A 3-0 Start Improves Your Super Bowl Odds
By Jerry Tapp
Seven teams — the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks — are undefeated after the first three weeks of the 2013 season. For a few of these teams, the 3-0 start is something new. Here's a quick look at the last time each of eight teams started the season 3-0.
Chicago: They won their first three games in 2010 and then lost their next contest to the New York Giants. They finished the season 11-5, made the playoffs and eventually lost to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game
Denver: Last time they started the season 3-0 was in 2009. They started that season by winning six straight, had the bye week and then lost eight of their last 10. They finished the season 8-8, missing the playoffs.
Kansas City: Kansas City started 3-0 in 2010. They ended the season with 10 wins and lost a Wild Card playoff game to Baltimore. The Chiefs went 3-0 that season, had the bye week, and then lost their next two games.
Miami: Of the current 3-0 teams, the Dolphins have had the longest wait for a 3-0 start; they last started 3-0 in 2002. Unfortunately, they lost their fourth game in 2002 and missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
New England: The last time the Pats went 3-0 was their 16-0 regular season in 2007. Their only loss that season was a Super Bowl defeat at the hands of the New York Giants, 17-14.
New Orleans: Saints fans are excited about this year's 3-0 start because they hope it mirrors their last 3-0 start; in 2009 the Saints started 3-0, extended that record to 13-0 before losing their last three games, and then won three straight to win the Super Bowl that season.
Seattle: The Seahawks last started 3-0 in 2006. They lost their fourth game that year and finished the season 9-7. They made the playoffs and won one and lost one in the postseason that year.
In the last two seasons (2011, 2012), six teams (three each year) started 3-0. Of those six, four made the playoffs; two did not.
Of the 24 playoff teams over the past two seasons, four started the year 3-0, 12 started the season 2-1, and eight were 1-2 after three games.
Taking a look at the past 94 Super Bowl teams, a 3-0 or 2-1 start has been most common of the title game opponents (this past year’s Super Bowl opponents were both 2-1 after Week 3). Eighty-four of the 94 Super Bowl teams were either 3-0 or 2-1 to start that season, (89.4 percent). If you add in the two teams that started 2-0-1, then 86 of the 94 (91.5 percent) Super Bowl teams were either 3-0, 2-0-1 or 2-1 in the first three games in their Super Bowl year.
Here's a breakdown of the record of the Super Bowl teams after Week 3 of that season.
Record after three games, Super Bowl teams
3-0: 48 teams (22 won the Super Bowl; 26 lost the Super Bowl)
2-0-1: 2 teams (one won the Super Bowl; one lost the Super Bowl)
2-1: 36 teams (19 won the Super Bowl; 17 lost the Super Bowl)
1-1-1: 3 teams (one won the Super Bowl; two lost the Super Bowl)
1-2: 5 teams (four won the Super Bowl; one lost the Super Bowl)
Note: The last team to win the Super Bowl after starting the season 1-2 were the New York Giants in the 2007 season.