How Many 0-2 Teams Have Made the NFL Playoffs?

Losing the first game of an NFL season isn’t that big of a deal. Plenty of teams have rebounded from an opening-week loss and gone on to have successful seasons. You get back to 1-1 in Week 2, and things are fine.

But going 0-2 is a bit different. Panic sets in. Idiot analysts jump all over you. Not me, of course. My analysis is always spot on, right? Your fans start to turn on you and focus more on their fantasy football teams. Well, that last one happens more and more these days anyway, so maybe strike that.

Most importantly, however, teams that start 0-2 historically don’t fare well the rest of the way. Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, precisely 400 teams have lost their first two games of the year. On average, an 0-2 team finishes with 5.4 victories. As you can imagine, that doesn’t bode well for making the NFL Playoffs.

Of the 400 teams to start 0-2 since the merger, only 38 (9.5%) have made the postseason.

0-2 teams to make the NFL Playoffs

NFL logo
NFL logo | Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here’s a look at every 0-2 team to make the NFL Playoffs since 1970.

  • 1978 Philadelphia Eagles (9-7, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 1980 Los Angeles Rams (11-5, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 1980 Cleveland Browns (11-5, Lost Divisional Round)
  • 1981 New York Jets (10-5-1, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 1982 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 1984 Washington Commanders (11-5, Lost Divisional Round)
  • 1987 Indianapolis Colts (9-6, Lost Divisional Round)
  • 1989 Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7, Lost Divisional Round)
  • 1990 Philadelphia Eagles (10-6, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 1990 Houston Oilers (9-7, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 1990 New Orleans Saints (8-8, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 1991 Atlanta Falcons (10-6, Lost Divisional Round)
  • 1992 San Diego Chargers (11-5, Lost Divisional Round)
  • 1993 Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 1993 Dallas Cowboys (12-4, Won Super Bowl)
  • 1994 New England Patriots (10-6, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 1995 Detroit Lions (10-6, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 1996 New England Patriots (11-5, Lost Super Bowl)
  • 1998 New York Jets (12-4, Lost AFC Championship)
  • 1998 Arizona Cardinals (9-7, Lost Divisional Round)
  • 1998 Buffalo Bills (10-6, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 2001 New England Patriots (11-5, Won Super Bowl)
  • 2002 Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5-1, Lost Divisional Round)
  • 2002 Atlanta Falcons (9-6-1, Lost Divisional Round)
  • 2003 Philadelphia Eagles (12-4, Lost NFC Championship)
  • 2006 Kansas City Chiefs (9-7, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 2007 New York Giants (10-6, Won Super Bowl)
  • 2008 San Diego Chargers (8-8, Lost Divisional Round)
  • 2008 Minnesota Vikings (10-6, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 2008 Miami Dolphins (11-5, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 2013 Carolina Panthers (12-4, Lost Divisional Round)
  • 2014 Indianapolis Colts (11-5, Lost AFC Championship)
  • 2015 Seattle Seahawks (10-6, Lost Divisional Round)
  • 2015 Houston Texans (9-7, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 2016 Miami Dolphins (10-6, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 2017 New Orleans Saints (11-5, Lost Divisional Round)
  • 2018 Seattle Seahawks (10-6, Lost Wild Card Round)
  • 2018 Houston Texans (11-5, Lost Wild Card Round)

Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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