Two weeks isn’t a huge sample size, but it’s big enough to start worrying about your favorite team if they find themselves without a win. Only 12-percent of teams that start 0-2 make the playoffs, and the likelihood drops to 10-percent since 2007. This stat would suggest that a maximum of one of the eight currently win-less teams will make the playoffs.
While you may want to start worrying about your team after two games, you probably shouldn’t start planning any parades if your team is 2-0. Since 2007, there have been 75 teams who have started the season with two consecutive wins, and only 44 of them have gone on to make the playoffs – 58.6-percent. With only 12 playoff spots handed out, it is incredibly tough to make it into January. There is lots of football left to play, which means lots of time for your team to collapse!
What are the chances for this year’s crop of 2-0s and 0-2s? Let us enlighten you with updated playoff and Super Bowl odds as well as the latest odds on Offensive Rookie of the Year, which coaches may be getting canned, and which quarterbacks will be getting benched. (If you’re not attached to any of these teams, then just join in on poking fun at the Browns.)
AP = Alexander Paruk
PP = Perry Port
Updated NFL Props (Post-Week 2)
Odds of 0 and 2 teams making playoffs
Let’s be clear, all these teams are long-shots. Both conferences are top-heavy. I’m prepared to pencil in the Pats, Steelers, Broncos, and Texans in the AFC. That leaves two spots, and the Ravens, Bengals, Chiefs, Raiders, Jets, and Chargers all have designs on it.
In the NFC, the Panthers, Cardinals, Vikings, and Packers should take four berths. That doesn’t even touch on the Seahawks or the 2-0 Giants and Eagles or the upstart Lions.
The Colts top the list because they play in the softest division and have an elite QB. The O-line is playing a bit better and the offense can win games on its own. But with the state of Indy’s secondary, Luck will need a historically good season for this team to make the postseason.
Washington is in a similar boat, division-wise; the NFC East doesn’t have a powerhouse team. They’re in a much different frigate, QB-wise; it would be a cardinal sin to put Kirk Cousins’ spartan talents on par with Luck.
The Browns and Bears find themselves at the bottom thanks to early QB injuries. (Actually, Cleveland’s at the bottom for a number of reasons.) The Browns are down to rookie third-stringer Cody Kessler. Chicago is trotting out Brian Hoyer for the foreseeable future. Neither team was good to start with. Now we’re looking at consummate debacles. – AP
Odds for 0-2 teams to win the Super Bowl
Odds any 0-2 team goes win-less: 40/1
Realistically speaking, both Andrew Luck and Drew Brees will have their teams hovering around .500 by the end of the season. This is a quarterback driven league, and those are two of the game’s best.
Washington, Jacksonville, and Miami are all good enough teams to win a handful of games this season, despite their poor starts.
That leaves us with the Bills, Browns, and Bears. Two are without their starting quarterbacks, and the other has been decimated by injuries on the defensive side of the ball. Nonetheless, all three of these bottom-feeders should get lucky at least once. Cleveland’s awful roster does shorten these odds by a little bit, though. – PP
Odds any 2-0 team goes undefeated: 75/1
Of the eight unbeatens, the Ravens and Eagles have played both of their games against win-less teams and can thank their light schedule for their 2-0 records. Neither will keep this streak alive much longer.
The Texans and Vikings have quarterbacks who are turnover prone, and it will cost them at least one game this season.
That leaves four teams. The Giants don’t have a talented enough roster to go undefeated, while the Steelers face a lot of tough games in their division. The Broncos defense may be just as dominant as last year, but their conservative offense and game-managing quarterback make it tough to believe they can run the table.
Then there’s the Pats, who are undefeated without their two best players on the offensive side of the ball: Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. At this point, there is no doubt they are the most likely team to do it, but their defense has shown a lot of holes and they may have to win two games with Jacoby Brissett at QB, including one against fellow 2-0 squad Houston.
They did go 16-0 back in 2007, of course. – PP
Odds for 2-0 teams to win the Super Bowl
The Pats were the chalk heading into the year and two Jimmy Garoppolo-powered wins have done nothing to change that. They’re already guaranteed a .500 record when Tom Brady returns, even though they’re now down to third-string rookie Jacoby Brissett. They’re going to cruise to another division title and likely a first-round bye.
