The road to recovering from a 1-3 start in the NFL is a long and difficult one.
A few weeks back, Five Thirty Eight took a look at the average final win total of teams with a given record at each point of the season. Teams that start 1-3 average a total of 6.2 wins per season. by contract, teams that start 2-2 average 8.1. Is it a shocker that a team that starts 2 games under .500 wins 2 less games on average than a team that starts at .500? It doesn’t seem that way.
Furthermore, teams that start 1-3 only make the Playoffs 14% of the time. Teams that start 2-2 make it 35% of the time. Neither is where you want to be at this point of the season, but 35% is at least a puncher’s chance. 14% is a long-shot.
All of this is to say Sunday’s game is pretty important for the Jets. You can say these are just percentages, and they don’t apply to every team. That certainly is true. These numbers do show you it has been very difficult for teams to overcome 1-3 starts. While the season would not be over with a loss to Seattle, this would be a very high hurdle to scale.
Remember two weeks ago when we talked about the difficulties 0-2 teams face before the game against Buffalo? By the numbers, 1-3 teams fare only slightly better. This game is about as important as the Buffalo one was.