2022 NFL Playoffs: Which team has the longest active postseason drought?

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December is here and teams across the league are in the hunt to earn their spot in the 2022 NFL Playoffs. The 2020 season brought the end of what had been the longest active postseason drought in the league, as Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns made the playoffs for the first time since 2002 (17 straight seasons without a playoff appearance). In that 17-year stretch, the Browns had posted 16 losing seasons and seen eight full-time head coaches lead the team. Cleveland beat Pittsburgh in the Wild Card Round before being eliminated by Kansas City in the Divisional Round.

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Last season also brought the end of what had been the second-longest active postseason drought, as Tom Brady led the Buccaneers to the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons in his first year in Tampa Bay. Not only did the Bucs make the postseason – they went on to win Super Bowl LV over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Buccaneers also made history by becoming the first team to play a “home Super Bowl,” with the championship game taking place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Now Who Owns the Longest Active Postseason Drought in the NFL?

After the Browns playoff appearance last season, the New York Jets now own the longest active postseason drought. The Jets last made the postseason in the 2010 season, when the team advanced to the AFC Championship Game but lost 24-19 to the Steelers. The Jets made big changes ahead of the 2021 season, firing Adam Gase and hiring Robert Saleh, formerly the defensive coordinator for the 49ers, as their new head coach. But at the bottom of the AFC East, the Jets are very likely set to miss the 2022 NFL playoffs and extend their drought to 11 straight seasons.

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Longest Active Postseason Droughts Entering 2022 NFL Playoffs

Jets – 10 seasons (last made playoffs in 2010)

Cardinals – 5 seasons (2015 – longest drought in NFC)

Broncos – 5 seasons (2015)

Bengals – 5 seasons (2015)

Lions – 4 seasons (2016)

Giants – 4 seasons (2016)

Dolphins – 4 seasons (2016)

Raiders – 4 seasons (2016)

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