Which teams would have made the NFL playoffs as the seventh seed?

For 30 seconds, six NFL teams from each conference reached the playoffs. Now, a seventh is being added. Who are the teams that narrowly missed?

The NFL is moving to a new playoff format.

After 30 seasons of allowing a dozen teams into the postseason, we’re adding two more, one for each the AFC and NFC. Chaos has ensued, with people predictably saying the seventh team is going to water down the competition

But is that true?

Here at FanSided, we don’t simply take the party line and run with it. No, we do the leg work. So, here are the teams who would have made the playoffs as the seventh seed, including their records, in every season since the 2003 campaign.

AFC

2003: Miami Dolphins (10-6)
2004: Baltimore Ravens (9-7)
2005: Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)
2006: Denver Broncos (9-7)
2007: Cleveland Browns (10-6)
2008: New England Patriots (11-5)
2009: Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7)
2010: San Diego Chargers (9-7)
2011: Tennessee Titans (9-7)
2012: Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
2013: Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
2014: Kansas City Chiefs (9-7)
2015: New York Jets (10-6)
2016: Tennessee Titans (9-7)
2017: Baltimore Ravens (9-7)
2018: Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6-1)
2019: Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)

NFC

2003: Minnesota Vikings (9-7)
2004: New Orleans Saints (8-8)
2005: Minnesota Vikings (9-7)
2006: Green Bay Packers (8-8)
2007: Minnesota Vikings (8-8)
2008: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7)
2009: Atlanta Falcons (9-7)
2010: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-6)
2011: Chicago Bears (8-8)
2012: Chicago Bears (10-6)
2013: Arizona Cardinals (10-6)
2014: Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
2015: Atlanta Falcons (8-8)
2016: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7)
2017: Detroit Lions (9-7)
2018: Minnesota Vikings (8-7-1)
2019: Los Angeles Rams (9-7)

There you have it. A whopping 34 teams in the bunch and not one with a losing record. However, a ton of very good teams would be including, highlighted by the Matt Cassel-led Patriots who won 11 games in 2008 and didn’t reach the playoffs.

Adding a seventh team isn’t going to water down the product. It’s going to make the competition towards the end of the season more important across the entire slate, and it will being more quality teams into the playoff bracket.

Bring it on.

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