What Are the Playoff Odds for the 0-4 Teams? Evaluating the Bears and Panthers

The Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears are 0-4 heading into Week 5. What are their chances of making the playoffs in 2023?

Through four weeks, two teams remain winless: the Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears. What does this rough start mean for either team’s playoff chances?

Only one team in NFL history has made the playoffs after starting 0-4: the 1992 San Diego Chargers. So, the odds aren’t in the favor of our two winless teams.

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Bears Take Tough Loss to Broncos

The Broncos, who were coming off of a historic 70-20 loss in Miami, were narrowly able to avoid a 0-4 start as they battled back against the Bears and won the game with a game-sealing interception.

Both the Broncos and Bears had high hopes coming into this season, but things haven’t played out as expected. The Bears were coming off a promising season and retained confidence in Justin Fields after earning the No. 1 pick but trading it away.

Solid performances from Fields just haven’t been enough to push the team to their first win. In the loss against the Broncos, he threw for 335 yards and four touchdowns. He even threw a franchise-record 16 straight completions to open the game.

It seemed as if they would avoid the 0-4 start as Fields picked apart the defense, but the shocking rally from Denver snatched away playoff hopes for Chicago.

After the Week 3 loss to the Chiefs, Fields said he was still optimistic about the team’s chances to make the playoffs.

“The Lions started 1-6 last year, and they almost made the playoffs,” Fields said, per Pro Football Talk. “We’ve got 14 left, at least.”

Well, 13 now. Things could not look much worse for the Bears, who would have to go on a historic winning streak to see any chance of making the playoffs. Losing to the Broncos is definitely not a good omen.

While the upcoming slate of opponents is winnable for the Bears with their next three matchups including the Commanders, Vikings, and Raiders, it is nearly impossible for the team to turn things around enough to see the playoffs.

Panthers Fall to Vikings

The Panthers saw a similar story as they blew a 10-0 lead against the Vikings and remained winless in Week 4 after taking a 21-13 loss.

While Bryce Young had his best NFL performance and threw for 204 yards, the run game and pass protection were not up to par. The offense just couldn’t string together enough plays to take home a win.

Things look even more grim for the Panthers, who are still finding their footing with a new quarterback and have a tough two weeks ahead of them as they face the Lions and Dolphins, both 3-1, before the bye week.

Despite the loss, Panthers head coach Frank Reich found positives in his team after the game, particularly in Young.

MORE: NFL Starting Quarterbacks for the 2023 NFL Season

“Bryce is progressing, he’s getting better,” Reich said. “I’m excited about that. We all have to continue to get a lot better.”

As the statistics show, the odds of the Panthers making the playoffs are close to nothing, but if the offense can find its identity and continue to improve, the team’s first win may not be far off.

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