Under the current NFL playoffs format, each conference sends 6 teams to the postseason: the 4 division champions and 2 wild card teams. So the most teams a division can have in the playoffs is 3; the division champion and the 2 wild cards. How many times has the wild card teams of the AFC or NFC have been from the same division?

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The NFL started allowing two wildcard teams per conference to enter the playoffs in the 1978-79 season, and went to three wildcard teams in 1990-91. With only three divisions per conference, it was quite common to have three teams from one division in the playoffs. There were even two instances where there were four teams from the NFC Central division in the playoffs, in 1994-95 and 1997-98.

However, when the league went to four divisions and only two wildcard teams per conference in the 2002-03 season, this became somewhat less common. From that time up through the 2019-20 season, it happened 7 times:

  • 2006-07 NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants
  • 2007-08 AFC South: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans
  • 2007-08 NFC East: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins
  • 2011-12 AFC North: Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals
  • 2013-14 AFC West: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers
  • 2014-15 AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens
  • 2017-18 NFC South: New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons

Beginning with the 2020-21 season, the NFL has gone to 3 wildcard teams per conference in the playoffs, for a total of 7 playoff teams per conference. It will indeed be possible for all 3 wildcard teams to come from the same division, which would mean that every team in the division would have made it into the playoffs.


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