The Steelers offense looks unstoppable (without Le’Veon Bell, who returns in Week 4) and the defense is playing surprisingly well. If there’s one team Bill Belichick should be afraid of, it’s Pittsburgh. While Denver might quarrel with that, I haven’t seen enough from Trevor Siemian yet to buy in. The defense is still great, but it looked human in the first half against Carolina and, last year aside, winning with defensive scores is not a sustainable tack.
As for the NFC cohort, I’m not saying the Giants have looked better than the Vikings through two weeks (or the Eagles, for that matter). But don’t underestimate the value of experience in the post-season. Even though Denver won with sub-par QB play last year, they still had the best mind in the league managing the game. Sam Bradford has never been in a big spot before; Carson Wentz looks unflappable but is still a rookie; Eli has two rings on his finger. – AP
Odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year
Carson Wentz (Eagles): 5/2
Will Fuller (Texans): 5/1
Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys): 11/2
Sterling Shepard (Giants): 7/1
Corey Coleman (Browns): 15/1
It’s only been two games, and they’ve come against arguably the two worst teams in the league (Cleveland and Chicago), but Carson Wentz looks like the real deal; he’s completed 60-percent of his passes for 468 yards, three TDs, and no picks. We’ll know a lot more about his prospects after he faces the Steelers next week.
Fuller has started his career with back-to-back 100-yard games, finally giving Houston a complement to DeAndre Hopkins. The new-look Houston offense should only get more in sync as the year goes on.
Down in Big D, preseason favorite Zeke Elliott has had a slow start (134 yards on 41 carries; 3.3 YPC). He’s got two majors, though, and the Dallas o-line is great, notwithstanding its Week 1 struggles. The former Buckeye could still have the monster year everyone was predicting.
Coleman had a phenomenal Week 2 with five catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns. His odds would be higher if he wasn’t going to be catching balls from Cody Kessler. – AP
Odds on the next QB to be replaced as starter (for performance reasons)
Case Keenum (Rams): 2/1
Blaine Gabbert (49ers): 3/1
Trevor Siemian (Broncos): 8/1
I’m not counting guys who have been pressed into action due to injury (like Cody Kessler and Jacoby Brissett). I’m only looking at QBs who began the year as their team’s starter.
Case Keenum got shutout by the Niners and then put up nine points against Seattle. He was better in Week 2, but he still looks like the worst starter in the league. Gabbert isn’t far behind. His numbers aren’t horrible, but if you watch the tape, the Niners are putting up points (27.5 PPG) in spite of their QB play.
The good news for both of these guys: the depth chart. The Rams’ no. 2, Jared Goff, is not ready for the NFL. We all know what Colin Kaepernick has become. Putting him in for Gabbert would be a de facto lateral.
Siemian, on the other hand, is really just a place-holder for Paxton Lynch, even his serviceable play has the Broncos at 2-0. If the team suffers some setbacks and the rookie looks ready, Siemian may find the clipboard back in his hand.
The field is headed by guys like Ryan Tannehill (Dolphins) and Tyrod Taylor (Bills). Both have been abysmal. Both have lucrative contracts that will keep their teams from jumping ship imminently. – AP
Odds on the first coach fired
Gus Bradley (Jaguars): 1/1
Jay Gruden (Washington): 5/2
Chuck Pagano (Colts): 7/1
Rex Ryan (Bills): 9/1
We said at the outset of the season that it was now or never from Gus Bradley. An 0-2 start, including a 38-14 drubbing at the hands of San Diego, has positioned “never” as the solid favorite over “now”.
Ryan, Pagano, and Gruden were all expected to lead contending teams. But all three are win-less. Gruden has the edge (is that the right word when we’re talking about getting fired?) because he’s lost two home games. Ryan gets some respite thanks to the Bills’ litany of injuries. They also just axed OC Greg Roman, so one goat has already been scaped.
Pagano is less to blame for Indy’s struggles than GM Ryan Grigson, who’s assembled a joke of a roster around Andrew Luck. But changing the GM mid-season won’t provide the immediate impact (good or bad) of switching head coaches. – AP