadelphia Eagles3
Houston Texans2
Seattle Seahawks2
Baltimore Ravens2
San Francisco 49ers1
Green Bay Packers1
Tennessee Titans1
Buffalo Bills1
Minnesota Vikings1

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