Winless preseasons cause for concern?

August, 31, 2012
8/31/12
1:00
PM ET
Wins and losses generally do not matter in the preseason. The summer is a time for evaluating rosters and putting together the right combination of players.

But when a team goes winless in exhibition play -- and looks awful doing it -- it does catch your attention.

It’s been a shaky preseason to say the least in the AFC East. The Miami Dolphins (0-4) capped their first winless preseason since 1989 with a 30-13 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday. The New York Jets (0-4) and Buffalo Bills (0-4) both matched the Dolphins with losses Thursday night in their preseason finales.

The Dolphins, Jets and Bills have all showed significant holes, whether it’s Miami’s wide receivers, New York’s inability to score a single touchdown, or Buffalo’s lack of depth on the second and third units.

But do winless preseasons matter? The answer is yes.

According to ESPN Stats and Information, only 5 of 21 (19 percent) winless teams in the preseason went on to make the playoffs in the past decade. Of those five teams, the Indianapolis Colts did it twice with quarterback Peyton Manning, in 2005 and 2010.

The Dolphins, Jets and Bills will try to be a part of that 19 percent minority who couldn’t win a game in the preseason but turned it on when it mattered in the regular season.

Will either winless AFC East make the playoffs this year?

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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