Has an NFL team ever won its division with a losing record in the division?

I'm wondering if the Eagles could win the NFC East this year with four division losses, in the six they play within the division, by virtue of having the best record overall. I'd like to know if that's ever happened before with any other past division winner.


The most recent appears to be the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs, who won their division with a 10-6 record, but only going 2-4 in-division.

  • 2
    +1. Since the NFL Division Realignment in 2002, only the Kansas City Chiefs (2010) have won their division with a losing division record. Nice find.
    – user527
    Oct 22 '15 at 14:06
  • @mastermind_ed What about the Carolina Panthers (2014)? Their record was 7-8-1 and they still won the NFC South. Oct 24 '15 at 15:12
  • 1
    @steelerfan, the Panthers had an overall losing record (7-8-1), but went 4-2 in division play. all the other teams listed on this page had losing records within their division (though they may have had an overall winning record)
    – costrom
    Oct 26 '15 at 8:37
  • 3
    @steelerfan what costrom said. the question asks whether anyone has ever won the division with a losing division record, and that has happened 3 times since 1970. this question addresses overall losing record (which includes your mentioned Panthers).
    – user527
    Oct 26 '15 at 13:12

Between the NFL Merger in 1970 and the NFL Division Realignment in 2002, the following teams have won their division with a losing division record:

  • San Francisco 49ers (1971) (2-4-0 out of 9-5-0 overall)
  • Green Bay Packers (1982)* (1-2-0 out of 5-3-1 overall)

* - The 1982 NFL Strike shortened the 1982 regular season to 9 games.

  • This is what I was wondering. I know division games still matter a lot now but 6 is a lot different than 8 games.
    – Coach-D
    Oct 23 '15 at 6:30
  • As a lapsed Packers fan I'm disappointed I forgot about the 1982 Packers before seeing this answer. Trivia: the 1982 season is also the reason Bears-Lions is the longest continuous NFL rivalry even though the Packers and Bears started playing a year earlier. (Packers-Lions didn't play in '31, Bears-Lions did.)
    – aschultz
    Jan 4 at 6:21

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