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Thread: 10 Worst Single Season Conference Fields in NFL History

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    10 Worst Single Season Conference Fields in NFL History

    This list takes a look at the weakest conference fields in NFL history examining the entire conference in a single year to see which was weakest. This was inspired by the recent AFC conference fields

    10. 1999 NFC: This conference is rated no. 10 and not much higher thanks to the Rams who won the Super Bowl, went 13-3 and had a +284 point differential, but after that, it was a very underwhelming playoff field. A Bucs offense that averaged less than 17 points per game and started Shaun King for the playoffs, finished 11-5 and got a first round bye (though credit for them almost beating the Rams), Dan Snyder's Redskins got the 3 seed and at 10-6 almost made it to the NFC Championship game. The crown jewel though is Dallas and Detriot getting the 5 and 6 seeds at 8-8, with a combined 3 road wins on the year. This is not the division either, this was wildcard meaning only 4 teams won with winning records. Easily a top 5 team without the 99 Rams

    9. 2013 AFC: Though 5 teams won 11 games, most of the teams in the AFC playoffs were flawed. Though the broncos offense set major NFL records, their defense surrendered nearly 400 points and were without Von Miller for much of the year (yet still won). The closest competitor the Patriots had little at receiver and were without Gronk for much of the year. AFC Playoff coaches included Chuck Pagano, Marvin Lewis, and Mike McCoy. The AFC was one kick away from the Steelers entering the playoffs at 8-8 as a wildcard after starting 0-4 and 2-6. The by-default AFC Champion Broncos in the Super Bowl, were smothered by the Seahawks 43-8, champions of a much tougher conference.

    8: 2000 NFC: This conference was a big blob of meh. When a team QBed by Kerry Collins and coached by Jim Fassel win a conference championship 41-0 after posting only a +82 point differential on the regular season, it's a good sign your conference is weak. The 2nd best team from this bunch and victim of said 41-0 massacre was a Vikings team that finished 11-5, lost their last 3 regular season games and had a point differential of +26 (+2 with the postseason). Shaun King (again) and Aaron Brooks started postseason games and the Rams don't bail out this conference field as they finished dead last in scoring defense. The 10-6 Bucs finished 1st in the NFC in point differential. The Giants of course lost the Super Bowl 34-7 to Trent Dilfer and the Ravens

    7: 2018 AFC: Fresh in our memories, this also ranks as my pick for the worst conference field whose conference champion won a Super Bowl. The Pats though were thoroughly underwhelming as 2 pro bowl picks and a bottom half defense would suggest. The closest competition was a 12-4 Chiefs team with the NFL's 31st defense and a Chargers team who proved to be paper tigers with a blowout loss to New England. 2 teams had losing records into November and still made the playoffs. Also a Bill OBrien coached team went 11-5.

    6. 2017 AFC: Spoiler, this is the last AFC conference field from this decade. A mediocre Pats D faced off against Blake Bortles in the AFC Chmapionship game, a good testament to how weak this field was. Aside from the Pats, the only other team with more than 10 wins from this conference was the Steelers who had a point differential of +98 and lost their only playoff game that year to a team QBed by Blake Bortles. 6 teams outscored their opponents. The Titans and Bills both made the playoffs with negative point differentials including the Bills at -57, and the Titans won a playoff game too. The Pats of course could not win the Super Bowl losing to the Nick Foles led Eagles.

    5: AFC 1987: In a year shortened by one game thanks to the strike, the Broncos with a limited supporting cast finished with the AFC's best record despite only going 10-4-1 (by comparison, 4 teams from the NFC finished with better records). The Browns were the only other team to win at least 10 games that year. Other playoff participants included pedestrian Colts and Seahawks teams. The AFC Champion Broncos went on to lose to the Redskins 42-10 after surrendering 35 points in the 2nd quarter.

    4. 2006 NFC: Remember about a decade ago when the AFC was the far superior conference? This was the conference that was won by a team coached by Lovie Smith and QBed by Rex Grossman. It was of course woin by default. The Bears that year were the only team to win more than 10 games. The Saints got a 1st round bye as a 10-6 team who went 4-4 in their final 8 regular season games. A grand total of 4 teams outscored their opponents. The defending champion seahawks clinched their division with an 8-7 record following 3 straight losses. They and the Cowboys both were in the playoffs after losing 3 of their last 4 games. 5 teams had winning records as the Giants claimed the final playoff spot with an 8-8 record after going 2-6 in the 2nd half of the season. A truly awful year for the NFC

    3. 2002 AFC: The 11-5 Raiders coache by Bill Callahan, QBed by Rich Gannon (who was MVP) and featuring numerous aging players won this conference rather easily. The Titans were the only other team besides the Raiders that finished with more than 10 wins. 3 teams started 1-3 and won their divisions, including 2 division winners that started 1-4. The Browns coached by Butch Davis made thier only playoff appearance since their return in this conference and entering the last week of the season, a Dolphins team that wound up missing the playoffs had a shot at home field advantage. After smoking the rest of the AFC, the Raiders got hammered by a Jon Gruden coached Bucs team in the Super Bowl

    2. 2004 NFC: Oh boy, was this conference weak. Andy Reid's lone conference championship was won by default. Their foe in the NFC Championship game, the Atlanta Falcons, was also the only other team to win more than 10 games from this conference, and they had a meager +3 point differential. 3 teams won 10 games or more, 4 teams had winning records, and 5 teams outscored their opponents. The Rams with a -73 point differential, and the Vikings who went 3-7 in their last 10 games both made the playoffs as wildcard teams and actually won road playoff games. The 2nd best point differential from this conference came from a 10-6 Packers team who had a point differential of only 44, and they lost a home playoff game to an 8-8 Vikings team. This conference was thoroughly underwhelming. The Eagles of course went on to lose to the Pats in the Super Bowl

    1. 1989 AFC: The team that won this conference, the Denver Broncos suffered the worst loss in Super Bowl history losing 55-10 to the 49ers. They were also the only team in the AFC that year to win at least 10 games, the 2nd seeded Browns finished 9-6-1 and were actually 7-6-1 at one point. The wildcard game between the Oilers and Steelers featured 2 teams who combined for a point differential of -108 on the year. This was the last of 3 Super Bowl appearances made by underwhelming Broncos teams before the Bills took over losing the Super Bowl with more stacked teams and better records. Overall a truly terrible conference

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    Re: 10 Worst Single Season Conference Fields in NFL History

    Wow, someone needs a hobby.

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