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Ranking the 0-3 NFL Teams with the Best Shot At Making The Playoffs

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 22: Joe Flacco #5 of the Denver Broncos walks off the field after game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 22, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Is your NFL team still winless through the first three weeks? Well, we have good news and bad news about its playoff chances.

The bad news is that only six teams in NFL history have ever made the playoffs after starting 0-3 - that's 1.8% of teams in the previous 99 years of the NFL. Even worse? The odds of reaching the playoffs after 0-4 are much, much lower, as only one team in history - the 1992 San Diego Chargers - has ever reached the playoffs after such a start.

The good news? The most recent case of a team rebounding from an 0-3 start to make the postseason happened only last year with the Houston Texans, so there is reason to hope. Here are the six teams in the NFL who could really use that hope, ranked by their chance to overcome their poor start.

6. New York Jets
The Jets, mercifully, have a bye week this week, which hopefully head coach Adam Gase can use to find a clue. His team is utterly directionless, as their hottest pickup Le'Veon Bell has gotten very little done on the ground, and new quarterback Luke Falk looked lost last week against New England, though his offensive line sure didn't help matters. For an offensive guru, Gase's offense doesn't seem to be able to do much of anything against anyone, and the fans in New York may already have written this season off.

5. Miami Dolphins
Last week, we would have ranked them dead last. But Josh Rosen's decent performance at quarterback, even in defeat, gave the Dolphins reason to hope for some wins this season. Still, a number-one draft pick wouldn't be out of the question for a team that seems as if it's actively trying to "tank" (no pun intended).

4. Pittsburgh Steelers
Losing Big Ben to injury was one thing, but even before then, the 33-3 loss to New England proved how vulnerable these Steelers really were. The holes in their offense run much deeper than at quarterback, as both Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown (Oh, yeah, he was a Steeler once, remember? Good times) are gone, and after one game, Mason Rudolph looks like a work in progress as Roethlisberger's replacement.

3. Cincinnati Bengals
Trapped at 0-3 for the second time in three years and losers of 10 of their last 11 dating back to last season, the Bengals aren't quite hopeless yet. Shockingly, Andy Dalton is playing decent, although not 100 percent mistake-free, football in return from the thumb injury that sidelined him for the second half of 2018. So far, he is second in passing yards (not counting the two quarterbacks who played Thursday) to Patrick Mahomes. When A.J. Green returns, so will the Bengals' playoff hopes.

2. Washington Redskins
This team simply cannot get out of its own way. On the surface, they have enough talent to make the playoffs (and they've scored more points than any other team on the list), but they have either not performed to their standard, not shown due to injury (ex: Jordan Reed), been embroiled in disputes with management (ex: Trent Williams), or just not played due to baffling coaching decisions (ex: Dwayne Haskins, Adrian Peterson). On Monday night, they did the impossible and made Mitch Trubisky look like a competent quarterback. They're ranked in the top half because with some luck, a seasoned coach might be able to extract the most from this bunch, but it doesn't seem that Jay Gruden is that coach.

1. Denver Broncos
Emmanuel Sanders said it best after their heartbreaking loss last week to the Packers: The Denver Broncos are "in a world of suck."

Despite having the strongest defense on this list (15th in terms of yards per play), Joe Flacco has not worked out in his new role as Denver's quarterback so far. Some of that may be down to his offensive line giving him little time to breathe - they've allowed 11 sacks this year. However, the offense as a whole has let down the efforts of the defense. They seem to have a problem melting down in the red zone, scoring on only 40% of possessions that reach inside the opponents' 20-yard line. If Flacco and his offensive line can turn those numbers around, they may play catch up and play a role in the playoff picture, though don't expect them to catch the Chiefs.