Taking Stock of the 0-2 NFL Teams
It’s only two games, right? Well, if your favorite NFL team started the regular season 0-2, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news: Over the past 10 seasons, teams like this have made the playoffs just 10.9 percent of the time. But there’s always room for hope. The 2007 New York Giants started the year 0-2, and they won the Super Bowl. Never give up.
Big Blue, as it turns out, are one of seven teams who started the 2018 NFL season with back-to-back losses. Can they turn it around once more? The well-reviewed oddsmaker from 5Dimes don’t like their chances – and they don’t like the remaining six teams, either. But there’s one team that has at least a puncher’s chance of turning this thing around.
This was obviously going to be a “transition” year for the Seahawks, after the dismantling of the famed Legion of Doom secondary. They were +8500 long shots to win Super Bowl 53 during the preseason, and road losses to the Denver Broncos (-3) and Chicago Bears (-4.5) won’t help their cause. But Seattle came back from 0-2 to reach the playoffs following the 2015 season, and they’ve still got QB Russell Wilson plus a promising corps of young players and eight home games at the loudest stadium in the NFL.
This wasn’t the way things were supposed to happen. The Texans were viable +5500 Super Bowl outsiders in August, with a full season of QB Deshaun Waston to look forward to, but Watson hasn’t looked comfortable at all after tearing his ACL last year. He’ll need a lot more help from his offensive line, which has already been shuffled multiple times. Russell Wilson feels your pain, Deshaun.
Oh dear. The Lions were +17500 Super Bowl long shots heading into Matt Patricia’s first year as head coach; Patricia might not make through the first half of the season at this rate. What is it about the Bill Belichick coaching tree, anyway? His former defensive coordinator is already up against it – nobody’s given up more points than Patricia’s Lions thus far: 78 after two games
“Hold my beer,” say the Bills. They’ve also allowed 78 points, but their offense has been nearly as brutal, scoring 23 points for a league-worst point differential of minus-55. This was the plan all along in Buffalo, right? They were expected to tank the 2018 campaign, checking in at +100000 (!) to win the Super Bowl; replacing Week 1 starting QB Nathan Peterman with Josh Allen will at least give them a head start on 2019
In case it isn’t obvious yet, the Raiders are a lame-duck franchise until they make the move to Las Vegas in 20-whenever. Head coach Jon Gruden may or may not be out of touch with the modern NFL – that remains to be seen – but trading LB Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears just before Week 1 won’t improve Oakland’s +20000 opening odds to win Super Bowl 53.
The desertification of the Cardinals continues. They had a good thing going with head coach Bruce Arians and QB Carson Palmer, but they’re both retired now, replaced by Steve Wilks and Sam Bradford, respectively. The Cards were +50000 to win the Super Bowl; now that they’ve scored a grand total of two field goals after two weeks of play, you can stick a fork in them.
New York Giants
Maybe Eli Manning is ready for the pasture at age 37. Or maybe, like the Seahawks, the Giants can recover after starting the year with tough games against the Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5 away) and Dallas Cowboys (-3 at home). But the Giants will probably turn out to be what we thought they were: Super Bowl long shots at +20000.