This Sunday, that number will jump to four teams with either Minnesota or Chicago winning the NFC North. The fifth (and potentially sixth) team will come from the pool of Baltimore, Miami and the New York Jets, who are competing with New England (2007 AFC East champion) for two AFC playoff berths. The number can jump to as high as eight if Denver emerges as the AFC West champion and Philadelphia or Chicago takes the final NFC wild card spot.
The teams since 1996 to make the playoffs a season after failing to qualify:
PLAYOFF TEAMS NOT IN PREVIOUS SEASON’S PLAYOFFS
8 (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis, Seattle)