The Worst 2-0 Football Team in the NFL

Sep 25, 2022

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It’s the 2022 feel-good story, right? The New York Giants have struggled through three straight head coaches that didn’t last past Year 2. Brian Daboll, former Buffalo offensive coordinator, was hired in the offseason to try and get the Giants headed in the right direction. After two weeks of the 2022 NFL season, Daboll and the Giants are 2-0. The turnaround is happening!

Or is it?

The Giants Wins

New York has two wins so far this season. They beat Tennessee 21-20 in Week 1 after a gutsy two-point conversion call by Daboll. Last week, the Giants won when K Graham Gano hit a 56-yard field goal with just over three minutes to play against Carolina. Then, Daboll gambled and picked up a key first down late in the game to run the clock out.

The combined record of the Titans and the Panthers at this point in the season is 0-4. Carolina hasn’t won more than five games in a few years and the Titans appear to be on a downward slide. It’s not like the Giants beat the Bills or Chiefs. The question then is – Are the Giants one of the worst 2-0 teams in NFL history?

The History

Since the NFL merger in 1970, there have been 11 teams that have started an NFL season 2-0 with a four-point or less point differential. The 2012 Philadelphia Eagles won their first two games that season by one point each. After the 2-0 start, the Eagles won just two more games and finished 4-12.

History says that the Giants probably aren’t as good as their 2-0 record suggests. The teams in this category – 2-0 with a point differential of +4 or less – have gone on to finish their respective seasons with a .455 winning percentage. That is the equivalent of 7.7 wins and 9.3 losses in a 17-game season.

Three of the 11 teams went on to 11-win season. The Giants happened to be one of them. In 2016, the Giants started 2-0 with a 20-19 win over Dallas and a 16-13 victory over the Saints. New York ended up 11-5 and earned an NFC wild card. The Giants got beat by Green Bay in the playoffs that year.

Seattle in 2019 and Carolina in 2003 were the other two teams to start a season 2-0 with a +4 or less point differential and go on to win 11 games. That is not the norm. In looking at 2-0 teams regardless of their point differential, it is interesting to find that those teams finish the rest of the season with a .567 winning percentage.

In 2022 so far, there are five other teams in addition to the Giants that are 2-0. Miami (+17), Buffalo (+55), Kansas City (+26), Philadelphia (+20), and Tampa Bay (+26) are all unbeaten after two games. When you don’t account for point differential, all 2-0 teams since the merger go on to win 9.6 games and lost 7.4 games per season.

Are the Giants the Worst 2-0 in NFL History?

The answer to that question will come when the 2022 season concludes, but precedent is not on the side of the Giants. Only five of the 11 teams on this list finished their season with a winning record.

The Giants currently rank 18th in DVOA which, if you don’t know what that is, it’s a measure of the Giants taking into account the quality of their opponents. Even more telling is ESPN’s Power Index. The Giants are currently 27th out of 32 teams. They rank right behind No. 26 Atlanta. The Falcons are 0-2.

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