How many wins will get an NFL team in the playoffs?

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Logo of the National Football League Playoffs,...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With four weeks left in the NFL regular season, teams are starting to gauge just how many wins they will need to get into the playoffs this year. Based on past history, we may be able to help determine what it’s going to take for a team to secure a post-season spot in 2012.

Since 1990, when the NFL went to six teams from each conference making the playoffs, there have been 264 teams that have played in the NFL playoffs. Here’s a breakdown of the number of regular season wins by each of those teams.

7 wins: 1 team… Seattle in 2010 (0.4 percent)
8 wins: 9 teams (3.4 percent)
9 wins: 42 teams (15.9 percent)
10 wins: 66 teams (25 percent)
11 wins: 54 wins (20.5 percent)
12 wins: 42 teams (15.9 percent)
13 wins: 33 teams (12.5 percent)
14 wins: 13 teams (4.9 percent)
15 wins: 3 teams… Minnesota in 1998; Pittsburgh in 2004; Green Bay in 2011 (1.1 percent)
16 wins: 1 team… New England in 2007 (0.4 percent)

Here’s a breakdown of how many teams with 8 or more wins in the regular season since 1990 made the playoffs.

8 wins: 84 teams won 8 games; 9 made the playoffs; 75 did not… 10.7%
9 wins: 80 teams won 9 games; 42 made the playoffs; 38 did not… 52.5%
10 wins: 73 teams won 10 games; 66 made the playoffs; 7 did not… 90.4%
11 wins: 55 teams won 11 games; 54 made the playoffs; 1 did not… 98.2%
12 wins: 42 teams won 12 games; 42 teams made the playoffs… 100%
13 wins: 33 teams won 13 games; 33 teams made the playoffs… 100%
14 wins: 13 teams won 14 games; 13 teams made the playoffs… 100%
15 wins: 3 teams won 15 games; 3 teams made the playoffs… 100%
16 wins: 1 team won 16 games; 1 team made the playoffs… 100%

Here’s a few more interesting stats:

* 96.4% of the teams that won 10 or more games since 1990 made the playoffs.

* New England is the only team since 1990 to win 11 games in the regular season and not make the playoffs.

You want a sure thing? It looks like 12 wins is that sure thing. Teams have a great chance with 10 or 11 wins. Nine wins? Teams have about a 50-50 chance.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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