Three NFL teams in past 10 years went from having the worst record to reaching the playoffs the following season. So, could the Cleveland Browns do the same after last year’s 1-15 finish? In 1999, the Browns returned to the NFL with the league's worst record at 2-14. Three years later made their first playoff appearance with a record of 9-7. The Browns lost 36-33 in to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a wild-card game. The Browns could change the state of franchise holding 11 picks in the NFL Draft including five in the top 65. Here is a look at teams who transformed their teams from being the worst to making the playoffs and how long it took. Carolina Panthers: 2-14 in 2010 to playoffs in 2013 Record: 2-14 in 2010 Years to reach playoffs: Three The Panthers drafted Cam Newton and hired Ron Rivera as coach replacing John Fox in 2011. Newton started all 16 games in his first season and led the Panthers to finishing among the top seven teams in points and offensive yards as a rookie. With Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith already on the roster, Carolina acquired tight end Greg Olsen in a 2011 trade with the Chicago Bears. In 2012, the team drafted linebacker Luke Kuechly Jr. and cornerback Josh Norman. In 2013, the Panthers went 12-4, won the NFC South and earned a playoff berth. The Panthers lost, 24-10, to the San Francisco 49ers in a divisional playoff game. In 2015, the Panthers went 15-1 earning their second Super Bowl appearance. The Panthers fell 24-10 to the Denver Broncos. Norman signed with the Washington Redskins in 2016.
The NFL's worst teams since 2007 and how long it took to make the playoffs
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Apr 20