View Full Version : Hot Start For NFL's Luminary Franchises

09-20-2007, 10:05 PM

Chris Colston
USA Today

For the first time since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the six "Teams of the Decade" since the 1950s have all started the season 2-0.
The New England Patriots (current), Dallas Cowboys ('90s), San Francisco 49ers ('80s), Pittsburgh Steelers ('70s), Green Bay Packers ('60s) and Detroit Lions (arguably the co-team of the '50s with the Cleveland Browns, each with three titles) are hoping to recapture their glory years.

A "retro playoff" scenario could be imminent. Since 2003, 21 of the 32 teams to start 2-0 made the postseason (65.6%).

The success of New England, Dallas and Pittsburgh is no surprise; the Patriots and Cowboys made the playoffs last year, and the Steelers won the Super Bowl two seasons ago. But the 49ers, Packers and Lions combined to go 18-30 last year. They join two other teams off to surprising 2-0 starts: Houston (6-10 in 2006) and Washington (5-11).

The Lions can credit an improved passing attack (No. 7 last year with 238.8 yards per game) to the league's best (321.5 yards per game). The addition of rookie receiver Calvin Johnson (8 catches, 131 yards, two touchdowns) and veteran Shaun McDonald (13 catches, 161 yards, one touchdown) have taken pressure off Roy Williams.

"You're not a leader unless someone is following you," coach Rod Marinelli says. "We've got some tough veteran leaders. In this league, I think that's the winning edge."

San Francisco and Green Bay have done it on defense. The Niners have allowed three touchdowns and 16.5 points per game, down from 25.8 last year.

"We have a lot of energy around here," coach Mike McCarthy said. "(It) really started coming off of last season. The offseason program, through training camp, and really now with the two wins, I just see the confidence building."

black an gold 4 life
09-20-2007, 10:42 PM
no need 2 start biteing now we have no room 4 u bandwagon people, keep putting pittsburgh down

09-21-2007, 09:17 AM
no need 2 start biteing now we have no room 4 u bandwagon people, keep putting pittsburgh down

Yes... the Steelers of the past let this kind of stuff go to their head until they get it handed to them and they have that reality check ;) Hopefully Tomlin doesn't let it happen!