Winning in the regular season is great, but we’re far more interested in the best NFL playoff team records ever. After all, a great regular season can be largely negated if you don’t get the job done in the playoffs.
In other words, it’s the teams with the best NFL postseason records that get remembered for their triumphs more than the teams that perform during the regular season but not in the playoffs.
Best NFL Playoff team records ever
When you start taking a close look at the numbers, it’s usually the best NFL playoff team records ever that tell us the best teams ever, period.
That is definitely a correlation between the teams with the most postseason wins and the franchises we consider to be among the best in league history.
That’s why we were inspired to put together a list of the best NFL playoff team records ever to see which NFL teams really excel when the stakes are high.
10. Panthers, 9-8
In their relatively brief history, the Panthers have been to the Super Bowl twice, which is more than a lot of franchises can say that during that time.
Of course, they didn’t win either, but just getting to those two Super Bowls has given them five postseason wins. In eight postseason trips, Carolina has only lost its first game three times, giving the Panthers a winning record in the postseason.
9. Washington Football Team, 23-20
Washington has a long history, giving this franchise a lot of opportunities in the playoffs.
While it’s been a while, Washington has been to five Super Bowls, winning three of them. That success has helped to make up for a lot of early playoff exits in the 21st century.
8. Broncos, 23-19
With eight trips to the Super Bowl, the Broncos are one of the best franchises in NFL history at getting to the big game.
Of course, a 3-5 record in those Super Bowls keeps them a little lower on this list. There have also been 11 occasions when the Broncos lost their first playoff game. However, many years of playoff success help to give Denver a winning record in the postseason.
7. Cowboys, 35-28
Not surprisingly, America’s team has one of the best all-time playoff records. That happens when you win five Super Bowls.
That’s 15 wins for Dallas from those five playoff runs without any losses. On the other hand, the Cowboys have had plenty of one-and-done playoff appearances. But any franchise with this many Super Bowl wins under will have a winning record in postseason play.
6. Raiders, 25-19
Outside of one Super Bowl appearance, the 21st century has not been kind to the Raiders, no matter where they’re located.
But they racked up a lot of wins during the 1970s and early 80s, winning the Super Bowl three times and rarely getting knocked out in their first game. In terms of total wins, the Raiders are a little shorthanded, but their overall playoff record is impressive.
5. Steelers, 36-26
This probably isn’t as high on this list as the Steelers would like to be. They rank much higher in all-time postseason wins, but with so many playoff appearances, the Steelers have also racked up a lot of losses.
That being said, six Super Bowl wins and two more appearances are more than enough to put the Steelers among the best NFL playoff team records ever. After all, they were dominant in the 1970s and have been as consistent as any franchise since the 90s, and so the Steelers rarely bow out of the postseason without at least one win.
4. Ravens, 16-11
The Ravens are far younger than almost any other team on this list, but they’ve been remarkably efficient in the postseason.
Keep in mind that Baltimore’s first postseason appearances ended in a Super Bowl, which helped the Ravens win their first five postseason games in franchise history.
Another 4-0 postseason in 2012 that ended in a second Super Bowl has helped the Ravens climb high on this list.
3. Packers, 36-24
The Packers got a jump on everyone by winning the first two Super Bowls. Green Bay has also been a regular playoff participant since the early 90s, winnings two more Super Bowls.
In fact, since 1995, the Packers have played in the NFC Championship Game nine times. While their record in that game isn’t great, they’ve won plenty of playoff games on their way to the late stages of the postseason, giving them far more playoff wins than losses.
2. 49ers, 32-20
There are teams on the list of the best NFL playoff team records ever with more wins than San Francisco, but the 49ers surpass all but one team with regard to winning percentage.
That means the 49ers are efficient whenever they get to the postseason. Keep in mind they’ve won five Super Bowls and lost two others, which is how they’ve racked up so many wins without that many playoff losses.
Also, since the merger in 1970, the 49ers have been to the playoffs 25 times and lost their first game on just six occasions. Naturally, those six occasions have been more than canceled out by the five Super Bowl wins.
1. Patriots, 37-21
Not surprisingly, the team that has won six Super Bowls and lost five others has the best NFL playoff team record ever.
The Patriots also have a slim lead in all-time playoff wins, at least heading into the 2021 season.
The only caveat is that New England has never won the Super Bowl as a Wild Card team and only reached the Super Bowl as a Wild Card team once. But even when the Pats get to the Super Bowl and lose, that’s a net winning record in the playoffs for that particular year, which is why they’ve managed to climb so far over .500 in postseason play.