Three Winless Teams With the Best Shot at Making the 2019 NFL Playoffs

Dan Israeli
Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers
Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers / Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

After three weeks of action, six winless teams remain in the NFL. While some (namely the Miami Dolphins) were expected to struggle mightily this season, the list also includes some surprising teams, some of which have been dealt major injuries early on in 2019.

It will be a tough feat to pull off, as the data above shows, but these three teams have the best chance at rallying and making the playoffs this year.

3. Denver Broncos

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It's important to note that there are only six teams with winning records in the AFC, as opposed to nine in the NFC. As a result, 0-3 teams in the AFC has an easier path to make the playoffs based on the current standings. One of those teams is the Denver Broncos, who have yet to get blown out in losses to the Oakland Raiders (away), Chicago Bears (home) and Green Bay Packers (away). The Broncos also have yet to crack 20 points on offense, but they have fielded a strong defense, limiting opposing offenses to 314 scrimmage yards per game (ninth in the NFL). If the Broncos, who host the Gardner Minshew-led Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4, can establish a ground and pound game plan successfully, they may have a chance to snag a Wild Card berth when all is said and done.

2. New York Jets

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The New York Jets could have avoided this list, but they blew a 16-0 lead in the third quarter of Week 1, falling to the Buffalo Bills 17-16. After that, all hell broke lose. The Jets lost their starting quarterback, Sam Darnold, to mononucleosis, as well as two of their most important defenders in C.J. Mosley and rookie Quinnen Williams. The Jets' Week 4 bye couldn't have come early enough, as the team is hopeful to have all three players back for Week 5, when they will face the Philadelphia Eagles. While they have a tough schedule in their first three weeks post bye, things get a lot easier afterwards, especially since being in the AFC East gives them two games against the Dolphins. That leaves the door open for a late season surge into the postseason.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

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For the Pittsburgh Steelers, there has only been one key injury, but it could potentially derail their 2019 season. Ben Roethlisberger went down with an elbow issue in the team's Week 2 home loss against the Seattle Seahawks, but unlike Darnold, Big Ben has already been ruled out for the season. Stepping in his place is second-year QB Mason Rudolph, who almost led the Steelers to a road win in Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers, but ultimately fell short. The Steelers now return home for a must-win division matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, followed by two tough games at home against the Baltimore Ravens and on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers. If they Steelers can get back on track, they have enough talent on their roster to grab a Wild Card spot in the AFC.

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