Don’t panic yet: In the NFL, an 0-2 start doesn’t spell the end for play­off hopes.

Los Angeles Times - - Sports - SAM FARMER ON THE NFL

There are eight 0-2 teams — six of them in the NFC — and most shock­ing of those are the Dal­las Cow­boys and Min­nesota Vik­ings.

It’s the first time since 2001 the Cow­boys have lost their first two games. The me­mory is more fresh for the Vik­ings, who lost their first two to start the 2008 sea­son (and three of their first four) yet went on to win the di­vi­sion.

“It’s a 14-game sea­son now and we’re sit­ting at the bot­tom of it,” Min­nesota quar­ter­back Brett Favre said. “What we do with it from here re­mains to be seen. It won’t be any eas­ier.”

All is not lost, that’s for sure. The 1993 Cow­boys over­came an 0-2 start and went on to win the Su­per Bowl. The 1996 New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots got to the Su­per Bowl de­spite los­ing their first two games, and the club won its first ring in 2001 de­spite an 0-2 start.

And just three years ago, the New York Giants dropped their first two be­fore knock­ing off the un­de­feated Pa­tri­ots in Su­per Bowl XLII.

Since the 12-team play­off for­mat was put in place in 1990, 22 teams have over­come 0-2 starts to make the post­sea­son.

The 0-2 teams over the last decade to qual­ify for the play­offs:

The Raiders of­ten have been near or at the top of the league in penal­ties, and so far this sea­son they have yet to change their ways. The top five most-pe­nal­ized teams through Week 2:

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