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What a strange start to the 2021 National Football League season it has been for so many teams. 

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In the AFC, there are only two unbeaten teams left—the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders are both 3-0—and the Kansas City Chiefs are 1-2. 

Who would have ever predicted that one? 

Exactly half (16) of the teams in the NFL are at odds under .500 right now, and there are the same amount of teams 3-0 as 0-3 (five). 

The Detroit Lions, New York Jets and Giants, and the Jacksonville Jaguars were never making the playoffs, but the 0-3 Indianapolis Colts won 10 games last year.  

What about the other 11 1-2 teams? Can any of them turn it around and make the playoffs? 

Well, there are 17 games on the schedule this year, so that could help. But remember, those teams with better records already also get extra games. 

So which teams with losing records after Week 3 have the best shots at turning it around and making the postseason, and which ones might be so lucky?  

Let’s take a look.  

Kansa City Chiefs (1-2): the two-time defending AFC champions have suffered so far from the Super Bowl loser’s curse, and have struggled on defense. But Patrick Mahomes is too good to allow this team to finish the season anything less than 10-7: in fact, this could just be like a blip by the time the season ends. They are, though, already two games down in the division.  

Verdict: makes playoffs  

Seattle Seahawks (1-2): I am not really sure about this team. The NFC West is brutal, and the three other teams in the division all look stronger than the Seahawks after three weeks. Russell Wilson is very good, though: I think Seattle might be in trouble, but the fact that the NFC is so bad outside of the top teams could help. 

Verdict: misses playoffs 

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2): another team that could struggle due to the strength of their division, the Steelers have looked awful at times. We already knew the Browns and Ravens were probably better, but the Bengals made Pittsburgh look bad in Week 3. This might be the end of the line for the Steelers, especially in the brutal AFC. 

Verdict: misses playoffs 

New England Patriots (1-2): Mac Jones is young, and this team is rebuilding a little bit, but this would be two years running with no playoffs, while Tom Brady is out winning silverware in Tampa. The AFC East is down other than the Buffalo Bills, so that could work in their favor, but I don’t see this team winning 10 games. Last year, 10-6 was not even enough for the Dolphins to get in the playoffs, so it might not be here, either.  

Verdict: misses playoffs

So when you look over the landscape of the league right now, it might only be the Chiefs that can claw back from a losing record after Week 3 to make the playoffs, and even that might be tough. I just don’t see another team pulling it off this season. 

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