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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:
|1990||Houston Oilers||0-2||Wild Card Playoffs|
|1990||Philadelphia Eagles||0-2||Wild Card Playoffs|
|1990||New Orleans Saints||0-2||Wild Card Playoffs|
|1991||Atlanta Falcons||0-2||Wild Card Playoffs|
|1992||San Diego Chargers||0-4||Divisional Playoffs|
|1993||Pittsburgh Steelers||0-2||Wild Card Playoffs|
|1993||Dallas Cowboys||0-2||Won Super Bowl XXVIII|
|1994||New England Patriots||0-2||Wild Card Playoffs|
|1995||Detroit Lions||0-3||Wild Card Playoffs|
|1996||New England Patriots||0-2||Lost Super Bowl XXXI|
|1998||Arizona Cardinals||0-2||Divisional Playoffs|
|1998||Buffalo Bills||0-3||Wild Card Playoffs|
|1998||New York Jets||0-2||Championship Game|
|2001||New England Patriots||0-2||Won Super Bowl XXXVI|
|2002||Atlanta Falcons||0-2||Divisional Playoffs|
|2002||Pittsburgh Steelers||0-2||Divisional Playoffs|
|2003||Philadelphia Eagles||0-2||Championship Game|
|2006||Kansas City Chiefs||0-2||Wild Card Playoffs|
|2007||New York Giants||0-2||Won Super Bowl XLII|
|2008||Miami Dolphins||0-2||Wild Card Playoffs|
|2008||Minnesota Vikings||0-2||Wild Card Playoffs|
|2008||San Diego Chargers||0-2||Divisional Playoffs|
|2013||Carolina Panthers||0-2||Divisional Playoffs|
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.
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|
The highest league-wide completion percentage in a season in NFL history:
|Season||Highest Completion Pct|
|Source: NFL *Through Week 2|
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|
|IV (23-7)||Kansas City||Minnesota||9/20/70||27-10||Minnesota|
|XXXI (35-21)||Green Bay||New England||10/27/97||28-10||Green Bay|
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, Denver||47|
|Tom Brady*||New England||38|
|Brett Favre||Green Bay, Minnesota||36|
|Drew Brees*||New Orleans, San Diego||32|
|Aaron Rodgers*||Green Bay||23|
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 Rivers||Antonio Gates||San Diego||63*|
|Drew Bledsoe||Ben Coates||New England||45|
|Peyton Manning||Dallas Clark||Indianapolis||44|
|Tom Brady||Rob Gronkowski||New England||43*|
|Drew Brees||Jimmy Graham||New Orleans||43*|
|Sonny Jurgensen||Jerry Smith||Washington||43|
|Dan Fouts||Kellen Winslow||San Diego||41|
|John Elway||Shannon Sharpe||Denver||41|
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:
|Source: NFL *Active|
|Laveranues Coles||Jets, Washington||9/29/2002-10/12/03||19|
|Keyshawn Johnson||Tampa Bay||12/18/2000-12/16/01||15|
|Herman Moore||Detroit Lions||11/17/1996-11/2/97||15|
|Herman Moore||Detroit Lions||10/22/1995-9/29/96||15|
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NFL 2014 - What To Look For Week 3