clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What chance do NFL teams starting 0-2 have of making the playoffs?

The Bills, Ravens, Packers and Browns are notable teams looking to avoid a 0-2 start.

Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills drops back to throw a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York.
Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills drops back to throw a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York.
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

NFL teams want to win every game, but that’s just not possible. There’s 16 teams that will come into Week 2 of the season sporting a 0-1 record looking to avoid a 0-2 start. Inevitably, there will be a handful of teams who end up with that record.

The Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns are notable teams entering Week 2 with one loss on their resume. The Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans are also hoping to sidestep going 0-2. The New York Giants have already reached the milestone after a 30-29 loss to the Washington Football Team Thursday. As many as 12 teams could join New York in being 0-2 if results don’t go their way. And being 0-2 is not good for teams with playoff aspirations.

From 1990 to 2019, only 12 percent of teams to go 0-2 made the playoffs. By comparison, 62 percent of teams with a 2-0 record made the postseason, according to USA Today. However, according to OddShark, this percentage had dropped to 54 percent since 2007. All these numbers are under the 12-team playoff format, which no longer exists.

There are two key differences when it comes to this season and future seasons for 0-2 teams hoping to make the playoff. The bracket has expanded to 14 teams, which occurred in 2020 and looks like it will be here to stay. Last season, all 11 teams that started 0-2 failed to make the playoffs. Additionally, 2021 brings the addition of a 17th game. That will surely create more intrigue late in the season with teams jockeying for the final playoff spots.