NFL upside down: 7 teams make playoffs that weren’t in last year

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The NFL is unpredictable. What we think we know on Labor Day leaves us wondering what we were thinking by New Year’s. It happens every year.

Seven of the 12 teams that qualified for the postseason were home for the postseason a year ago.

The Ravens, Bears, Cowboys, Texans, Chargers, Seahawks and Colts didn’t make the playoffs a year ago. Those seven teams combined for a 49-63 record a year ago. They are 75-37 this season.

The Patriots, Rams, Eagles, Chiefs and Saints are the only teams to repeat with playoff berths.

Since 1990 — a streak of 29 consecutive seasons — at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs that were not in the postseason the previous year.

In 15 of the past 16 seasons at least one team has finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place.

Chicago and Houston accomplished the “worst-to-first” turnaround this season, which marks the second consecutive season that two teams have accomplished the feat. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the NHL, MLB or NBA have never had multiple teams go “worst to first” in their divisions in consecutive seasons.