It’s been a pretty interesting start to the NFL’s 104th season. So, what else is new? The league has seen some surprising results and some startling comebacks. For the second straight week, there will be a pair of Monday night games, including a clash of 2-0 at Raymond James Stadium. Meanwhile, here are some other fascinating facts to consider.
In 54 of the 57 Super Bowls played, at least one team opened 2-0 on its way to the “Big Game.” In 2022, the Chiefs and Eagles both won their first two games en route to Super Bowl LVII. Nine teams are off to a 2-0 start in 2023. As for the Super Sundays without a 2-0 team? XXII: Denver (1-0-1) vs. Washington (1-1), XLIX: New England (1-1) vs. Seattle (1-1) and LII: Philadelphia (1-1) vs. New England (1-1).
As previously mentioned, nine NFL teams have opened the season at 2-0. It’s the most since 2020 when 11 clubs won their first two games. What’s interesting is that seven of those clubs reside in the NFC. More fascinating is that the NFC East (Cowboys, Eagles and Commanders) and the NFC South (Falcons, Saints and Buccaneers) each have three 2-0 squads. A year ago, no team in the NFC South finished above .500.
Nine clubs (Cardinals, Panthers, Bears, Bengals, Broncos, Texans, Chargers, Vikings and Patriots) are off to a 0-2 start. Recent history says all will have a tough time getting to the postseason despite the fact that it’s a 17-game season and seven teams from each conference make the playoffs. From 2019-22, there were 32 instances when a team opened 0-2 and only one (2022 Bengals) would make the playoffs.
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There are four more interconference games this week and the AFC is still looking for its first victory this season. In Week 2, the Commanders rallied to beat the Broncos, 35-33, and the Cowboys dismantled the Jets, 30-10. In each of the past two years, the NFC has prevailed in the season series (40-39-1 in 2021 and 41-39 in 2022). This week’s slate includes a Super Bowl LVI rematch (Rams at Bengals) on Monday night.
The New England Patriots are off to their first 0-2 start since 2001. That was a season in which Tom Brady replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe and Bill Belichick’s team won Super Bowl XXXVI. As for more modern times, the Pats have dominated the Jets, winning the last 14 meetings. Since 2020, Belichick’s club is 6-0 vs. the Jets and a combined 19-28 vs. the rest of the league, including a 2021 playoff loss to the Bills.