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0-2 teams in 2021 and what it means for playoff chances

The NFL will have seven teams come out of Week 2 with an 0-2 record. We break down what it means.

Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens throws a touchdown pass to Marquise Brown #5 (not pictured) during the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

The NFL has wrapped up most of Week 2, and has Monday Night Football remaining between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. Divisional games are always big, but this one is particularly big if you’re a believer in the 0-2 stat.

The 0-2 record stat points to NFL history and how infrequently teams that start 0-2 make the playoffs the same year. It’s important to note that those stats lean on history that came before some huge rule changes. Last year, the NFL expanded from 12 playoff teams to 14 playoff teams. This year, the league has expanded from a 16-game regular season schedule for each team to a 17-game schedule.

The addition of two more playoff teams last year didn’t help the 0-2 teams. 11 teams opened last season 0-2 and none of them made the playoffs. This year, the addition of the 17th game on top of the playoff expansion could make things a little easier for the 0-2 teams.

Heading into MNF, here’s the list of teams that are 0-2 coming out of Week 2.

Minnesota Vikings
Jacksonville Jaguars
Atlanta Falcons
New York Jets
Indianapolis Colts
New York Giants

We’re at six teams, and barring a Monday tie, we’ll have seven 0-2 teams this season. We almost had the Ravens join this group, but they stunned the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. That leaves the Vikings as the biggest surprise of the 0-2 teams. They just cannot seem to get on track. They lost an overtime stunner to Cincinnati in Week 1 and then blew a chance to win in Week 2 as Greg Joseph missed a 37-yard field goal to win the game. And it doesn’t get any easier soon with the Seahawks and Browns coming up the next two weeks.

If the Packers lose on Monday, they would join the group and give us two high profile NFC North teams on the list. The remaining five teams are not remotely surprising. The Colts were expected to be a little bit better, but they still faced a lot of questions. The Jaguars, Falcons, Jets, and Giants were all expected to struggle, and nobody is surprised by how bad that group is.

We’ll hear plenty about the 0-2 stat this week, but don’t forget the addition of the 17th game. That could prove to be a big boost for a team like the Vikings if they can get back on track.