Difference between 2-0 and 0-2 is immense
We’re not even through the end of Week 2 yet and all ready three-fourths of the teams in the NFL have a loss.
Yes, parity is alive and well and the term any given Sunday still applies.
New Orleans (1-0) will take a shot at moving to 2-0 when it plays tonight at San Francisco (0-1) on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” The defending Super Bowl champions are a touchdown favorite in Las Vegas.
If the Saints prevail, they’ll join seven other teams in the unbeaten ranks. Statistically, it’s a major pitfall to begin 0-2. History dictates that since the 16-game schedule was adopted in 1978, teams that lose their first two games have roughly an 11 percent chance of reaching the postseason. Seven teams are in that category right now, with the 49ers having a chance to join them.
What are the playoff chances for teams with a 2-0 start? According to Elias, 252 teams have started a season 2-0 since ’78. Of those, 164 (65.1 percent) have reached the postseason. Those are good odds, but proof that nothing is guaranteed. Just ask the Denver Broncos, who started each of the last three seasons 2-0 and didn’t make the playoffs once.
Let’s look at the 2-0 teams:
Tampa Bay: Young team is playing good defense and have to like work offensive coordinator Greg Olson is doing with QB Josh Freeman.
Chicago: Jay Cutler looks to be coming of age under Mike Martz.
Green Bay: They started on a roll in preseason.
Miami: The race in the AFC East is going to be the best battle in football.
Pittsburgh: Two impressive victories to start with and they’re doing it without Ben Roethlisberger.
Houston: Arian Foster and Matt Schaub give Texans a 1-2 punch that can light up the scoreboard.
Kansas City: Hand it to Todd Haley. His players have bought into the program and they can run the ball. Chiefs are learning how to win close games.
Not all of these will remain unbeaten for long. The Bears host the Packers on Monday in Week 3 and the Steelers travel to the Buccaneers.
Let’s look at the 0-2 teams:
Buffalo: Can’t say you didn’t see this coming.
Cleveland: Hot seat is a little hitter for Eric Mangini. Browns had chance for nice start and lost to Bucs, Chiefs.
Dallas: How ’bout them Cowboys. Wow. Just imagine what it will be like if they fall to 0-3 this week at Houston.
Carolina: Ownership set Marty Hurney and John Fox up to fail this season. No question.
Detroit: Lions have lose two tough games by less than a touchdown. Jim Schwartz has the group headed in the right direction but it takes time.
Minnesota: The Vikings have 6-10 written all over them at this point, and it’s not just Brett Favre.
St. Louis: Have to like young quarterback Sam Bradford but Rams could vie for top pick with Bills.
It’s tough to see any one of these teams pulling out of their current funk right now and really getting into contention. The Cowboys have a lot of talent but remember, things were amiss in preseason for them. They’re going to have to turn it around quickly. It's not like it can't be done. The Giants prevailed in Super Bowl XLII after an 0-2 start.
Just keep in mind, it’s might early.
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