Which NFL Team with a Losing Record Is Most Likely to Earn a Playoff Berth?

The Oakland Raiders have the best shot of any team with a losing record to sneak into the NFL playoffs in 2012. 

To be fair, none of the teams with losing records is likely to turn things around and get into the postseason—especially considering it's going to take a record of 9-7 at the least to make it happen. Unlike 2010, there won't be a division winner with a 8-8 record—let alone a record of 7-9. 

This means the Raiders—or any other team with a losing record—will need to win six of their final eight games to get to 9-7 and potentially earn a playoff berth. 

There are currently nine teams in the NFC with a record of 4-4 or better, and there are five teams with a record of 6-3 or better. The wild-card teams in this conference will likely need a record of 10-6 to get into the playoffs, so I'm ruling out any NFC teams with losing records. 

There's more leeway on the AFC side, as there are eight teams with a record of 4-4 or better, but only two teams with a record of 6-2 or better. 

Of the five AFC teams with three wins, here's how the Raiders are the last team standing.

The Cincinnati Bengals are out. They're in the same division as the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers—both of which will likely be in the playoffs, with one being the division winner and the other being one of the two wild cards.

The Tennessee Titans are out. They're the only three-loss team that also has six losses, and there's no way the Titans only lose one more game this season. 

The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills are both out, being in the AFC East with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. The Pats have the AFC East wrapped up already at midseason, and the Dolphins will likely challenge the Indianapolis Colts the rest of the season for the final wild-card spot.

This leaves the Raiders as the only team with a lo...

About the Author