Making the playoffs in back-to-back seasons is a rarity in the NFL.
For the past 16 seasons, at least five teams have missed the playoffs that made the postseason the previous year.
Will that trend continue in 2012?
Here are the six AFC teams that made the playoffs last season, with their respective records:
New England Patriots (13-3)Baltimore Ravens (12-4)Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)Houston Texans (10-6)Cincinnati Bengals (9-7)Denver Broncos (8-8)
History shows that two or three of these teams won't be back to the playoffs this year.
The Ravens, Patriots and Steelers have all been in the playoffs the last two seasons, and the Ravens currently have the NFL's longest streak with four-straight postseason appearances.
Cincinnati hasn't made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons in 30 years, but they have an emerging team with plenty of young talent. Houston made its first ever trip to the postseason last year and Denver brought in the prized free-agent acquisition of the offseason by signing Peyton Manning.
Of the six AFC playoff teams last year, which is the least likely to return this season?