Some teams still have slight hope
Starting 0-2 in the NFL doesn’t necessarily mean the year is over. Since the last major rework of the regular season and playoff schedule, 11 percent of the teams starting 0-2 still made the postseason.
This is the part where “so you’re saying there’s a chance” can be written, but it is worth noting that chances are not made equally. How about looking at each 0-2 teams chances to reach the postseason.
9. Miami Dolphins
That tank for Tua Tagovailoa is on in Miami, but will it backfire. There is no chance this team reaches the playoffs, and the players are realizing it.
Safety Minkah Ftizpatrick was traded for a draft pick this past week, and it won’t be shocking if more players abandon ship. A rebuild is one thing, but how can one player be the rebuild of something that has been totally blown up?
8. Cincinnati Bengals
It feels like the end of the Andy Dalton era in Cincy, and perhaps that is a good thing. Dalton has been painfully average in his performances for the Bengals, and average quarterback play does not cut it in the NFL. He is not help by extremely poor offensive line play.
The hardest thing to predict with the Bengals is the return date of AJ Green. Surgery in late July has held the star wideout out so far this season, and his own timetable was to be out six to eight weeks. That might be too little to late for the Bengals.
7. Washington Redskins
Washington is a team that struggles to get to the quarterback, and that is a killer for any team in the NFC East. Having to deal with Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott twice each in the season isn’t ideal when there is little pressure.
The Redskins have faced each of those quarterbacks once already, and got beat by both. The saving grace for this team is a soft schedule coming up, with the Dolphins on tap in four weeks.
6. Denver Broncos
Joe Flacco was supposed to be the savior of this franchise, or so thought general manager John Elway when he signed Flacco. Safe to say, it hasn’t panned out.
Flacco is not an elite quarterback, and there is not a lot of threats on the offensive side of the ball for him.
The defense is coming together under coach Vic Fangio. As their Super Bowl run a few years ago showed, defense can be enough sometimes.
5. New York Giants
Let’s take a moment to applaud the Giants for finally benching Eli Manning. As someone who laughed when the Giants to Daniel Jones at No. 6 in the draft, that mocking now feels misplaced.
Jones was sharp in the preseason, which is a term that can’t be used for Manning any time in the past two years.
The defense remains a mess, but maybe a new quarterback can spark the entire team.
4. New York Jets
The Jets are better than this, mainly due to the current quarterback situation. An early bye week gives Sam Darnold a chance to recover from mono, and this team needs him healthy.
Le’Veon Bell is a generational talent, and the rest of the team gives New York hope. If this team can get healthy, they can make some noise.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
This story is being written on the Friday during Week 3, and thankfully the Jaguars played Thursday night. Despite losing Nick Foles, Gardner Minshew is shaping into a solid NFL quarterback.
This team needs balance and maybe some help in the secondary, if Jalen Ramsey leaves town, but a clicking offense can get this team the points to grind out wins.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
This team can’t be this bad, can it? The embarrassment suffered at the hands of New England stuck through Week 2, and it needs a change.
That change comes in the form of backup quarterback Mason Rudolph. This team had a different feel with him under center. He will need a secondary receiver to step up however.
1. Carolina Panthers
Why will this team make the playoffs? Because the NFC South got blown open by Drew Brees’ injury. The Panthers will need Cam Newton to be productive, something that his fantasy owners also hope.
This is the most talented team that is 0-2, and that can give them a shot.