A 3-0 Start? As Last Season Showed, That Means Very Little (1 Viewer)


I was there!
Mar 1, 2005
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The NFL loves parity. There's just not much of it so far this season.

There are currently seven unbeaten teams and seven winless ones -- including Carolina, 0-3 after losing Monday night's game in the Jerry Jones Pleasure Dome. There also were seven and seven in 2002. The most 3-0 teams to start a season? Eight in 1998, when the NFL had 30 franchises.

Still, even for those off to perfect starts, nothing is guaranteed.

Historically, about three-quarters of 3-0 teams make the playoffs. But last season, five teams won their first three games and only two, the Titans and Giants, made it. Dallas finished 9-7, Denver 8-8 and Buffalo 7-9.

It should get back to a more normal percentage this year.

Of the 3-0 teams, only the Jets and Broncos are a surprise -- Denver seemed in turmoil entering the season, and New York's expectations were the limited ones you expect with a rookie quarterback. The Ravens, Giants, Vikings and Colts were all considered at least contenders -- if not favorites -- in their divisions, and the Saints needed only to find a semblance of a defense to have a playoff season. .

One other note: The cliche about defense winning championships seems to be true. Although early stats often mean little because schedules vary, unbeaten teams are 1-2-3-4 in yards allowed: Broncos, Giants, Jets and Vikings in that order. And the Ravens' D may be better than all of them.

A look at the 3-0 teams:

NEW ORLEANS: Drew Brees threw nine TD passes in two games, then none in Buffalo. But the game against the Bills demonstrated more about the Saints' playoff potential than wins over Detroit and a hobbled Philly team. That's because Pierre Thomas' running, 14 carries for 126 yards and two TDs, carried them.

The defense also held up well, although the Bills are hardly the NFL's most potent offense. But it was still the kind of showing the Saints needed -- a nice win in outdoor weather against a physical opponent.

PROGNOSIS: Too many offensive weapons not to win the NFC South, where if Carolina's slide continues, Atlanta is the only other contender. The next two games will tell a lot: the Jets, then the Giants after a bye. Both are at home, which should help a lot.

More here......


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