Special Report

19 Teams That Never Make the Playoffs

Source: Justin Berl / Getty Images

14. Milwaukee Brewers
> League: MLB
> Playoff drought: 6 seasons
> Last appearance results: Lost 2011 (NLCS) 4-2, to the St. Louis Cardinals

The Milwaukee Brewers’ have been in a playoff drought for six seasons. The team’s last appearance was in the 2011 NLCS, where they lost in six games to the St. Louis Cardinals. Since then, the Brewers have had two managers, Ron Roenicke and Craig Counsell. Counsell became coach in 2015, but wasn’t able to turn the Brewers around from a below .500 team until 2017, when the team went 86-76. 2017 was the best season the Brewers had since 2011, finishing second in their division. It will be interesting to see if Counsell’s efforts to bring this team back up in the ranks will bear more fruit in the the upcoming 2018 season.

Source: Abbie Parr / Getty Images

13. Buffalo Sabres
> League: NHL
> Playoff drought: 6 seasons
> Last appearance results: Lost 2011 NHL Conference Quarterfinals 4-3, to Philadelphia Flyers

In their 46-year history, the Buffalo Sabres have made the playoffs 29 times and reached the Stanley Cup Finals twice. The current playoff drought of six years is the longest in the franchise’s history. Since reaching the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 2011, the Sabres have topped the .500 mark only once. Their prospects for reaching the playoffs this year are bleak. As of Feb. 14, the team was in last place in the Atlantic Division, with a record of 17-30. The Sabres are betting the future on third-year center Jack Eichel. In October, Buffalo and the 20-year-old Eichel agreed to an eight-year, $80 million contract extension, making him the highest-paid player in franchise history.

Source: Christian Petersen / Getty Images

12. Phoenix Suns
> League: NBA
> Playoff drought: 7 seasons
> Last appearance results: Lost 2010 Western Conference Finals 4-2 to, Los Angeles Lakers

Until recently, the Phoenix Suns were a perennial contender in the NBA playoffs. In the 22 years starting from the 1988-1989 season, the Suns missed the postseason just three times. Over that span, the Suns reached the NBA Finals in 1993, where they lost to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. Things have deteriorated since then. The Suns have had one winning season since they last made the playoffs in 2010, when they fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. This season, the Suns have lost four games by 40 points or more. In a 46-point rout at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, Golden State Coach Steve Kerr sat back and let his players call the plays.

Source: Elsa / Getty Images

11. New York Jets
> League: NFL
> Playoff drought: 7 seasons
> Last appearance results: 2010 AFC Championship Game 24-19, to Pittsburgh Steelers

It’s been four years since the colorful Rex Ryan provided fodder for sportswriters as coach of the Jets. But he did get results in his first two years at the helm of the team, taking the Jets to the AFC Championship Game twice. The last time was in 2010, when the Jets lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-19. The Jets have had only one winning season since then and have finished last in the AFC East three times in their last four seasons. Coach Todd Bowles has struggled with team discipline over the last several seasons. He benched pass rusher Muhammad Wilkerson this past season for missing team meetings.

Source: Leon Halip / Getty Images

10. Chicago Bears
> League: NFL
> Playoff drought: 7 seasons
> Last appearance results: 2010 NFC Championship Game 21-14, to Green Bay Packers

The Bears have a rich history, winning nine NFL championships, including a Super Bowl victory. They last appeared in a Super Bowl in 2006, losing to the Indianapolis Colts. Chicago’s last playoff appearance was in 2010, when the Bears reached the NFC Championship Game and lost to their historic rival Green Bay Packers. Since that season, the Monsters of the Midway have been less than monstrous, posting only one winning season in the last seven. The Bears have finished in last place in the NFC North Division four straight years, and earlier this year fired coach John Fox. There is room for optimism, though. The Bears are getting younger, with 34 players 28-years-old or younger, and they switched to rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky from the more experienced Mike Glennon after a 1-3 start. The Bears also beat three playoff teams this past year.

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