The NFL 2019 drafts have arrived and fans couldn’t be more excited to take a look at their favourite teams possibly making a comeback this year. As football fans are well familiar, football is one of the few sports leagues worldwide that routinely see teams go from the bottom tier of the competition to championship contenders in the space of twelve months.
In the NFL, even the most pessimistic of fans leave room for optimism. Since the NFL aligned to a four team – eight division format in 2002, a total of 22 teams have gone from last place in their respective division to first place the following season.
Houston 2017-18: 4-12 to 11-5
Jacksonville 2016-17: 3-13 to 10-6
Denver 2010-11: 4-12 to 8-8
Kansas City 2009-10: 4-12 to 10-6 and 2002-03: 8-8 to 13-3
San Diego 2003-2004: 4-12 to 12-4
Miami 2007-08: 1-15 to 11-5
Chicago 2017-18: 5-11 to 12-4 and 2004-2005: 5-11 to 11-5
Philadelphia 2016-17: 7-9 TO 13-3
Dallas 2015-16: 4-12 TO 13-3.
Washington 2014-15: 4-12 to 10-6
Carolina 2002-03: 7-9 to 11-15
Atlanta 2003-04: 5-11 to 11-5
Tampa Bay 2004-05: 5-11 to 11-5 and 2006-07: 4-12 to 9-7
New Orleans 2005-06: 3-13 to 10-6 and 2008-09: 8-8 to 13-3
So thus, heading into the 2019 NFL season, about 8 teams have the chance to claim an unexpected division title: NY Jets, Cincinatti, Jacksonville, Oakland, NY Giants, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Arizona. The essence of surprise is something that all sports fans welcome in any sport. For the underdogs to arise and claim the title for themselves is very inspiring indeed.
This type of scenario occurs in many different sports such as European football as well. Recently, an underdog football team Tottenham reached the Champions League finals and fans don’t really seem to realise that they’re now a Champions League club, when just last season Champions League was dominated by Real Madrid and Barcelona. Anything is possible when it comes to sports, and the unpredictability is probably what we like about it best!