Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, there have been three teams to rebound from a 1-5 record to make the playoffs.
Last season, the Colts started 1-5 before finishing 10-6 and going to the playoffs. The 2015 Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) and the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals (8-6), under the legendary Paul Brown, were the other teams to rebound and make the playoffs.
Neither of the teams advanced past the divisional round in the playoffs.
Falcons defensive end Allen Bailey was on the 2015 Chiefs. He played in 12 games and was part of their march to the playoffs.
“We kept it in-house,” Bailey said Thursday. “Correcting our mistakes and getting ourselves together. We were beating ourselves up with penalties and dumb plays, kind of the stuff we are doing with penalties. Shooting ourselves in the foot, you know.
“We just took it upon ourselves to correct that stuff. It started in practice. We practiced great. We practiced hard and kept transiting that to the games.
“We were making practice really as significant as it kind be.”
The Chiefs were led by quarterback Alex Smith and a defense that included Bailey, defensive end Justin Houston and free safety Eric Berry. (Bailey, Houston and Berry each played high school football in Georgia.)
“We kept the bond tight,” Bailey said. “Like the Brotherhood here, keep it tight. Don’t let outside people interfere with what we have here.”
The Chiefs won their first game, then loss five consecutive before ripping off 10 straight wins. The Chiefs beat Houston Texans in the wild-card round before losing to New England in the divisional round.