Don't Kill the Mellinger

Columnist Sam Mellinger's thoughts on sports and other important stuff

Ever wondered what happened to the last decade of 5-0 NFL teams? Click here!


10/07/2013 12:02 AM

05/16/2014 10:24 AM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — I mean no disrespect to what the Chiefs did three weeks ago, when they went to Philadelphia, on a short week against the Eagles with everything that went along with Andy Reid’s return to his old town but I think the Chiefs just put together their most impressive win of the season.

Without Jake Locker, the Titans may or may not be the best team the Chiefs have beaten this season. But this was certainly the best defense the Chiefs have faced, it was on the road, and the Chiefs had to come back from their first fourth quarter deficit of the season.

In the end, they did it with defense, again, with resiliency, with teamwork

, and I believe I just set a personal record for hyperlinks in one sentence.

Anyway, they’re 5-0 now, which means we all want to know what that means. The short answer is that 90 percent of teams that’ve started 5-0 in the past 23 years have made the playoffs, according to this story on

More specifically, in the last 10 years, 23 teams have started 5-0. Twenty made the playoffs. Here’s the entire group:

2012 Texans:

lost their sixth game. Finished 12-4 and won the AFC South, but faded down the stretch. Lost three of their last four, beat the Bengals in the wild card round and then lost 41-28 at New England in the divisional round.

2012 Falcons:

started 8-0, finished 13-3 and lost to the Fighting Colin Kaepernicks in the playoffs. Tony Gonzalez cried.

2011 Packers:

started 13-0 and didn’t lose until running into those buzzsaw Chiefs and interim coach Romeo Crennel. Lost their first playoff game, at home against the eventual champion Giants.

2011 Lions

: finished 10-6 and made the playoffs, losing the wild card game in New Orleans. The Lions sucked on defense, finishing 23rd in points and yards surrendered. Gave up 27 or more points in eight of their last nine, including the playoff loss.

2009 Colts:

started 14-0, then rested their starters in the last two regular season games. Won their first two playoff games easily, then lost the Super Bowl to New Orleans.

2009 Broncos:

started 6-0, then lost all but two of their last 10 games. Josh McDaniels’ only full season as a head coach.

2009 Vikings

: Brett Favre’s first year in Minnesota, the Vikings started 6-0. Lost the NFC championship game to the Saints in a game that would be featured prominently in the BountyGate stuff.

2009 Saints

: started 13-0, then lost their last three regular season games, then won the Super Bowl.

2009 Giants

: lost their sixth game. And seventh. And eighth. Ninth, too. Finished 8-8, giving up more than 40 points in three of their last four games. That 5-0 start did include a win at Arrowhead.

2008 Titans

: started 10-0 with starting quarterback Kerry Collins. Yep. Finished 13-3, lost their first playoff game to the Ravens.

2007 Colts

: started 7-0. Won the division, then lost to the Chargers in their first playoff game.

2007 Patriots

: started 18-0, but finished 0-1 in games where a man made his only NFL catch with his helmet.

2007 Cowboys

: lost their sixth game. Finished 13-3 and won the NFC East, but lost the divisional playoff game at home to the Giants.

2006 Bears:

started 7-0. Finished the regular season 13-3 and lost the Super Bowl to the Colts. Finished second in scoring, third in defense.

2006 Colts:

started 9-0. Won the Super Bowl, including a classic playoff game over the Patriots.

2005 Colts

: lot of Colts on this list, and a lot of them sound like this: started 13-0, then lost in the first round of the playoffs.

2004 Eagles

: Andy Reid’s best team started 7-0, finished the regular season 13-3, and lost the Super Bowl by three points to the Patriots.

2004 Patriots

: started 6-0, finished 14-2, and won another Super Bowl. Coordinators Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel left after the season, and, well, they’ve each made a lot of money.

2004 Jets

: lost their sixth game and finished 10-6. Won a playoff game (against the Chargers) with Chad Pennington, then took the eventual Super Bowl champion Steelers into overtime on the road. Even had to start Quincy Carter three games.

2003 Panthers:

lost their sixth game. Finished 11-5 and went all the way to the Super Bowl, losing to Adam Vinatieri and the Patriots. Panthers won four overtime games this years, including one on the road against the Rams in the playoffs.

2003 Colts:

lost their sixth game. Finished 12-4 and won two playoff games including one you might remember where they never punted in Kansas City. Lost to the Patriots in the conference championship.

2003 Chiefs

: You’d probably rather just move on.

2003 Vikings: won their first six games, then lost seven of their last 10.


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