Rough opening week for division winners

September, 12, 2011
9/12/11
2:15
PM ET
At least five NFL teams per year since 1996 have earned playoff berths after failing to do so the previous season.

Five of the eight defending division champs lost Sunday, tying the NFL record set last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The New England Patriots would have to lose at Miami on Monday night to break the record.

The NFC West again appears wide open, and wider open than anticipated after the St. Louis Rams suffered injuries to Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson and others during their defeat to Philadelphia.

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