Depending on what you read, and from where you read it – you hear about the ridiculously small percentage chance of an 0-2 team making the playoffs. Typically somewhere in the ballpark of around a 10% chance. So starting off behind the standings at 0-2 is definitely not the place anyone wants to be, even in the earliest of stages of the season. If a team wants to be playing meaningful potential championship football at the end of the season – starting 0-2 isn’t a great start.
The history of teams that start the season with those starting losses are far less likely to get into the playoffs than the teams that start with a couple wins. That has been written across the NFL for years.
It is fair to assume, that no team feels very comfortable with the idea of starting off 0-2. But, among the numerous teams that have started with a slow start – which has the most to lose, with their early season bumbling? And if we are being bluntly honest – I don’t think it really mattered very much if the New York Giants or the Arizona Cardinals started the year 0-2. We can leave them out of the discussion – as they had no serious playoff hopes in the first place. The Giants were just 3-13 in 2017, and Arizona has only been in the postseason twice since 2010. Not a whole lot to live up too.
The Buffalo Bills are showing who we always kind of knew they really were. The Bills played super competitively in 2017 – going 9-7 and sneaking their way into the postseason – with some energy and spunk, but have not shown anything this year, with averaging under 12ppg in 2018 so far. They have looked awful. They will likely improve as a team, and as a unit as the season presses forward, but aren’t there yet. I don’t think many Rams or Chargers fans looked at the Buffalo games on their calendars – and truly thought of them as a tough matchup – and to chalk it down as a loss. The Bills didn’t disappoint by losing to Baltimore in week 1, in a landslide, 47-3, where they didn’t manage 100 yards passing, or scoring a TD.
The Oakland Raiders are lacking firepower, and are extremely mediocre at RB position, a very serious problem when going up against physical teams like the Chargers and their utility safety, Derwin James, the Broncos with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb – who are some quality D’s in their division. Those games alone are going to be brutal, and the Chiefs may lack D, but their offensive explosiveness is eye opening, Oakland will be fortunate to win 2 out 6 of their division games on the season, the way they are looking. Oakland may have a chance, to bounce back, if they get their defense reassembled and try to get it back on track – but this team will be an underdog playing against the Miami Dolphins on the road this week. If they lose there, which is very possible, or to the confident Cleveland Browns in week 4, it will be far too late. The season is probably shot.
A little comeback is possible still though for the Raiders as there are a handful of winnable games coming up. After week 3’s Dolphins game, they do get the Browns at home, which is winnable, Oakland also gets the Seahawks at home as well, and after their bye week, they get to play host to the Indianapolis Colts then head out to Arizona, who have struggled playing as well – over the next few weeks, there are a couple of games one would think the Raiders should be able to handle.
I would say that Houston Texans have the best chance to still be able to get into the playoffs. Houston has had some good play from their backfield with Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue – and they play in the AFC South, which is a below average division. With just one team with a strong win pct over the last 2 seasons in the Jacksonville Jaguars. Tennessee and Indianapolis have not exactly blown the doors off anyone this year, with their combined 13-19 record between them over the same timeframe. And, if the Bengals and the Dolphins fall aside, the Texans can still find a way to crawl up and steal an AFC wildcard spot by default. If things pan out as some would expect. The Texans kind of got a raw deal, with some bad breaks and some tough opening road games. The winning issues facing this Houston Texans team aren’t quite the same as that ones that bothered them in the past. This year it is more from less than great passing from Deshaun Watson and some lousy Oline play. This year’s club has still managed to hang up 37 points in their 2 close losses
I think the Detroit Lions are in some serious trouble. Their schedule is looking like it is going to be really brutal and starting the season off at 0-5 is a very possible outcome, at this point. Next week vs an angry and hungry New England Patriots team, on the road at the defensive minded Dallas Cowboys, and a true potential division winning Green Bay Packers squad are all but lock
down losses incoming. The Lions have some legit talent but they have a rough road ahead. Stuck playing some quality opponents as their next 3 teams lined up, and don’t forget they also are going to have to face the Vikings twice this season, as well.
The Lions Matthew Stafford seems to having some issues with passing – not to forget his on field decision making. Especially with his deep ball. With a 1:1 TD-Int ratio and a terrible 6.4 YPA, it seems like he is struggling with getting his guys to get a chance to make any plays. New Head Coach Matt Patricia seems to be struggling as well with game management.
Understand the reality. The reality is the Detroit Lions lack the mojo right. The only way to replace another disappointing season is going to be through the draft, again. It seems like, right as they start to try and get the defense semi-figured out, after giving up a whopping 48 in the season opener, they “held” the Niners to 30. Then the offense starts falling apart, with a terrible penalty or turnover. They need to try and get it all together, and quickly.
Detroit desperately needs another real pass rusher to help out Ezekiel Ansah, but if they continue to play this terrible level of football, especially like they did against the Jets in week 1 – Detroit is going to get blown off the field every week. They really need to turn up the level of urgency, because lucky for them, it is a long, and tough 16 game season, Detroit has to turn things around to even give themselves a punchers chance. Especially after last seasons moderate success.