Which 2008 Playoff Teams Will Return to the Post-Season This Year?

08/26/2009 § Leave a comment

I’ve been working on a point system to help project a team’s chances of returning to the playoffs from one year to the next.  Included in consideration are head coaching consistency and quarterback improvement and consistency.  I’m sure there are a lot of other factors that contribute to a team’s continued success, but after applying the system to the past several years, I feel pretty good about the results.

From 2003 to 2007, 60 teams have appeared in the NFL playoffs.  Of those 60, 27 made it back the following year.  My point system correctly identified 23 of those teams (85%) while getting 23 of the 33 non-returners right (70%).

Using the current preseason numbers, I calculated the points for last year’s playoff teams to see which are most likely to return this season.  These are very early numbers, so I expect this projection to change a little as the season progresses, but I think the mid-season update will be pretty accurate (barring major injuries, of course).

Likely to Return:

Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers

Unlikely to Return:

Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans

You’ll notice that both teams from last year’s Super Bowl are on the Unlikely list.  This may seem strange, but 8 of the last 10 teams to lose the Super Bowl have failed to make the playoffs the following year.  Also, the last time Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl, they did not make the playoffs the next season.

I’ll update these lists throughout the season as the numbers become more solid and reliable.

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