It’s Still Early For Some 0-2 NFL Teams

It’s Still Early: History shows that 0-2 teams advance to the playoffs more often than people might think. Since the current playoff format was instituted in 1990, 22 teams started 0-2 and still qualified for the postseason.

The 1993 Dallas Cowboys started 0-2 before winning Super Bowl XXVIII. The 0-2 New England Patriots of 1996 played in Super Bowl XXXI, and in 2001, the 0-2 Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI. The 2007 New York Giants started 0-2 before winning Super Bowl XLII.

The 0-2 teams since 1990 to qualify for the playoffs:

1990 Houston Oilers 0-2 Wild Card Playoffs
Philadelphia Eagles 0-2 Wild Card Playoffs
New Orleans Saints 0-2 Wild Card Playoffs
1991 Atlanta Falcons 0-2 Wild Card Playoffs
1992 San Diego Chargers 0-4 Divisional Playoffs
1993 Pittsburgh Steelers 0-2 Wild Card Playoffs
Dallas Cowboys 0-2 Won Super Bowl XXVIII
1994 New England Patriots 0-2 Wild Card Playoffs
1995 Detroit Lions 0-3 Wild Card Playoffs
1996 New England Patriots 0-2 Lost Super Bowl XXXI
1998 Arizona Cardinals 0-2 Divisional Playoffs
Buffalo Bills 0-3 Wild Card Playoffs
New York Jets 0-2 Championship Game
2001 New England Patriots 0-2 Won Super Bowl XXXVI
2002 Atlanta Falcons 0-2 Divisional Playoffs
Pittsburgh Steelers 0-2 Divisional Playoffs
2003 Philadelphia Eagles 0-2 Championship Game
2006 Kansas City Chiefs 0-2 Wild Card Playoffs
2007 New York Giants 0-2 Won Super Bowl XLII
2008 Miami Dolphins 0-2 Wild Card Playoffs
Minnesota Vikings 0-2 Wild Card Playoffs
San Diego Chargers 0-2 Divisional Playoffs


FRESH START: Seven teams are undefeated through the first two weeks of the season – Buffalo, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, New England, the New York Jets, and Washington.

Two of these clubs, the Bills and the Lions, look to begin this season at 3-0 after starting 0-3 last season. And while no guarantee of future success, a strong start to the season is a good omen – 75.9 percent of teams (82 of 108) that started 3-0 since 1990 made the playoffs.

Of the seven teams since realignment in 2002 to begin a season 3-0 after starting the previous season 0-3, four have qualified for the postseason. Most recently, the Kansas City Chiefs started 3-0 in 2010 en route to an AFC West title on the heels of an 0-5 start in 2009.

The teams since realignment in 2002 to begin a season at 3-0 after starting the previous season 0-3:

Minnesota Vikings 2003
Seattle Seahawks* 2003
New York Jets* 2004
Jacksonville Jaguars 2004
Tampa Bay Buccaneers* 2005
Buffalo Bills 2008
Kansas City Chiefs* 2010

*Qualified for postseason


PASS TIME: There have been 23 individual 300-yard passing performances so far in 2011, the most ever though the first two weeks of a season. Net passing yards are at 15,771, also the most ever through the first two weeks.

In addition to being a record through Week 2, the 23 individual 300-yard passing games are already the most through the first three weeks of any NFL season with a full slate of games still to play. Teams can add to this already record-setting total this weekend.

The most individual 300-yard passing games through Week 2 and Week 3 in NFL history:

Through Week 2 Through Week 3

2011 23 2011 23*
1994 14 2009 21
2009 13 1994 19
2008 12 2007 18
2006 11 3 tied 16

*Through two weeks


YARD SALE: New England Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY leads the league with 940 passing yards. Brady’s total is the most by a quarterback in the first two weeks of a season and he became the first player in NFL history to follow a 500-yard passing performance with a 400-yard game (517 yards in Week 1; 423 yards in Week 2).

With 282 passing yards this weekend against the Buffalo Bills, Brady can surpass KURT WARNER (1,221 in 2000) for the most passing yards in NFL history through a team’s first three games.

Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback CAM NEWTON has thrown for 854 yards this season and can also challenge Warner’s mark.

The players with the most passing yards through their team’s first three games:

Kurt Warner St. Louis Rams 2000 1,221
Drew Bledsoe New England Patriots 1994 1,166
Frank Tripucka Denver Broncos 1962 1,098
Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers 2010 1,087
Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts 2000 1,080


CAM-DO: Last week, Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback CAM NEWTON became the first player in NFL history to record back-to-back 400-yard passing games to begin a career. Newton followed his 422-yard NFL debut on Kickoff Weekend by setting the single-game rookie record with 432 passing yards last week. His 854 passing yards are the most ever by player in his first two NFL games.

Newton became the first rookie to pass for at least 300 yards in consecutive games. He can add to that total with a 300-yard performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday.

With 400 passing yards this weekend, Newton could also become the first player with three consecutive games of at least 400 yards passing in NFL history. New England Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY can also accomplish the feat in Week 3.

The players in NFL history to record consecutive 400-yard passing games:

Dan Fouts San Diego Chargers 12/11/82 vs. 49ers (444 yards) 12/20/82 vs. Bengals (435 yards)
Dan Marino Miami Dolphins 12/2/84 vs. LA Raiders (470 yards) 12/9/84 vs. Colts (404 yards)
Phil Simms New York Giants 10/6/85 vs. Cowboys (432 yards) 10/13/85 vs. Bengals (513 yards)
Billy Volek Tennessee Titans 12/13/04 vs. Chiefs (426 yards) 12/19/04 vs. Raiders (492 yards)
Matt Cassel New England Patriots 11/13/08 vs. NY Jets (400 yards) 11/23/08 vs. Dolphins (415 yards)
Tom Brady New England Patriots 9/12/11 vs. Dolphins (517 yards) 9/18/11 vs. Chargers (423 yards)
Cam Newton Carolina Panthers 9/11/11 vs. Cardinals (422 yards) 9/18/11 vs. Packers (432 yards)


COOL BREES: New Orleans Saints quarterback DREW BREES has thrown a touchdown pass in 29 consecutive games, including the first two games in 2011.

With a touchdown pass against the Houston Texans this Sunday, Brees can tie Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (30) for the third-most consecutive games with a touchdown pass in NFL history. Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHNNY UNITAS holds the record, passing for a touchdown in 47 consecutive games from 1956-1960.

The most consecutive games with a touchdown pass in NFL history:

Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts 1956-1960 47
Brett Favre Green Bay Packers 2002-2004 36
Dan Marino Miami Dolphins 1985-1987 30
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints 2009-present 29*
Dave Krieg Seattle Seahawks 1983-1985 28

*Active streak


TEXANS TWO STEP: Houston Texans running back BEN TATE has recorded 219 rushing yards thus far in 2011. He has rushed for over 100 yards in each contest this season, gaining 116 yards on the ground in Week 1 and adding 103 last weekend, helping the Texans to a 2-0 start.

With 100 rushing yards against the New Orleans Saints this weekend, Tate can join current St. Louis Rams running back CADILLAC WILLIAMS as the only running backs in NFL history to gain at least 100 yards in each of their first three career games. In his first three games of 2005 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Williams recorded 148, 128, and 158 rushing yards, respectively.




NFL teams will host community events and gameday celebrations throughout Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15- October 15).  This week, 15 clubs – Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New Orleans, Oakland, St. Louis, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Tennessee – will participate.

The NFL’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month will feature a series of special events surrounding the two primetime games in Week 3.  The NFL, NBC Sports and Telemundo will broadcast the Sunday Night Football contest between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts (8:20 PM ET, NBC and Telemundo) in both English and Spanish, with Telemundo airing its first of three Sunday Night Football games this season on its Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco/San Jose, and Washington stations.  The festivities will continue with Monday Night Football as the NFL, ESPN and ESPN Deportes will team to show the game featuring the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys (8:30 PM ET, ESPN and ESPN Deportes).


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