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AFC sees only one new playoff team

Indianapolis' Luck passes under pressure from Kansas City's Houston during a NFL football game in Kansas City, Missouri

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck passes under pressure from Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston during the second half of the Colts’ win in their NFL football game in Kansas City, Missouri December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Dave Kaup (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)


In recent years, the tournament turnover rate has been high in the NFL. Each season, half the playoff field gets booted in exchange for new teams.

This year in the AFC, stability has made a cameo appearance.

Of last year’s six-team playoff tree, five of the teams have returned for another shot at the Lombardi Trophy.

Back are the Patriots, Ravens, Texans, Broncos, and Bengals. Gone are only the Steelers, replaced by the Colts.

There also was complete consistency in the four divisions, at least at the top. The winners of the AFC East, North, South and West have each repeated.

In the NFC, it’s likely that the 50-percent trend will hold; the Falcons, 49ers, and Packers are back. The Seahawks have crashed the party, and the other two teams will come from a group that consists four franchises that didn’t make it last year: the Redskins, Cowboys, Vikings, and Bears.

Only if the Bears, Vikings, and Cowboys each lose can the Giants steal a spot and reduce the NFC turnover rate to 33 percent.