The Ravens’ odds of making the playoffs are severely stacked against them.
Just 23 of 204 NFL teams (11.2%) have made the playoffs after starting 0-2 since 1990. That’s when the NFL began the current 12-team playoff format.
The Colts beat the odds last season, reaching the AFC Championship game after losing their first two games. The Panthers made the playoffs after starting 0-2 in 2013.
Will the Ravens do it? Here’s how I rank the nine 0-2 teams and their playoff chances.
BEST CHANCE TO BEAT THE ODDS
1. Seahawks – They haven’t played a home game, and they’ve still got a ton of talent as defending NFC champs. However, they need to get tight end Jimmy Graham the ball more, and it would also help the defense greatly if they settled safety Kam Chancellor’s contract dispute.
2. Giants – Despite finding different ways to lose games late, I still think New York is the best team in the NFC Least. Whoops, I mean NFC East. And while Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is injured, Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford looks uncertain, and Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is unproven, Giants quarterback Eli Manning has two Super Bowl rings and is durable.
3. Colts – Hard to believe how much they are struggling offensively. But I have to believe quarterback Andrew Luck will get his act together, and the AFC South just isn’t that good. I could see the Colts still winning this division.
4. Ravens – Losing Terrell Suggs was a major blow, but the Ravens have a history of playing their best football late in the season. If they don’t let the brutal September-October schedule bury them too deep, the Ravens will be in the hunt come December. Having said all that, if they don’t beat the Bengals on Sunday, I think the Ravens are toast. Even as a wild card.
DON’T SEE IT HAPPENING
5. Texans – Even after running back Arian Foster returns, Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer will be their quarterbacks. Not feeling that.
6. Eagles – Coach Chip Kelly really gambled, parting with offensive weapons as talented as LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, and DeSean Jackson over the past two years. The bad start will only raise doubts among players about Kelly’s system. We’re about to find out how good Kelly really is.
7. Saints – I kept waiting for this team to right itself last year, and it didn’t happen. Now quarterback Drew Brees is not 100 percent healthy. They are not fooling me again.
STICK A FORK IN THEM, THEY’RE DONE
8. Lions – The Lions’ next three games are against teams that made the playoffs last season – Broncos, Seahawks, Cardinals. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford took a beating Sunday against the Vikings. I don’t see Detroit’s season turning around.
9. Bears – Just a hunch, but I’m guessing Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman doesn’t miss coaching Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.