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How Many NFL Wins Does It Take To Make The Playoffs?

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New England is the only team since 1990 to win 11 games in the regular season and not make the playoffs. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images.
New England is the only team since 1990 to win 11 games in the regular season and not make the playoffs. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images.


Since 1990, when the NFL went to six teams from each conference making the playoffs, there have been 276 teams that have played in the playoffs. Here's a breakdown of the number of regular season wins by each of those teams.

7 wins: 1 team — Seattle in 2010 (0.4 percent)
8 wins: 9 teams (3.3 percent)
9 wins: 42 teams (15.2 percent)
10 wins: 70 teams (25.4 percent)
11 wins: 58 wins (21.0 percent)
12 wins: 44 teams (15.9 percent)
13 wins: 35 teams (12.7 percent)
14 wins: 13 teams (4.7 percent)
15 wins: 3 teams — Minnesota in 1998; Pittsburgh in 2004; Green Bay in 2011 (1.1 percent)
16 wins: 1 team — New England in 2007 (0.4 percent)

Here's a breakdown of how many teams with eight or more wins in the regular season since 1990 made the playoffs:

8 wins: 86 teams won 8 games; 9 made the playoffs; 77 did not (10.5%)
9 wins: 81 teams won 9 games; 42 made the playoffs; 39 did not (51.9%)
10 wins: 78 teams won 10 games; 70 made the playoffs; 8 did not (89.7%)
11 wins: 59 teams won 11 games; 58 made the playoffs; 1 did not (98.3%)
12 wins: 44 teams won 12 games; 44 teams made the playoffs (100%)
13 wins: 35 teams won 13 games; 35 teams made the playoffs (100%)
14 wins: 13 teams won 14 games; 13 teams made the playoffs (100%)
15 wins: 3 teams won 15 games; 3 teams made the playoffs (100%)
16 wins: 1 team won 16 games; 1 team made the playoffs (100%)

Here's a few more interesting stats:

* 96.1% of the teams that won 10 or more games since 1990 made the playoffs.

* New England is the only team since 1990 to win 11 games in the regular season and not make the playoffs.

You want a sure thing? It looks like 12 wins is that sure thing. Teams have a great chance with 10 or 11 wins. Nine wins? Teams have about a 50-50 chance.