In recent years, the NFL playoffs typically have featured a year-to-year turnover rate of roughly 50 percent. This year, it’s 66 percent.
In the AFC, half of the teams that made it in 2017 didn’t make it in 2016: Jaguars, Titans, and Bills. In the NFC, the playoff field consists of a whopping five new teams: Eagles, Vikings, Rams, Saints, and Panthers.
For the 20 teams whose offseasons begin today, it’s the best sign of hope for the New Year. For the 12 teams in the playoffs, it’s also a warning: Next year, you may not make it. So you’d better go all out in the playoff games to come.
After the wild-card weekend, there could be as few as four and as many as six non-playoff teams from 2016 in the quarterfinal round. In the NFC, the top two seeds didn’t qualify in 2016; in the AFC, the top two seeds did.
The 2016 playoff teams that will be watching the rest of the season from home include the Dolphins, Texans, Raiders, Cowboys, Giants, Packers, Lions, and Seahawks.