How NFL Teams Fare After 0-2 Starts: Can Colts Avoid It?

How NFL Teams Fare After 0-2 Starts: Can Colts Avoid It?
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

The Indianapolis Colts playoff chances may already be in jeopardy as they travel to Houston this weekend in a battle of teams still looking for their first win of the season. A win over the Texans would keep the Colts from their third 0-2 start since 2017, and if history is any indicator, then the loser of Sunday’s game will find themselves in a deep hole early in the 2023 NFL season. was interested in learning just how challenging it can be for teams to shake off a two-game losing streak to start the season. 

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Season Performance of 0-2 NFL Teams

Utilizing, we looked at how teams ended up the rest of the NFL season after starting their season that way since the 1970 merger. There have been 406 teams that have started 0-2 since the 1970 NFL merger. Below you'll see what Indianapolis may be looking at after this week, including the Colts Super Bowl odds should they start 0-2.

Result # of Teams Percentage
Winning Season 57 14.0%
Making The Playoffs 399.6%
Making The Super Bowl 4 1.0%
Winning The Super Bowl 3 0.7%

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Colts Already Desperate for a Win in Week 2

As you can see, even mounting a winning season can be a daunting task. Fewer than 1-in-7 teams have righted the ship to wind up with a record of better than .500. Less than 10% of those teams even made the playoffs. The Cincinnati Bengals accomplished that feat last year, but before that, it hadn’t happened since 2018, when the Texans and Seattle Seahawks pulled it off. Something to consider if you plan on participating in Kentucky sports betting this season.

Technically speaking, it is easier now to overcome a 0-2 start and have a successful season. That’s thanks in large part to the expanded playoff format that now gives three non-division winners a wild card berth. Four-team divisions also mean there are fewer teams to hurdle within your division, and in some cases, a team can still win their division with an under. 500 record. 

However, the Colts have other obstacles to overcome besides a potential 0-2 start. That includes the absence of star running back Jonathan Taylor, who is holding out and has demanded a trade. In addition, the team also has a first-year coach in Shane Steichen and a rookie starting quarterback in Anthony Richardson. Both are indications the Colts are looking to build toward success in the years to come.

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Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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