NFL teams ranked by playoff appearances all time 2020

The Dallas Cowboys, one of the most iconic and popular teams in the National Football League, has had the most playoff appearances to its name with 33. The team has made it to the Super Bowl eight times, winning five of those championship games. However, since the start of the new millennium another team, the New England Patriots, have been much more successful. As of the year 2000, the Patriots have made the playoffs 17 times, winning the NFL championship game Super Bowl six times.

100 years of history

The origins of the NFL date back to 1920 when the American Professional Football Association was formed as a pro football league. The league renamed itself to the NFL two years later and the first playoff game was in 1933. Since then the league has played out its postseason in a single game elimination tournament. In its current format six out of the 32 teams in the NFL qualify for the playoffs each season.

Most successful team of the past 20 years

Even though the New England Patriots have made the playoffs ‘only’ 27 times, the team is the most successful in the National Football League in many ways. The Patriots have won the most playoff games of all-time (37), they own the highest playoff winning percentage and have won the most Super Bowls with six (tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers). Most of this success has come over the past 20 years under the guidance of head coach Bill Belichick and with the all-time great Tom Brady as quarterback.

Teams ranked by playoff appearances in NFL history as of 2019-20 playoffs

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Release date

January 2020


United States

Survey time period

as of January 2020

Supplementary notes

Arizona Cardinals: Chicago Cardinals, 1920-1959; St. Louis Cardinals 1960-1987; Phoenix Cardinals, 1988-1993; Arizona Cardinals, 1994-present
Chicago Bears: Decatur Staleys, 1920; Chicago Staleys, 1921; Chicago Bears, 1922-present
Detroit Lions: Portsmouth Spartans, 1930-1933; Detroit Lions, 1934-present
Indianapolis Colts: Baltimore Colts, 1953-1983; Indianapolis Colts, 1984-present
Kansas City Chiefs: Dallas Texans, 1960-1962; Kansas City Chiefs, 1963-present
Los Angeles Rams: Cleveland Rams, 1937-1942, 1944-1945; Suspended operations, 1943; Los Angeles Rams, 1946-1994; St. Louis Rams, 1995-2015
New England Patriots: Boston Patriots, 1960-1970; New England Patriots, 1971-present
New York Jets: New York Titans, 1960-1962; New York Jets, 1963-present
Philadelphia Eagles: Phil-Pitt, 1943
Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh Pirates, 1933-1939; Pittsburgh Steelers, 1940-present; Phil-Pitt, 1943; Card-Pitt, 1944
San Diego Chargers: Los Angeles Chargers, 1960; San Diego Chargers 1961-present
Tennessee Titans: Houston Oilers, 1960-1996; Tennessee Oilers 1997-1998; Tennessee Titans, 1999-present
Washington Redskins: Boston Braves, 1932; Boston Redskins, 1933-1936; Washington Redskins, 1937-present

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Statistics on "National Football League"

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