Since the current 12-team playoff format was instituted in 1990, 14 teams have reached the postseason despite having a losing record after 11 games. This includes the current streak in which a sub-.500 team after 11 games has reached the playoffs for six consecutive seasons. The New York Jets advanced to the AFC Championship Game after a 5-6 start last season.
Since 1990, teams with a losing record after 11 games that rebounded to make the playoffs:
|YEAR||TEAM||RECORD AFTER 11 GAMES||FINAL RECORD||ADVANCED TO|
|1990||New Orleans Saints||5-6||8-8||Wild Card|
|1993||Minnesota Vikings||5-6||9-7||Wild Card|
|1994||Detroit Lions||5-6||9-7||Wild Card|
|1994||New England Patriots||5-6||10-6||Wild Card|
|1995||Detroit Lions||5-6||10-6||Wild Card|
|1995||San Diego Chargers||4-7||9-7||Wild Card|
|1996||Jacksonville Jaguars||4-7||9-7||AFC Championship|
|1997||Detroit Lions||5-6||9-7||Wild Card|
|2004||St. Louis Rams||5-6||8-8||Divisional|
|2007||Washington Redskins||5-6||9-7||Wild Card|
|2008||San Diego Chargers||4-7||8-8||Divisional|
|2009||New York Jets||5-6||9-7||AFC Championship|
— NFL —
RIDING THE WAVE: The San Diego Chargers have won an NFL-record 18 consecutive games in December. With a victory against Oakland on Sunday, the Chargers can surpass the Miami Dolphins (18 consecutive November wins from 1970-74) for the most consecutive games won in a calendar month since 1970.
The longest winning streaks in a calendar month since 1970:
|San Diego Chargers||2006-present||December||18*|
JETS-PATRIOTS FACTOID: Entering Week 13, the New York Jets (9-2) and New England Patriots (9-2) are tied with the Atlanta Falcons (9-2) for the best record in the NFL. The Jets and Patriots will meet on Monday Night Football with first place in the AFC East on the line. The last time divisional opponents were tied for the NFL’s best record and met in the 12th game of the season or later was on December 9, 2001, when the San Francisco 49ers (9-2) faced the St. Louis Rams (9-2). San Francisco and St. Louis were tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Bears for the NFL’s best record. St. Louis defeated San Francisco 27-14.
BRADY EYEING END ZONE: New England quarterback TOM BRADY is tied atop the NFL with 23 touchdown passes this season. With two touchdown passes against the Jets, Brady can become the fifth quarterback in NFL history to have 25+ touchdown passes in at least six seasons.
Colts quarterback PEYTON MANNING holds the record with 12 seasons with 25+ touchdown passes. Manning has 22 touchdown passes this season and can extend the mark on Sunday.
Following are the quarterbacks with 25+ touchdown passes in at least six seasons:
|QUARTERBACK||SEASONS WITH 25+ TD PASSES|
BWE KNOWS: Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver DWAYNE BOWE leads the NFL with 14 touchdown receptions and has at least one touchdown catch in seven consecutive games.
With a TD reception on Sunday against Denver, Bowe can tie Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE, TERRELL OWENS and T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH for the second-most consecutive games with a touchdown reception in a single season since 1970.
The most consecutive games with a touchdown reception in a single season since 1970:
MR. CONSISTENCY: Baltimore Ravens wide receiver DERRICK MASON has 45 receptions for 576 receiving yards with four touchdowns in 2010. With five receptions against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football, Mason will become only the seventh player in NFL history to record 50+ receptions in 11 consecutive seasons.
Atlanta Falcons tight end TONY GONZALEZ extended the NFL record to 13 consecutive seasons with 50+ receptions last week.
The players with the most consecutive seasons with 50+ receptions:
|WIDE RECEIVER||YEARS||TEAM(S)||CONSECUTIVE SEASONS|
|Tony Gonzalez||1998-present||Chiefs, Falcons||13*|
|Torry Holt||1999-2009||Rams, Jaguars||11|
|Derrick Mason||2000-Present||Titans, Ravens||10*|
*Active; Mason can extend his streak to 11 this week with five catches.
TOMLIN IN YEAR FOUR: Pittsburgh head coach MIKE TOMLIN has guided the Steelers to an 8-3 record this season, tied for first place in the AFC North with Baltimore. With a win against the Ravens on Sunday Night Football, Tomlin can become only the seventh head coach to win at least nine games in each of his first four seasons since 1970.
The head coaches to win at least nine games in each of their first four seasons since 1970:
|HEAD COACH||TEAM(S)||CONSECUTIVE SEASONS|
|Mike Holmgren||Packers, Seahawks||8|
|Chuck Knox||Los Angeles Rams||5|
|John Robinson||Los Angeles Rams||4|