DENVER (AP) — Losing a record in October doesn’t mean playoff hopes are lost.
Last year, the Patriots, Steelers and Eagles rebounded from 1-3 starts to qualify for the postseason. Both the Chiefs and his 49ers opened with his 2-3 record to reach the conference championship game.
Going into Week 5, nine teams have lost records, including three 2021 playoff teams.
The odds are that at least one of those nine teams could bounce back and reach the postseason.
The Indianapolis Colts made their first move by beating Denver in overtime on Thursday night with a 2-2-1 record. AFC South is one of his four divisions to not have a club with a winning record.
Colts manager Frank Reich said, “We’re not happy with a 2-2-1, but we’re there.” That’s what we’ve been saying. It’s a good start too, we have to get better….I have a feeling for this team and I think it will continue to do well.We just need to keep finding ways to get better.”
The Colts started 1-5 in Reich’s first season as coach in 2018. Ultimately he finished 10-6 and advanced to his round of the playoff division. Andrew Luck was the quarterback. They opened last year with his 1-4 against Carson Wentz and finished 9-8, missing out on the playoffs by one game.
Matt Ryan struggled with seven interceptions and 11 fumbles in his first five games, but he fared better in his final two drives against Denver.
“I’m not going to flinch in that situation,” Ryan said. “I’m not going to be nervous. There’s no reason to. That’s how I believed.”
Russell Wilson and the Broncos (2-3) have a long way to go in a tough AFC West. They missed an opportunity to give the Colts a win when Wilson threw in a pick late in the fourth quarter. Then Wilson failed to see his receiver open on his pass on his 4th down in overtime.
“I think I let us down,” Wilson said. “I know I’m a winner. I know I’m a fighter. I believe. I know I’ll keep going, I’ll keep going, there’s still a season left, there’s so many opportunities left, I believe in these guys every day, and I know they believe in me too. We believe in each other.”
Teams losing records heading into the weekend:
Raiders: (1-3): The Raiders, who reached the playoffs with 10 wins last season, started 0-3 under new coach Josh McDaniels. They defeated Denver for their first win, but will face the Chiefs on Monday night (3-1).
Steelers (1-3): The Steelers made the playoffs last year with a 1-3 start alongside Ben Roethlisberger. Rookie QB Kenny Pickett.
Patriots (1-3): Like Pittsburgh last year, the Patriots went 1-3 into the playoffs. It’s going to be harder to do the same this season with a banged-up Mack Jones.
Saints (1-3): The Saints have to stop flipping the ball and need the health of Jameis Winston, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas.
Commanders (1-3): A Wentz-led comeback victory in Week 1 gave Washington reason for excitement. The team’s weaknesses were exposed after three consecutive losses.
Panthers (1-3): Baker Mayfield has done nothing to prove the Browns were wrong in dumping him.
Lions (1-3): Jared Goff led the league’s highest scoring offense. But the problem is the defense is giving up even more points.
Texans (0-3-1): The Texans had a chance to win the game, but made too many mistakes to finish.