Evaluating the NFL’s 3-0, 0-3 teams

Evaluating the NFL’s 3-0, 0-3 teams

What 3-0 team is most likely to win the Super Bowl?

There are five teams, Patriots, Broncos, Eagles, Vikings and Ravens that have started the season undefeated. Given the question marks surrounding the teams before the season began it is surprising these squads have stayed unbeaten. Nonetheless, each has found a way to be victorious.

The Patriots have won with both Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie Jacoby Brissett starting. A 4-0 start is possible as New England prepares for Tom Brady’s return after a four-game suspension. The Pats are our most likely Super Bowl champion winning it all 25.3% of the time in 10,000 simulations of the 2016 NFL season.

Denver has a 11.3% chance to repeat after its quick start. The Broncos have already proven that an excellent defense can carry a team to a title. However, after Trevor Siemian threw for over than 300 yards and four touchdowns against the Bengals on the road last Sunday the offense is going to contribute this season.

It is time to start taking the Vikings seriously. There is no denying Minnesota has one of the best defenses in the league after a dominating performance against the Panthers in Carolina last week. If the Vikings could get a little injury luck the NFC is for the taking. Minnesota is the second most likely Super Bowl champ (12.8%).

Philly has the best point differential in football. Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz is leading one of the highest scoring teams in the league as an improved defense stifles opposing passers. Philadelphia has a 76.4% chance to make the playoffs but only a 6.7% chance to win it all.

No one would consider the Ravens a true contender, despite their undefeated status. Baltimore has a point differential of a .500 team yet they have an unblemished record. The Ravens are the least likely 3-0 team to win the Super Bowl (3.8%).

TeamPlayoff ChanceSuper Bowl Chance
New England Patriots97.8%25.3%
Denver Broncos88.6%11.3%
Minnesota Vikings92.6%12.8%
Philadelphia Eagles76.4%6.7%
Baltimore Ravens75.4%3.8%

Will an 0-3 team make the playoffs?


The last team to start 0-3 and make the playoffs was the 1998 Buffalo Bills. Since then 86 other teams have gone winless in the first three weeks of the season and none of them have reached the postseason. We not saying one of the four teams that are 0-3 won’t make the playoffs, it’s just improbable.

The most likely winless team to find its way to the postseason is Jacksonville. The Jaguars have lost two games by six points combined and play in the weak AFC South. Blake Bortles and crew have a 4.1% chance to bounce back after a rough start.

The Saintsare just behind the Jags with a 4.0% chance of returning to the playoffs. The Browns and Bears are just bad. Neither team even has a 1-in-100 shot of reaching the postseason.

TeamPlayoff ChanceSuper Bowl Chance
New Orleans Saints4.0%0.0%
Chicago Bears0.9%0.0%
Jacksonville Jaguars4.1%0.0%
Cleveland Browns0.1%0.0%

©2016 Sports Insights Inc.

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