By now, you’ve probably heard all about how NFL teams that start 0-2 rarely make the playoffs, especially after the Colts once again stunk up the joint during Monday night’s loss to the Jets.

But let’s look at the flip side of the coin: There are nine undefeated teams left in the NFL after two games, but on average only 63 percent of 2-0 teams make the playoffs. Going off that percentage, that means three teams that are currently 2-0 are likely to be sitting at home in January, trying to figure out what went wrong. Let’s look at the top candidates.

First, let’s rule out four undefeated teams that – based on their performances so far – seem likely to be in the postseason: the Patriots, Bengals (I know, I know), Cardinals (assuming Carson Palmer can stay upright) and the Packers.

That leaves us five other undefeated teams: the Cowboys, Falcons, Panthers, Broncos and Jets.


Because of his broken collarbone, quarterback Tony Romo might not be back until Week 11 against the Dolphins or Thanksgiving Day against the Panthers. Dallas is saying that backup Brandon Weeden is one of the team’s most-improved players, but it’s also acquired Matt Cassel in a trade with Buffalo on Tuesday. That isn’t exactly a vote of confidence in a quarterback who’s 5-16 as a starter in his career. There’s also wide receiver Dez Bryant, out possibly longer than Romo with a foot injury. The Cowboys’ schedule isn’t exactly a cakewalk, either: Dallas plays fellow undefeated Atlanta on Sunday and gets New England and Seattle before Romo’s possible return. Then again, the NFC East is terrible, so who knows.


I don’t think anyone expected the Falcons to be 2-0 after going 10-22 the previous two seasons, but here we are. And then there’s Atlanta’s remaining opponents, who don’t scare anyone: the Romo-less Cowboys, Texans (meh), Washington (meh), Saints (old, beaten-up QB), Titans (can’t beat Browns), Bucs (can’t beat Titans), 49ers (meh), Colts (a mess), Vikings (meh), Panthers (OK, fine) and Jags (meh). That’s a lot of meh left on the schedule.


Apart from games against the Seahawks, Packers and suddenly resurgent Falcons, there isn’t much to worry about on Carolina’s schedule, either. Only the Jets have allowed fewer points over two games than the Panthers, too.


Denver has the league’s worst-performing offense after two games, and Peyton Manning is showing his age early in the season (instead of late in the season, like usual). Still, there’s a good chance the Broncos will enter their bye week at 6-0, because the Lions, Vikings, Raiders and Browns (their next four opponents) are mostly mediocre. But then Denver gets the Packers at home for a Sunday nighter immediately out of the bye week. That will be a bellwether for the rest of the season.


Is it time to start accepting the fact that the Jets might just be good again? They’ve allowed allowed just 17 points and forced 10 turnovers through two games. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, has put forth an acceptable performance so far, and his connection with receivers Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall seems strong (though Decker may miss a game or two with a PCL injury suffered Monday night). Yes, there are two games with the Patriots remaining, but besides that, the schedule is far from frightening.


Without Romo and Bryant, the Cowboys aren’t going to be able to navigate that schedule. They’re out. I’m going with the Falcons over the Panthers in the NFL South. Carolina’s out. That leaves us with one more team that faces bitter disappointment, and I’m going with the Broncos. I just don’t see that offense getting any better, and the defense will tire because it’s on the field so much.