Poll: Is Sunday vs. Jets already a must-win for Patriots?
Eight quarters of football have been played by the New England Patriots so far in the 2023 season and yet the term "must-win" is already getting thrown around ahead of the Pats week three date vs. the Jets in Jersey.
It's because the numbers are not kind to teams that begin the season 0-2, let alone 0-3. According to NFL.com, from 1990-2022, just 31 of 270 teams to start 0-2 reached the playoffs (11.5%).
The same article that I pulled that stat from ranked the Pats 5th among the nine winless teams in terms of "who has the most hope to turn the season around before it's too late." New England was ranked behind Cincy, the Chargers, Minnesota and Denver, and ranked ahead of Houston, Chicago and Arizona. Not a huge vote of confidence for the Pats.
The numbers are significantly worse for teams that begin 0-3. Per CBS Sports, since the field expanded to a 12-team postseason format in 1990, teams that begin the season 0-3 have just a 2.5% chance to make the playoffs. That 2.5% equates to just four teams that have been able to turn it around in the last 33 years - the '92 San Diego Chargers, the '95 Lions, the '98 Bills and 2018 Houston Texans.
So, yeah, things get bleak if you don't find a way to grab the season's first W this weekend at MetLife.
Are you ready to call this Week 3 contest a "must-win" for the Pats?