Lesson of the week: Going 0-3 changes your team's season.
Over the past 26 NFL campaigns, teams that have gone 0-3 have made the playoffs all of 2.3 percent of the time. That's three of 128 such squads making it to the postseason.
In contrast, how about teams that managed to pull out one win, and thus started 1-2? A much larger percentage, 24.9, made the playoffs.
Taking it a step further, only five teams since 1970 played in the postseason after going 0-3. The honor roll ...
» 1981 Jets: Lost in the Wild Card Round, quarterbacked by the immortal Richard Todd.
» 1982 Bucs: NFL expanded playoff field to 16 due to the players' strike. Bucs immediately dropped out with a loss in Big D.
» 1992 Chargers: Actually started 0-4, ended up losing in the Divisional Round. Nucleus of team would go on to hit Super Bowl XXIX a couple years later.
» 1995 Lions: Another Wayne Fontes roller-coaster team -- got blown out in the Wild Card Round.
» 1998 Bills: Flutie Flakes were all the rage, but Doug and the boys fell at Miami in Round 1.
So the question is, which winless ballclub will (at least temporarily) save its season this weekend with a win, and which will fall into the playoff void? See below. You might be surprised. And feel free to send me thoughts on any Week 3 matchup: @HarrisonNFL is the place.
Now, let's get to it!
Elliot Harrison went 11-5 on his predictions for Week 2, giving him a record of 22-10 thus far this season. How will he fare in Week 3? His picks are below:
This marks the 10th anniversary of the
Saints' return to the Louisiana Superdome post-Katrina. I did a special feature on this for NFL NOW,
which you can see here. The '06
Saints rode the wave of the emotional victory over the
Falcons -- and
Steve Gleason's thunderous blocked punt -- all the way to their first NFC Championship Game. Ten years later, the
Saints must win this matchup against Atlanta. They simply can't afford to go 0-3. (See: My intro atop this page for some yucky notes on such teams.) The
lost in NOLA last year thanks to a botched center exchange, a red-zone turnover and, yes,
a blocked punt that the Saints returned for a touchdown. If that last thing happens again Monday night, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will explode.