NFL Playoff Droughts
THE NFL REPORT - TALKIN' PLAYOFF DROUGHTS
By Jim Hurley:
Last week in this very Jim Sez Sunday column space we brought you NFL "Streakers" - those teams that were either riding a pointspread winning streak and/or the teams that were mired in a spread losing streak.
Now, we get to some other negative-minded streaks here - we check out the NFL teams that are now or will soon experience yet another non-playoff season. Okay, so we won't bury everyone here some teams/organizations really deserve the back of our hand. Check it out:
The Buffalo Bills (5-8) - eliminated from this year's AFC Playoff picture even before they kick it off at home today against the Miami Dolphins - will not be going to the post-season for a 12th consecutive season. Yes, hard to believe when you consider the glory days of four consecutive Super Bowls back in the early 1990s (still one of the greatest feats in sports history even though the AFC East team lost all four of those games!).
Note that the Bills are gonna go down in NFL history this year for a whole other reason as they're one of many teams to begin a campaign at 3-0 and-oh SU (straight-up) and then still fall short of a post-season goal.
What went wrong in western New York? Well, too many things to mention here but let's just say erratic QB Ryan Fitzpatrick never was the same guy after inking that lucrative long-term contract in the middle of the season.
The Cleveland Browns (4-9) will spend a ninth consecutive season on the playoffs sidelines and - let's be frank here - this year's Brownies never had a prayer. Maybe rookie head coach Pat Shurmur will prove his critics wrong - he better or Browns ultimate boss-man Mike Holmgren could wind up paying with his job - but the fact is this punch-less offense needs so many things and one of 'em could be a quarterback as it seems to use battered QB Colt McCoy ain't the long-term answer.
The Detroit Lions have won a grand total of seven playoff games in their history and they have not been part of the post-season picture since 1999. So, if ornery head coach Jim Schwartz's club (once upon a time standing at 5-0 SU and now 8-5 heading into this Week 15 game in Oakland) can't squeeze into this year's NFC Playoff pack than there's gonna be some real angry folks in Motown.
The Lions - to be honest - have no one but themselves to blame for getting into a sticky playoff situation as all those penalties (fourth-most penalized team in the NFL) and the recent suspension of DT Ndamukong Suh may hype some silly bad-boy image but those flags/game absences have been costly.
The Oakland Raiders have gone the last eight seasons without making a playoff appearance and now the 7-6 silver-and-black are reeling again while heading into the aforementioned Week 15 tilt against Detroit. The Raiders have lost their last two games by a combined score of 80-30 and QB Carson Palmer is throwing picks at an alarming rate. It still boggles the mind that the Raiders played in the Super Bowl following the 2002 season (a dreadful 48-21 loss to Tampa Bay) and haven't even sported a winning record since - last year's 8-8 mark was the best single-season record since '02.
The St. Louis Rams are now headed to a seventh consecutive non-playoff season as St. Loo last participated in the post-season back in 2004. Okay, so the Rams regressed badly this year and injuries merely obliterated this NFC West squad but how about the fact the Rams (2-11 heading into today's home game against Cincinnati) lost eight games by double-digit margins? Yikes.
On a positive note, both the Houston Texans (10-3) and the San Francisco 49ers (also 10-3) will be snapping lengthy playoff droughts this winter: The Texans clinched the franchise's first-ever post-season berth with last week's comeback win in Cincinnati and thus the playoff-less skein of nine years is officially history while the 49ers already have halted an eight-year playoff-less streak this season under first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Memo to the likes of the Tampa Bay Bucs and Washington Redskins - we could well be on "your case" at this time next year!
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will win big-time in NFL Week 15 action continuing on with the busy Sunday card including tonight's tilt between the Baltimore Ravens at the San Diego Chargers and than don't forget all the College Football Bowl Games continuing with Tuesday's Beef 'O' Brady Bowl between Florida International versus Marshall and Wednesday's Poinsettia Bowl showdown between TCU and Louisiana Tech. Plus there is plenty of College Basketball action and the NBA (as if you didn't already know!) gets tipped off on Christmas Day - so make sure you're part of all the winning action straight through New Year's! And make sure you get all the Football and Basketball winners at our toll-free # of 1-800-323-4453 or else get it online right here online as America's #1 Handicapper keeps up the winning beat!
NOTE: We'll have NFL Week 15 re-caps and much more in the next edition of Jim Sez.
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