Saturday, September 26, 2009
It's only Week 3, so chillax
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
A few reminders for fans getting too lathered up or excessively despondent over how great or awful their teams are two games into the season:
- The Buffalo Bills started out 5-1 last year and didn't make the playoffs.
- The Miami Dolphins opened last season 0-2 and won the AFC East.
- The Sports Illustrated cover curse will claim a victim or two before it's all over.
- The New England Patriots lost their first two games in 2001, including a seven-point loss to the New York Jets in Week 2, but claimed their first Super Bowl title five months later.
- Like Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, Ryan Leaf also started his NFL career 2-0.
- One significant injury can change the course of a season. There are players on each team a fan would dread losing to a torn ACL or a dislocated something-or-other.
- The 1998 Bills started 0-3 but made the playoffs.
- Rex Ryan joined two other rookie head coaches who started their careers by not allowing an offensive touchdown in back-to-back games: Red Miller with the 1977 Denver Broncos (AFC champs) and Kay Stephenson for the 1983 Bills (didn't make the playoffs).
- Four words: performance-enhancing substances policy.
- Pete Carroll won his first two games as Jets coach. He finished 6-10 and didn't return.
- Al Groh won his first four games as a Jets coach. He finished 9-7 and didn't return.
- The Jets have opened 2-0 nine times in franchise history. They've gone on to make the playoffs twice: in 2004 and 1968, when they won the Super Bowl. Their combined record in seasons when they win their first two games is 63-56-2.
- Jerod Mayo will be coming back for the Patriots eventually.
- If Terrell Owens can heat up, the Bills' already-surprising offense can do some damage.
- The San Francisco 49ers are 2-0, just like they were two years ago. They finished 5-11.
- The Bills shut out the Patriots 31-0 in the 2003 opener. SI put the Bills on the cover. They couldn't reach the playoffs, and the Patriots won the Super Bowl.
- The New Orleans Saints are the fifth team in NFL history to post 45 points in each of their first two games. Only two of the others reached the postseason.
- Saints quarterback Drew Brees tied Charley Johnson's 44-year-old record with nine touchdowns through the first two games. Johnson's 1965 St. Louis Cardinals went 5-9.