Against Washington in week 3, the Eagles fell behind 17-7 before coming from behind and again emerging victorious. As a result — and after trailing the Jags 17-0 and the Colts 20-6 — Philadelphia became the first team since at least 1940 to start a season 3-0 despite trailing by at least 10 points in each game.
In fact, only three teams had ever overcome a deficit of a touchdown or greater in each of their first three games: the 2000 Rams, the 2000 Jets, and the 1960 Giants. Those teams finished the season 10-6, 9-7, and 6-4-2 respectively, which means they went just 16-17-2 the rest of the season after starting 9-0.
In general, teams that have started 3-0 despite constantly falling behind have not been as successful over the rest of the season as other 3-0 teams. In fact, if you add up the worst margin for each 3-0 team in each game, 25 teams have trailed by an “aggregate” of 21+ points in those three games. On average, those teams won just 53.5% of the remainder of their games.
Here’s how to read the table below: The 2011 Bills started 3-0; in week 1, the team never trailed. In week 2, Buffalo fell behind by 18 points, and in week 3, Buffalo trailed by 21 points. The “aggregate” of the largest deficits in those three games was 39 points, the lowest since 1940 prior to the 2014 Eagles (41 points). The rest of the year, Buffalo went 3-10, with a rest-of-year winning percentage of 0.231.
|Team||Year||Wk 1||Wk 2||Wk 3||Sum||ROY Record||ROY Win%|
Thirty-five teams started 3-0 while never trailing (the 2012 Falcons and 2009 Saints being the most recent).1 In the aggregate, that group of teams won 66.2% of their remaining games. In other words, it’s great for Philadelphia that the team is 3-0. It’s even greater that they get to play in the NFC East. But not all 3-0 teams are created equally, and the Eagles are certainly in the running for ugliest 3-0 team ever.
- The Bengals have trailed for just 51 seconds this year (and by one point at that), narrowly missing out on joining this club. [↩]