Losing Record Through 11 Games Often Leads to Playoff Success in the NFL

The San Diego Chargers crushed the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday, December 5. The Chargers are now 5-7 and just two games out of first in the AFC West. Week 13 is usually the point of the season where several losing teams make runs toward the playoffs. In each of the last seven seasons, a team with a losing record through Week 12 has rallied to make the playoffs. Here is a look at those teams.

2010 – Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks didn’t need a late rally to make the playoffs. They got in by winning a bad division. Seattle was 5-6 through 11 games. They went just 2-3 after that. However, a 7-9 record was good enough to win the NFC West. Seattle then upset the defending champion New Orleans Saints before losing in the divisional round.

2009 – New York Jets

The Jets started their late change a little early. After dropping to 4-6 through 10 games, the Jets won five of their last six games to reach the playoffs on the final day of the season. New York then won two road playoff games before losing in the AFC Championship Game.

2008 – San Diego Chargers

The Chargers looked hopeless after dropping all the way 4-8. They were well behind the Denver Broncos in the AFC West. However, San Diego won their final four games while the Broncos collapsed. They won their division at 8-8 and managed to beat the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the playoffs.

2007 – Washington Redskins

The Redskins started out 5-3 but lost four straight games to drop to 5-7. They responded by winning their final four games to reach the playoffs at 9-7. Unlike the other teams on this list, Washington was unable to earn a playoff win.

2006 – Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles dropped to 5-6 after a Week 12 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. But with backup quarterback Jeff Garcia running the show, the Eagles won their final five games to win the division. The highlight came when they beat all three NFC East teams on the road in consecutive weeks. The Eagles beat the New York Giants in the first round of the playoffs.

2005 – Washington Redskins

Washington was 5-6 through the first 11 games. The Redskins had lost three straight games, including two in a row at home. They turned it on after that though. Washington won their final five games and then upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the wild card round.

2004 – St. Louis Rams

The Rams were 5-6 through 11 games. They actually would fall to 6-8 before winning their last two games of the season. Despite the 8-8 record, the Rams were able to reach the playoffs and win a game. They lost in the divisional round.

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