So, now, we have to begin sorting through who we shall select to go in 2010. I have some ideas, but I am actually going to continue to examine things for another week or two before I try to get it right this year. Sidenote: In 2009, I did about as well as I have ever done when I wrote this about 1 year ago:
This year I predicted that the Eagles, Cowboys, Packers, Saints, Seahawks, and Falcons would make the NFC Playoffs, and the Patriots, Colts, Bengals, Steelers, Chargers, and Titans would make the AFC Playoffs. I had the Saints-Chargers in the Super Bowl, with the Saints winning it all.
Not bad, right? Anyway, we must look at history before we make our selections. What is the most important trend to keep in mind?
The Trend is this - Since 1991, when the NFL Expanded its playoffs to 12 teams, each year has averaged 5.8 new teams each year. To say it slightly differently, only 6 teams make it back to the playoffs the next year - and the other 6 teams are brand new.
Obviously, this flies in the face of most of our predictions. Because we look at each season and assume those who made it to last year's tournament will no doubt have good years - and those who failed in 2008 are doomed to fail in 2009.
It just isn't true. In the chart below, I will show you each year, and list the new teams who made the playoffs that year, but weren't in the playoffs the year before. The teams in the 1991 playoffs (the 1st year - so they were all new) were Dal, Atl, NO, Chi, Wash, and Det in the NFC; KC, Oak, Hou, NYJ, Den, and Buf in the AFC:
|Year||# New||New Teams making Playoffs|
|1992||6||Min, SF, Phi, Mia, Pit, KC|
|1993||5||Det, GB, NYG, Oak, Den|
|1994||5||Chi, Mia, Clev, NE, SD|
|1995||4||Phi, Atl, Ind, Buf|
|1996||5||Min, Car, Jac, Den, NE|
|1997||5||NYG, Det, TB, KC, Mia|
|1998||5||Arz, Dal, Atl, NYJ, Buf|
|1999||7||Det, TB, StL, Was, Sea, Ten, Ind|
|2000||6||Phi, NYG, NO, Den, Bal, Oak|
|2001||6||SF, GB, Chi, Pit, NE, NYJ|
|2002||5||NYG, Atl, Ten, Cle, Ind|
|2003||8||Stl, Car, Dal, Sea, NE, KC, Bal, Den|
|2004||5||Min, Atl, SD, Pit, NYJ|
|2005||7||Was, Car, TB, NYG, Chi, Cin, Jac|
|2006||7||Phi. Dal, NO, SD, Bal, NYJ, KC|
|2007||6||Was, TB, GB, Pit, Ten, Jac|
|2008||7||Phi, Atl, Car, Min, Arz, Mia, Bal|
|2009||6||Dal, GB, NO, Cin, NE, NYJ|