How Often Do Teams with 0-2 Starts Find Success?

How Often Do Teams with 0-2 Starts Find Success?
By Lou Monaco
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The Pittsburgh Steelers – and fans who back them at PA sportsbooks – are hoping for a much better outcome than the team had on Sunday. The Steelers were leveled, 30-7, at home last week by the San Francisco 49ers.

Down 20-7 at halftime, the Steelers were shut out in the second half, managing only 239 total yards for the game, just 41 of those on the ground. A proud Steelers team with playoff ambitions and looking to keep coach Mike Tomlin’s streak of non-losing seasons intact does not want to drop their first two games.

Just how tough is it to make the playoffs after an 0-2 start? Utilizing, – your source for PA sportsbook promo codes – looked at how teams since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger ended up the rest of the NFL season after starting their season with an 0-2 record. There have been 406 teams that have started 0-2 since the 1970 NFL merger. Here is what we found out:

Performance of NFL Teams Starting 0-2

Result # of Teams Percentage
Winning Season 57 14.0%
Making the Playoffs 399.6%
Making the Super Bowl 4 1.0%
Winning the Super Bowl 3 0.7%


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Tough Road Ahead for 0-2 Clubs

A total of 57 teams (14%) went on to have a winning season after starting the season 0-2 and 39 of those (9.6%) made the playoffs. Advancing in the postseason is tough, as only four of those teams (1%) went on to make the Super Bowl, with three of them (0.7%) actually winning it.

To date, the best record of 0-2 teams is a final record of 12-4 (2022 Cincinnati Bengals, 2013 Carolina Panthers). Last season, there were six 0-2 teams: the Bengals, Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans.

Monday Night Matchup

The Steelers will host an AFC North rival, the 1-0 Cleveland Browns, on Monday Night Football (ESPN, 8:15 p.m.). The Browns routed Cincinnati, 24-3, at home last Sunday. In the game, Cleveland limited Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to 14-for-31 passing for just 81 yards.

At BetMGM Sportsbook PA, the Browns are a 2.5-point and -140 moneyline favorite over the Steelers (+110), with the over/under game total at 38.5 points. Pittsburgh has won three of the last four matchups, including a 28-14 home victory on Jan. 8, and is 6-4 in the last 10. 



Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media ( in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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