Some NFL experts are looking at this weekend’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots as a possible preview to this year’s Super Bowl. No doubt these two teams have been two of the best over the past two months, but whether or not they will have a rematch in February is still anyone’s guess.
One thing is for certain, if both teams make the playoffs this year, they will join some of the best franchises in NFL history. Both Green Bay and New England are the only teams to have made the NFL playoffs in each of the past five seasons. A sixth consecutive postseason appearance will put them among the league’s elite.
Since 1966 (the start of the Super Bowl era), there have been 15 teams that have made the playoffs in six or more consecutive seasons. Leading the way are the Indianapolis Colts who made the playoffs in nine straight seasons (2002-2010) and the Dallas Cowboys, who also made a postseason appearance in nine consecutive years (1975-83).
Here’s a look at the 15 franchises that have made the playoffs in six or more consecutive seasons (since 1966).
Nine straight playoff appearances: Dallas (1975-83); Indianapolis (2002-10)
Eight straight playoff appearances: Dallas (1966-73); L.A. Rams (1973-80); Pittsburgh (1972-79); San Francisco (1983-90)
Seven straight playoff appearances: Houston Oilers (1987-93); San Francisco (1972-78)
Six straight playoff appearances: Buffalo (1988-93); Dallas (1991-96); Green Bay (1993-98); Kansas City (1990-95); Minnesota (1973-78); Oakland Raiders (1972-77); Pittsburgh (1992-97)
Including the Packers and Patriots who are amid five-year streaks, there were 12 additional teams that made the playoffs in five straight years but failed to make it six in a row.
Of the current 32 NFL franchises, the Carolina Panthers are the only one that has not made the playoffs in two consecutive years (Note: They joined the NFL in 1995). Three franchises (Arizona, Houston Texans and the New York Jets) have not made the playoffs in three consecutive years since 1966.