(Philadelphia) Two defeats in five days already place the Minnesota Vikings in a difficult position for NFL teams to overcome.
Since 1990, only 31 of 270 clubs (11.5%) that started a season 0-2 have qualified for the playoffs. The Cincinnati Bengals bounced back from their first two losses of the season last year to finish 12-4 and reach the AFC championship game.
The Vikings need to reverse their losing streak after another uneven effort in a 34-28 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night. They committed four costly fumbles, including one by Justin Jefferson, who lost the ball out of bounds in the end zone. This loss followed an error-filled loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first week of the season.
“We shot ourselves in the foot with the turnovers,” said Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. It’s just hard to win in this league when we’re losing the turnover battle, let alone by the margin we lost it by. So we need to correct these mistakes and not let this continue. »
Six other teams that made the playoffs in 2022 are in danger of starting with an 0-2 record, including the American’s top three from last year. The Kansas City Chiefs, Bengals and Buffalo Bills all lost their season openers. Just like the Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks.
Only the 1993 Dallas Cowboys, 2001 New England Patriots and 2007 New York Giants have won the Super Bowl after starting their season 0-2.
“It doesn’t feel good. You want to win, said two-time Super Bowl MVP winner Patrick Mahomes. Obviously, I will be motivated as much as I always have been. It’s about going out there and winning this week. It’s a great opportunity to play a great football team, so I’m excited about that.” »
Mahomes and the Chiefs visit the Jacksonville Jaguars in a playoff rematch. The battle ahead will therefore be difficult. Seeing other previously playoff teams lose early in the season is no comfort to Mahomes.
“You never know what’s going to happen in this league,” he said. Teams lose every week. It’s parity. That’s what this NFL is all about and everyone can beat everyone. You have to come in with the mentality that you are going to play your best football. I thought we lacked that last week and we were playing a good football team.
“I’m not worried about the other teams in the league because you never know who will be on top at the end of the year. You just try to go out there and be the best. You can be and rack up as many wins as possible. »
Geno Smith and the Seahawks also have a major challenge on their hands trying to avoid going 0-2. They visit the Detroit Lions, who upset the Chiefs in the NFL opener on September 7.
“It’s not the way we wanted to start, but no one is looking down,” Smith said. Everyone is looking for ways to improve and is really looking forward to hitting the road in a tough environment and trying to win. I think everyone is really focused. There is a huge sense of urgency and we train as if it is. »
Joe Burrow and the Bengals will face the Baltimore Ravens at home on Sunday, after a dismal performance in a 24-3 loss at Cleveland. They probably won’t panic if they lose, because they know what it takes to get their act together after starting the campaign with an 0-2 record.
The Bills host the Las Vegas Raiders, coming off a frustrating overtime loss to the New York Jets, who lost Aaron Rodgers in his fourth game to an Achilles injury. Bills quarterback Josh Allen committed four turnovers in this one.
In the competitive American East Division, an 0-2 record to start the season wouldn’t be ideal for a team with Super Bowl expectations.
We’re excited to get back on the field and get rid of that bitter taste,” Allen said.
The Chargers visit the Tennessee Titans. Both teams lost their first outing so one will slip to 0-2, barring a draw.
“You have to deal with tough losses in the NFL when they happen, and you have to learn from them quickly,” noted Chargers head coach Brandon Staley.
The Giants head to Arizona to face the Cardinals, who also lost their first game, but who have no playoff ambition during this rebuilding year.