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San Francisco Leads the Way: A Look at the 2-0 Teams and Most Similar Starts

On Monday, I looked at the 0-2 teams by taking a look back at past teams that started with the same record and had the most similar points scored, points against, passing and rushing differential stats, and turnover margins.

Today, we’ll do the same with the 2-0 teams and see what surprises are in store, and which successful teams (and not so successful teams) started the year like each of our undefeateds. Point difference, of course, matters, but even though this simple system isn’t adjusting for strength of schedule, I do think it finds its way into the system. The team with the top projected win total does not have the best point differential through two weeks.

The teams are presented by overall season weighted win total (including the 2-0 start) based on the ten most similar starts.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (11.0 wins)

Four of the top five comps (outrushing opponents, decent by not huge point differentials) for the 49ers reached the Super Bowl. Not surprising considering how good the 49ers have looked through two games that they would top the list.

Super Bowl Teams: 4 out of 10

Playoff Teams: 7 of 10

HOUSTON TEXANS (10.2 wins)

Houston’s top comp is a Pittsburgh Steelers team that won the Super Bowl as a wildcard, but winning the division shouldn’t be an issue for the Texans. There are a couple of teams with 10+ losses that show up on the Texans list as teams with a great point differential through two games. However, the Texans are a much safer pick to continue, and I would take the over on this average win total.

Super Bowl Teams: 1 out of 10

Playoff Teams: 7 of 10

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (10.2 wins)

San Diego’s most similar team is last year’s Texans team that jumped on the Colts and Dolphins early.

We don’t know how good the Chargers will be this year, based on the early results, and they’ve had a tendency to disappoint.

Super Bowl Teams: 3 out of 10

Playoff Teams: 6 of 10

 

ATLANTA FALCONS (10.0 wins)

The Falcons have started the year with a good point differential, while still getting out gained on the ground and beating teams through the air and with turnovers. Their top comp is another team that reached the Super Bowl, the 1994 Chargers.

Super Bowl Teams: 3 out of 10

Playoff Teams: 7 of 10

ARIZONA CARDINALS (9.6 wins)

Low scoring, winning close games, while getting out gained, that’s what the Cardinals look like. The only great team that shows up here were the Dirty Bird Falcons in 1998. Plenty, though, won at least half their remaining games.

Super Bowl Teams: 1 out of 10

Playoff Teams: 6 of 10

 

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8.9 wins)

Close games (Eagles are first team to win both games to start season by 1 point) out gaining opponents significantly but struggling with turnovers, those are the calling cards of these Eagles. The two most similar teams, the 2007 Broncos with Jay Cutler and Spurrier’s Redskins in 2003, lost more games than they won on the season.

The Eagles will hope that they can emulate the Greatest Show on Turf, a team that continued to roll to wins despite turnovers. More high variance results from Eagles-like teams, which is why they show up at the bottom of the list. Fewest playoff teams (5), but three of those reached the Super Bowl. I would take the Eagles to join the list of playoff teams and think they will have more staying power than those Broncos and Redskins.

Super Bowl Teams: 3 out of 10

Playoff Teams: 5 of 10

[photo via US Presswire]

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