Week 3 NFL Preview

Two games down. Fourteen more to go.

Seven teams are off to strong starts at 2-0: Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, Cincinnati, Denver, Houston and Philadelphia.

“It feels good to be 2-0,” says Bills running back FRED JACKSON. “We’re excited about being 2-0 but we just have to keep coming to work. It’s a great start but it’s just a start. We know we have to keep coming to work and that there will be more tests throughout the season. But as long as guys keep making plays, we like our chances.”

The chances of making the playoffs after a 2-0 start are good but far from a sure thing. Since 1990, when the current playoff format was adopted, 124 of the 196 teams (63.3 percent) to start 2-0 have qualified for the postseason.

However, with 14 games remaining, there’s plenty of time to turn things around. Since realignment in 2002, nearly 60 percent of the playoff teams (59.7 percent, 86 of 144) started the season at either 1-1 or 0-2. That includes five of the eight division champions from last year: Carolina (NFC South), Cincinnati (AFC North), Green Bay (NFC North), Indianapolis (AFC South) and Philadelphia (NFC East).

“It’s hard to win every week in this league,” says Chicago quarterback JAY CUTLER, who threw four touchdown passes as the 1-1 Bears overcame a 17-point deficit to win at San Francisco. “But we really can’t dwell on this win. There’s a lot of football left, so we just have to keep building on this and get better and better each week.”

The Bears are one of three teams to win a game this season after trailing by at least 17 points (Philadelphia in Week 1, Green Bay in Week 2). That’s the unpredictability of the NFL. And, since 1990, at least four clubs have made the playoffs each season that were not in the postseason the previous year. Will that streak continue in 2014?

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