Pro Football weekly

Pro Football Weekly's Eric Edholm brings you hot news and the inside scoop about the NFL.

First two games can spell glory or gloom in NFL

Posted Aug. 04, 2010 @ 5:48 p.m.
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

The Browns starting 2-0? The Giants opening at 0-2?

If the schedule is an indication, it could happen.

History says two things, though not hard and fast, are likely to happen: Teams that start out 2-0 tend to make the playoffs far more often, and 0-2 teams tend to miss the playoffs with much greater frequency.

Now consider this: The matrix that I have learned to lean on more in recent years when it comes to forecasting teams' records heading into a season is the schedule. A close look at an opponents' winning percentage can reveal a lot.

So let's combine these two things.

Here's a look at all 32 teams' opponents' winning percentages for their first two games:


Team
Opponents' win pct.
Weeks 1-2
 N.Y. Giants
 .688
 Jaguars .656
Vikings
.625
Saints
.625
Redskins
.625
Bengals
.594
Patriots
.594
Falcons
.594
Ravens
.594
Jets
.594
Texans
.563
Chiefs
.563
Bills
.563
Lions
.563
Dolphins
.563
49ers
.563
Packers .531
Steelers .531
Colts .531
Seahawks .500
Rams .469
Titans .438
Eagles .406
Buccaneers .406
Bears .406
Broncos .375
Panthers .344
Cowboys .344
Chargers .344
Cardinals .313
Raiders .281
Browns .219

Some things must be considered with this. First, both the Vikings and Saints will not go 0-2 to start the season; they play each other, after all, in Week One. And as everyone knows, teams can turn around in a hurry in the NFL, so last year's bums could be this year's Cinderella story.

But it at least gives you an idea how teams' schedules stack out for those first two games based on last year's standings.

And it brings up the real possibility of the Giants falling to the Panthers, who beat them in Week 17, and the mighty Colts, along with (gasp!) the Browns perhaps beating both the Bucs in Week One and the Chiefs in Week Two. Think about that for a minute.

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