What Does a 3-0 Start Mean in the NFL?

What Does a 3-0 Start Mean in the NFL?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

With a win on Monday night in Tampa against the Buccaneers, the Philadelphia Eagles will start the season 3-0 for the second year in a row. Last year, the team rode that hot start to a 14-3 finish and made it all the way to the Super Bowl. But let’s not talk about that game. The Eagles tackled as if the Chiefs were as greased as Philadelphia’s light poles.

PennStakes.com — your source for PA sportsbooks — compiled data from ChampsorChumps.us to see how every team to start 3-0 over the previous five seasons has ultimately fared.

How NFL Teams Starting 3-0 Finish

Here is how 3-0 teams have finished since 2018. The Eagles, as always, will get a lot of action on PA sports betting apps.

Year Team Final Record/Result
2022 Philadelphia Eagles 14-3, Lost in Super Bowl
2022 Miami Dolphins 9-8, Lost in AFC Wild Card Round
2021 Arizona Cardinals 11-6; Lost in NFC Wild Card Round
2021 Denver Broncos 7-10; Missed Playoffs
2021 Carolina Panthers 5-12; Missed Playoffs
2021 LA Rams 12-5; Won Super Bowl
2021 Las Vegas Raiders 10-7; Lost in AFC Wild Card Round
2020 Green Bay Packers 13-3; Lost in NFC Championship Game
2020 Kansas City Chiefs 14-2; Lost in Super Bowl
2020 Seattle Seahawks 12-4; Lost in NFC Wild Card Round
2020 Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4; Lost in AFC Wild Card Round
2020 Chicago Bears 8-8; Lost in NFC Wild Card Round
2020 Buffalo Bills 13-3; Lost in AFC Championship Game
2020 Tennessee Titans 11-5; Lost in AFC Wild Card Game
2019 New England Patriots 12-4; Lost in AFC Wild Card Game
2019 Dallas Cowboys 8-8; Missed Playoffs
2019 San Francisco 49ers 13-3; Lost in Super Bowl
2019 Kansas City Chiefs 12-4; Won Super Bowl
2019 LA Rams 9-7; Missed Playoffs
2019 Green Bay Packers 13-3; Lost in NFC Championship Game
2019 Buffalo Bills 10-6; Lost in AFC Wild Card Game
2018 LA Rams 13-3; Lost in Super Bowl
2018 Kansas City Chiefs 12-4; Lost in AFC Championship Game
2018 Miami Dolphins 7-9; Missed Playoffs

 

More Proof That 3-0 Is a Good Thing

Getting off to a good start can go a long way to determining your fate in the NFL: Over the past five seasons, 19 of the 24 teams to begin with three consecutive wins have gone on to the make the playoffs. Half of those teams have gone on to at least the Conference Championship Game and six of them have gone on to the Super Bowl. Of the Super Bowl teams to start 3-0 since 2018, the 2018 Kansas City Chiefs lost, the 2019 Chiefs won, beating the San Francisco 49ers, who also won their first three. In 2020 the Chiefs lost, in 2021 the Rams won, and unfortunately, we know what happened to the Eagles in 2022. On the bright side, every one of the past five years, at least one of the Super Bowl teams has started 3-0.

All-time, the Eagles have started 3-0 in 10 seasons — 1949, 1954 1980, 1981, 1992, 1993, 2004, 2014, 2016 and 2022. That first year, they finished 11-1 and won the whole NFL cheesesteak (this was before the Super Bowl). In 1980 (12-4), 2004 (13-3) and 2022 (14-3), they lost the Super Bowl. In 1992 they lost the Divisional title, in 1981 they lost the Wild Card game and in the other four seasons the Birds were for the birds and missed the playoffs. In only one of those non-playoff years did they finish below .500 (7-9 in 2016). In 2014 they finished 10-6 and didn’t get a post-season bid because the second-place Cardinals and Lions both went 11-5.

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Two Unbeaten Teams Meet Monday Night

Beating the Bucs might be the Eagles’ toughest test so far, having let the 0-2 Patriots and 0-2 Vikings hang around longer than they should have. Like the Eagles, the Bucs are also 2-0 but could be a fraud. Tampa Bay also beat two 0-2 teams — topping the Vikings, 20-17, in their road opener, then the Bears at home, 27-17. Without Tom Brady, the Bucs have turned to Baker Mayfield, who’s better known for insurance commercials than his NFL play. BetRivers Sportsbook PA has the Eagles a 5.5-point and -225 moneyline favorite on Monday night.

So far this season, Mayfield has completed 69% of his passes, thrown 3 TDs, no interceptions and has a 104 QB rating. Who is this guy? Lifetime, Mayfield has completed 62% of his passes, with 105 TDs, 64 INTs, and an 87 QB rating. Mayfield’s favorite target this year has been Mike Evans, who already has 12 catches for over 230 yards and 2 TDs.

As for the five 3-0 teams since 2018 that didn’t make the playoffs, they’re the 7-9 2018 Miami Dolphins, the 2019 9-7 Los Angeles Rams and 8-8 Dallas Cowboys, the 2021 5-12 Carolina Panthers and 7-10 Denver Broncos. Starting out 3-0 and then not making the playoffs is not good for job security: Dolphins coach Adam Gase, the Cowboys’ Jason Garrett, and the Broncos’ Vic Fangio all got the boot after their teams crumbled.

PennStakes.com will be watching the Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers all season long and will be providing the best PA casino bonuses.

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Author

Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist who’s worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a founding editor of bettorsinsider.com.

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