A 2-2 team should make Super Bowl in New Orleans


Not all 2-2 records are created equal. The New England Patriots have lost two games by a combined two feet worth of field goal attempts. The Buffalo Bills have been blown out by two division opponents.

The Denver Broncos' two losses were to undefeated teams. The New York Jets, well, they are the Jets.

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Folks tend to freak out over small sample size. It was saddening to see so many NFL.com writers change their Super Bowl picks after only four games this season, which should be a suspension-worthy crime. I stuck with my Super Bowl picks: Patriots and Green Bay Packers. Both have lost two games. A 2-2 team should make the Super Bowl this year.

Outstanding crop of mediocrity

Nine teams sit at 2-2 after four weeks: The Patriots, Jets, Broncos, Bills, Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams, Packers, Seattle Seahawks and New York Giants.

That crop includes the defending Super Bowl champions, and the last five years' worth of MVP awards (Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Peyton Manning.) That group doesn't include Ben Roethlisberger's Pittsburgh Steelers, a talented team that should be 2-2 after Week 5.

A precedent for making the Super Bowl

Since 1990, over 35 percent of 2-2 teams have made the playoffs. Seven made the Super Bowl. Breaking that down further, five teams have made the Super Bowl since 2001 after starting 2-2 or worse. That includes the 2001 Patriots, who started 1-3. A 2-2 team making the Super Bowl is not out of the ordinary; it happens almost every other year.

It's hard to imagine there has ever been a stronger crop of 2-2 squads than this year's group. That the Giants, Patriots, Packers, or even Broncos, have not shown any fatal flaws through four weeks should truly affect their long-term outlook.

This season is just getting started. There's no need to scream like an 11-year-old at every little dip in the rollercoaster.

We're a long way from reaching New Orleans, and we expect at least one of these 2-2 teams to meet us there.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.