The NFL adopted rules a few years back. The NFL can not require a team to do Hard Knocks if it meets any one of the following criteria: The team appeared on the show in the last 10 years. [FYI, that's ATL, CIN, CLE, HOU, LAR, MIA, NYJ, and TB.] The team's head coach is in his first season with that team. The team made the playoffs in either of the last two seasons (2017 or 2018). So, by making the playoffs this year, NE is exempt for both 2019 and 2020. At the moment, there are only six teams that don't meet any of the above criteria: NFCE: New York Giants, Washington Redskins NFCW: San Francisco 49ers NFCN: Detroit Lions AFCW: Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders Of course, the Broncos will satisfy (2) if they fire Vance Joseph.