NFL 2014: What To Look For Week 3
NFL 2014: What To Look For Week 3 (Drew McKernzie, Sportspress Northwest)


It's Still Early

History shows that 0-2 teams advance to the playoffs more often than people might think. Since the current playoff format was instituted in 1990, 23 teams started 0-2 and still qualified for the postseason.

Last season, the Carolina Panthers started the season 0-2 and went on to win the NFC South after finishing 12-4, becoming the first team since the 2003 Philadelphia Eagles to earn a first-round bye after an 0-2 start.

The 1993 Dallas Cowboys started 0-2 before winning Super Bowl XXVIII. The 0-2 New England Patriots of 1996 played in Super Bowl XXXI, and in 2001, the 0-2 Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI. The 2007 New York Giants started 0-2 before winning Super Bowl XLII.

0-2 NFL teams since 1990 to qualify for the playoffs:

Season Team Start Advanced To
Source: NFL
1990Houston Oilers0-2Wild Card Playoffs
1990Philadelphia Eagles0-2Wild Card Playoffs
1990New Orleans Saints0-2Wild Card Playoffs
1991Atlanta Falcons0-2Wild Card Playoffs
1992San Diego Chargers0-4Divisional Playoffs
1993Pittsburgh Steelers0-2Wild Card Playoffs
1993Dallas Cowboys0-2Won Super Bowl XXVIII
1994New England Patriots0-2Wild Card Playoffs
1995Detroit Lions0-3Wild Card Playoffs
1996New England Patriots0-2Lost Super Bowl XXXI
1998Arizona Cardinals0-2Divisional Playoffs
1998Buffalo Bills0-3Wild Card Playoffs
1998New York Jets0-2Championship Game
2001New England Patriots0-2Won Super Bowl XXXVI
2002Atlanta Falcons0-2Divisional Playoffs
2002Pittsburgh Steelers0-2Divisional Playoffs
2003Philadelphia Eagles0-2Championship Game
2006Kansas City Chiefs0-2Wild Card Playoffs
2007New York Giants0-2Won Super Bowl XLII
2008Miami Dolphins0-2Wild Card Playoffs
2008Minnesota Vikings0-2Wild Card Playoffs
2008San Diego Chargers0-2Divisional Playoffs
2013Carolina Panthers0-2Divisional Playoffs


Fresh Start

Seven teams are undefeated through the first two weeks of the season -- Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, Cincinnati, Denver, Houston, and Philadelphia -- and hope to move to 3-0 this weekend.

While no guarantee of future success, a strong start to the season is a good omen -- 75.2 percent of teams (91 of 121) that started 3-0 since 1990 made the playoffs.

And don't count out any of the 1-1 or 0-2 teams. Since realignment in 2002, 86 of the 144 playoff teams (59.7 percent) began the year at either 1-1 or 0-2, including seven teams last year.


Complete Success

In 2014, quarterbacks have completed 1,424 of 2,243 passes for a 63.5 completion percentage, the highest league-wide completion percentage through Week 2 in NFL history. If the current percentage stays at this pace, it would rank as the highest of any season.

The highest league-wide completion percentage after Week 2 in NFL history:

Season Highest Completion Pct
Source: NFL


The highest league-wide completion percentage in a season in NFL history:

Season Highest Completion Pct
Source: NFL *Through Week 2


700 Club

Last week, the Green Bay Packers earned their first win of the season with a 31-24 victory over the New York Jets.

With a win on Sunday at Detroit, the Packers will become the second team in NFL history with 700 regular season victories. The Packers (699-538-37) would join Chicago (731-535-42) as the only teams to accomplish the feat.


Super Bowl Rematch

The defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks (1-1) host the reigning AFC-champion Denver Broncos (2-0) in a rematch of Super Bowl XLVIII. The matchup marks only the sixth Super Bowl rematch to occur during the following regular season and the first since 1997.

The teams to play in a Super Bowl and play each other in the following regular season:

Super Bowl (Result) Winner Opponent Date Result Winner
Source: NFL
IV (23-7)Kansas CityMinnesota9/20/7027-10Minnesota
XI (32-14)OaklandMinnesota12/11/7735-13Oakland
XIII (35-31)PittsburghDallas10/28/7914-3Pittsburgh
XXVII (52-17)DallasBuffalo9/12/9313-10Buffalo
XXXI (35-21)Green BayNew England10/27/9728-10Green Bay
XLVIII (43-8)SeattleDenver9/21/2014??????


Streaking Manning

Dating back to last season, Denver quarterback PEYTON MANNING has thrown at least three touchdown passes with no interceptions in four consecutive regular-season games, tied with TOM BRADY (2007) for the most consecutive such games in NFL history.

Manning (47) holds the record for the most games with at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with the most games with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions:

Quarterback Team Games 3+ TD's & 0 INTs
Source: NFL *Active
Peyton Manning*Indianapolis, Denver47
Tom Brady*New England38
Brett FavreGreen Bay, Minnesota36
Drew Brees*New Orleans, San Diego32
Aaron Rodgers*Green Bay23


With three touchdowns this weekend, Manning will also become only the second quarterback all-time to reach 500 career touchdown passes (BRETT FAVRE, 508).


Tight End Connections

Last week, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers connected with tight end Antonio Gates for three touchdowns, extending their NFL record for the most touchdowns by a quarterback-tight end duo (65).

New Orleans tight end JIMMY GRAHAM caught two touchdown passes from quarterback DREW BREES last week, tying TOM BRADY and ROB GRONKOWSKI (43) for the fourth-most such touchdowns in NFL history.

With a touchdown connection this weekend, Brees-Graham and/or Brady-Gronkowski can tie PEYTON MANNING and DALLAS CLARK (44) for the third-most such touchdowns all-time.

The most touchdown connections between a quarterback-tight end in NFL history:

Quarterback Tight End Team TD Connections
Source: NFL *Active
Philip RiversAntonio Gates San Diego63*
Drew BledsoeBen Coates New England45
Peyton ManningDallas Clark Indianapolis44
Tom BradyRob Gronkowski New England43*
Drew BreesJimmy Graham New Orleans43*
Sonny JurgensenJerry Smith Washington43
Dan FoutsKellen Winslow San Diego41
John ElwayShannon Sharpe Denver41


Awesome Antonio

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN has caught at least five passes and recorded at least 50 receiving yards in 18 consecutive games.

With at least five catches and 50 receiving yards against Carolina on Sunday Night Football, Brown will tie LAVERANUES COLES (19) for the most consecutive such games in NFL history. Brown's streak dates back to Kickoff Weekend last season.

The players with the most consecutive games with 5+ receptions and 50+ receiving yards:

Player Team(s) Seasons Games
Source: NFL *Active
Laveranues ColesJets, Washington9/29/2002-10/12/0319
Antonio Brown*Pittsburgh9/8/2013-present18
Keyshawn JohnsonTampa Bay12/18/2000-12/16/0115
Herman MooreDetroit Lions11/17/1996-11/2/9715
Herman MooreDetroit Lions10/22/1995-9/29/9615


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NFL 2014 - What To Look For Week 3