The 0 and 2 blues

Pioneer Press/John Autey | Photo Courtesy
If the team implodes, could this be the end of the Mike Zimmer era?

Is all hope lost for your team? Probably.

Only about 11 percent of teams that start 0-2 end up making the playoffs in the NFL. With an additional seventh playoff team added in each conference this year that number might go up slightly, but the fact is the odds are stacked against teams that start poorly.

This season, 11 NFL teams have played a winless first two games. If history proves to be right, one or possibly two teams will indeed end up in the postseason. If you’re a fan of one of these teams, how much do you need to panic?

It’s a long season, still time to turn it around:

Group members: Eagles, Texans

The Houston Texans have lost their first two games by 31 total points, clearly missing Deandre Hopkins and lacking depth all throughout their roster. So why is there still hope?

Well for starters, the toughest part of Houston’s schedule is already over with. Going to Kansas City in week one and then to turn around and play Baltimore at home was brutal luck for the Texans.

Secondly, it is usually best to not bet against Deshaun Watson. The fourth-year star should be able to will this team to 8-9 wins, which just might be enough to sneak into the playoffs.

For the Eagles, it’s as simple as we’ve seen this story before. The last two seasons Philadelphia has started slow, benefitted from playing in a weak division and turned it on near the end of the season to somehow make the playoffs.

Carson Wentz’s early season struggles are a little worrisome, but the Eagles should be okay come seasons end.

The ‘could be 4-12 but also 9-7 club’

Group members: Lions, Vikings, Falcons, Broncos

The Lions and the Falcons both should have a win each. However, a wide-open drop at the goal line and blowing a 20 point lead has them both 0-2, wondering what could have been.

Now it’s up to both teams if they want to implode or turn it around and have a worthwhile season.

The Vikings have looked like one of the NFL through the first two weeks of the season. However, talented players are littered throughout the roster, and the coaching staff is one of the most experienced in the NFL.

Yet the defensive line has been steamrolled in the first two weeks, and Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense have had next to no rhythm. This feels like a team on the edge of blowing it all up and starting over from scratch.

The Denver Broncos have just been nailed by the injury bug. After losing Von Miller before the season even started, Courtland Sutton has since ripped up his knee and quarterback Drew Lock could be out over a month.

Denver has some talent, but a depleted roster could be too much to overcome in a tough AFC West division.

Onto 2021

Group members: Dolphins, Bengals, Jets, Giants, Panthers

Most members of this group have a few things in common: A young quarterback the organization believes in, a roster that lacks much talent and a first or second-year coach.

Joe Burrow looks like the real deal, but the team around him does not offer him much help.

Every week Daniel Jones makes a couple ‘wow’ throws, but with Saquon Barkley out for the year and a defense that is still a year or two away from being even average, the Giants are in for another long season.

The Panthers just lost the best player on the roster for the next month or so in Christian McCaffrey. Could first-year head coach Matt Rhule help Teddy Bridgewater lead the Panthers to a few upsets? Sure he can, but any more than six wins would be seen as a remarkable feat for Carolina.

For all we know, Sam Darnold could be an excellent NFL quarterback. But with Adam Gase calling the plays and having Jamison Crowder as a number one option is a recipe for a 3-13 campaign.

The Dolphins are a really fun 0-2 team. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Flores caused chaos at the end of the 2019 season, and there’s no reason to believe that cannot happen again. However Miami’s roster still is not quite there yet, but if rookie Tua Tagovailoa is any good we could be looking at a potential wild card team in a year or two.

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