Twelve NFL teams qualify for the postseason each year. After week one, currently half the teams who made the playoffs in 2013, are looking at falling to 0-2 this weekend. The season may not come to a crashing end for a team at 0-2 but history indicates 0-2 teams tend to not make the postseason. In fact, NFL history indicates that only 12% of teams starting the season 0-2 make the playoffs.
In 2013, 7 of 8 teams that started 0-2 did not make the playoffs. Only the Carolina Panthers were able to accomplish the unlikely feat of coming back from 0-2 to make the playoffs.
In 2012, all 7 teams that started the season 0-2 failed to make the playoffs. That means in the past two seasons only one NFL team out of 15 overcame a 0-2 start to make the playoffs. With 14 of 15, failing to make the playoffs.
A look at six NFL teams who made the playoffs last season but are looking at falling to 0-2 this week and I start with the teams I think are the most likely to fall to 0-2 and work my way to the ones who have the best chance to go 1-1. A must win week for these teams? Only if they plan to go to the postseason.
1. (0-1) Chiefs @ (1-0) Broncos
The Chiefs had one of the best come back seasons last year after finishing at the bottom in 2012. They made the playoffs in 2013 but blew a big lead to lose to the Colts 45-44. The Chiefs only managed to score 10 points in week one against the Titans and now they face a solid Broncos team in Denver. It could be a long season for the Chiefs if they lose this one and it is going to be a tough place to get a win.
I look for the on the road Chiefs to fall to 0-2 and miss the playoffs this season.
2. (1-0) Seahawks @ (0-1) Chargers
Seattle is not a good place to go play when a team needs a win so the Chargers are fortunate to get them in San Diego however it still will be a challenge. Perhaps the Chargers can score some points against the NFL’s best defense to avoid the 0-2 hole.
I look for the Chargers to likely fall to 0-2 and struggle to return to the postseason in 2014.
3. (0-1) Patriots @ (1-0) Vikings
Last week surprisingly the Patriots lost to the Dolphins and now must go play a 1-0 Vikings team that is much improved over last season. It’s going to be difficult for Brady and the gang to get a win at Minnesota this week to go 1-1.
The Patriots can win this game but I don’t think it will be easy at all. If they do fall to 0-2, could the Patriots miss the playoffs in 2014?
4. (1-0) Eagles @ (0-1) Colts
Last week the Colts lost at Denver which is certainly understandable but this week they need to get a win at home against an Eagles team that can score some points. Last week the Eagles started slowly but came from behind to beat the Jaguars. Last season the Eagles were much better on the road than at home so the Colts could have their hands full to get their first win.
I think the Colts are in for a real battle to avoid an 0-2 start and make the playoffs again.
5. (1-0) Jets @ (0-1) Packers
The Packers lost at Seattle like everyone else does but this week they return home to face a Jets team they should be able defeat.
I like the odds that the Packers win and improve to 1-1 keeping playoff hopes alive.
6. (0-1) Saints @ (0-1) Browns
Last week the Saints lost an important NFC South game to the Falcons in O.T. The Saints Defense allowed 37 points and a very generous 448 yards of offense. Their defense must play better this week in Cleveland for the Saints to get their first win and remain in the playoff hunt.
I expect the Saints to out score the Browns and go to 1-1.