While you might have a great argument about putting the 0-4 teams (Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams) out of the discussion for a possible playoff spot, there are a bunch of 1-3 teams that you cannot shut the door on the possibility of a turnaround and playoff run. At least not just yet.
The current 1-3 teams includes the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. Most of those teams are not going to make that necessary about-face that could start them to the post season, but there definitely is at least one team there that could certainly right the ship and still win their division, or at least fight for a Wild Card slot.
The 2001 New England Patriots started the season 1-3 and not only made the playoffs but won their first of three Super Bowls in the decade. According to the NFL, since the current playoff format began in 1990, 22 teams have gone from losing records after four weeks to making the post season, most recently the Minnesota Vikings in 2008. Since the Patriots Super Bowl victory, two teams have made it to their conference Championship Game (Tennessee-2002, San Diego-2007). In fact, the San Diego Chargers were the lone team on this list to go from an 0-4 start to making the playoffs (1992).
This year the Philadelphia Eagles were being hailed as the next "Dream Team," due to their overly successful free agent feeding frenzy that brought in a bevy of stars from around the league. Those guys joined an already star-studded lineup led by QB Michael Vick and quick became one of the league's Super Bowl favorites. However, injuries and poor play have seen them go from the top of the heap to the bottom of their own division.
With three quarters of the season remaining, there is no reason why the Eagles cannot turn it around and rise to the top of the NFC East, a division very much still up for grabs with no clear cut leader. There could also be the surprise team to rise from the ashes other than the Eagles, although it is hard to imagine any of the other 1-3 teams outside of the NFL's weakest division, the NFC West, making a run to the post season.
With that in mind, remember we have only spoken about the 1-3 teams making the playoffs and have not even begun to debate which 2-2 teams can rebound and make it to the post season, much less still win their division. That list of teams is way to numerous to discuss at this time, so when you look at teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets, both recent victims of the Baltimore Ravens, don't be so quick to consider them down and out.
Not just yet.