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