A Rocky NFL Start can still mean a Playoff or Super Bowl Appearance
The 2010 NFL season has been exciting for some fans, but others, dreadful. Take it from me, a Dallas Cowboys fan who is not willing to jump ship to the St. Louis Rams or throw in the towel on the team’s [1-4] start. So, with it still being somewhat early in the current season, here are just a few teams that started off extremely slow, but finished with either with a division crown, a playoff victory or even, a Super Bowl trophy.
Miami Dolphins  – The Dolphins started the 2008 season [1-2] and then only won one game after their early bye week. They were [2-4] after seven weeks of the NFL season, but went onto win the AFC East with an overall record of [11-5], yet, despite their late success, lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 27-9 in the Wild Card round.
Dallas Cowboys  – The Cowboys looked good on paper and were considered a favorite to win the NFC East, but after starting the season [3-3] all bets were off until an untested quarterback by the name of Tony Romo emerged and replaced veteran signal caller, Drew Bledsoe. The Cowboys finished the season [9-7] and earned a wild card spot in the NFC, but lost to the Seattle Seahawks on a botched snap, 21-20.
Kansas City Chiefs  – After losing to the Steelers in week six, the Kansas City Chiefs rebounded from a [2-3] start to finish [9-7]. They earned an AFC wild card spot in the playoffs, but would up losing to the soon to be Super Champions in ’06, the Indianapolis Colts, 23-8, during the Wild Card round.
New England Patriots  – After being crowned a dynasty in 2004, the Patriots struggled through their first six games of the ’05 season and entered their bye week with a record of [3-3]. The Patriots eventually rebounded from their slow start to win the AFC East division with a record of [10-6], as well as earn a trip to play the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional playoff round, 27-13.
Chicago Bears  – The Bears were [2-3] entering their week seven contest against the Baltimore Ravens, which was a must win. Quarterback Kyle Orton engineered only one touchdown drive, as well as set up an additional field goal to help the struggling “Monsters of the Midwest” earn their third win of the season. The Bears ended the regular season with a record of [11-5], which was good enough to earn the NFC North crown, but led to an early exit in the ’05 playoffs when they lost to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Divisional round, 29-21.
Seattle Seahawks  – The Seattle Seahawks were a team that only needed nine wins to earn the NFC West crown, but their rocky start was surely noticed. After their week seven loss to the Arizona Cardinals, they would rally to earn six wins through ten games to win, as well as the division too with a record of [9-7], but then lost to a divisional foe in the Wild Card round, the St. Louis Rams, 27-20.
Green Bay Packers  – The Packers had only one win through five weeks and with a record of [1-4] it seemed that their chances of winning the NFC North, as well as earning a playoff spot were slim. Yet, they rebounded in week six, beating the Detroit Lions, as well as won six games in a row to turn their entire season around. After a dismal start, the Packers finished atop the division with an overall [10-6] record, but lost to the Minnesota Vikings in the opening playoff round, 31-17.
Green Bay Packers  – When the final whistle was blown, the Green Bay Packers were [3-4] after seven weeks of NFL football. They lost four of their first seven contests, which looked ominous for the rest of the season, but following a much needed bye week, they turned their season around to earn the NFC North crown with a record of [10-6], but lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of ’03 playoffs, 20-17.
New York Jets  – The Jets looked horrible in 2002 and when they walked into their week seven match up against the Minnesota Vikings, they knew that a win was a must to keep their season alive. Beating the Vikings 20-17, the Jets earned only their second victory of the season and would go onto win the AFC East with a record of [9-7]. They blew out the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the ’02 playoffs, 41-0, but then fell short to the Oakland Raiders, 30-10 in the AFC Divisional round.
Tennessee Titans  – The Titans entered week seven with a [2-4] record. Following their bye week, they went on a four game winning streak, which led to winning their division, the AFC South with an overall record of [11-5]. The Titans won their first playoff matchup, but lost to the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Championship, 41-24.
New England Patriots  – After earning an important divisional win against the Indianapolis Colts, the Patriots ended week seven with their fourth loss of the ’01 season. The Patriots would continue to seesaw in the win and loss column, but did not lose another game after November 18, 2001. The Patriots finished the regular season with an overall record of [11-5] and would go onto win their first Super Bowl in franchise history.