Deshaun Watson Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans runs with the ball against Wesley Woodyard #59 of the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at Nissan Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With only 16 games on the regular-season schedule, getting off to a slow start almost always spells trouble for NFL teams. Going 0-2 results in missing the playoffs around 90 percent of the time, and six teams find themselves in that very predicament before “Monday Night Football” in Week 2.

The New Orleans Saints made the playoffs last year after a 0-2 start. The Miami Dolphins did it in the 2016 season. Which team might be able to rebound in the 2018 NFL season?

Below is a ranking of the playoff chances for every 0-2 team. The list doesn’t include the Seattle Seahawks or Chicago Bears, one of whom will almost certainly be 0-2 after they meet in the week’s final contest.

1) Houston Texans

Deshaun Watson said he wasn’t hitting the panic button after Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans, and the quarterback is right to remain calm when it comes to Houston’s playoff chances. The Texans have plenty of winnable games coming up with AFC East and NFC East teams on their schedule. The AFC South is relatively weak when you get past Jacksonville, and despite what happened in Week 2, Houston is easily the second-best team in the division when Marcus Mariota is banged up.

Watson still seems to be working his way back from his ACL tear. The quarterback took a step closer toward looking like his old self when he had a 107.6 passer rating against Tennessee. The offensive line will probably be an issue all season long. Houston needs. J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney to have more of an impact on defense.

2) Oakland Raiders

If you look hard enough, there are reasons to believe that Oakland could potentially be respectable in 2018. The defense really wasn’t bad for most of the team’s Week 1 matchup with the Rams, and the unit played well by holding the Broncos to 20 points in Denver in Week 2. A pair of poor fourth quarters has the Raiders sitting at 0-2 before having to fly across the country for a game in Miami.

Derek Carr completed 29 of 32 passes in Denver. Will he look like that quarterback or the one that was picked off three times in the season opener for the rest of the season? The answer likely lies somewhere in between, which won’t be good enough to get Oakland into the playoffs. The AFC West might have three legitimate playoff contenders, led by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, who Oakland still has to play twice.

3) Detroit Lions

The Lions are staring a 0-3 start in the face with a matchup against New England set for Sunday night. In a loaded NFC and a division that features two legitimate Super Bowl contenders, that’s almost impossible to recover from. Even though it was Week 1, Detroit had to win their season opener against the Jets. San Francisco isn’t exactly unbeatable, and a loss against the 49ers can’t give Lions’ fans much confidence going forward.

Any optimism for 2018 would come from having a proven quarterback in Matthew Stafford and recording consecutive winning seasons. First-year head coach Matt Patricia might have his work cut out for him with a bad defense in a division with arguably three good teams.

4) New York Giants

It’s becoming abundantly clear that the Giants were dead wrong in thinking that they should draft Saquon Barkley so they could be competitive with Eli Manning still under center. Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. can only affect the game so much when New York’s immobile quarterback has no time to throw the ball. Manning’s accuracy remains questionable on the rare occasions that he is sitting comfortably in the pocket, and the quarterback is 12 games under .500 since winning his second Super Bowl MVP award in February 2012.

The Giants have to win games with a stingy defense and big plays from their two star playmakers. That probably won’t happen too often since New York has been dominated in the trenches for two straight weeks.

Eli Manning Giants Cowboys
Tyrone Crawford #98 of the Dallas Cowboys sacks Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

5) Arizona Cardinals

It’s going to be a long season for the Cardinals, who haven’t lost more than eight games in a season since 2012. Arizona has six points in two games, and they’ve been outscored by a total of 52 points. The defense has taken a step back from a season ago. There doesn’t seem to be much reason to keep starting Sam Bradford. Ready or not, rookie quarterback Josh Rosen could be under center sooner rather than later.

With David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald still on the team, there should be games in which the Cardinals are able to put up some points. However, they’ve got a difficult upcoming schedule. After Arizona’s Week 9 bye, Oakland is the only team they’ll face that had a losing record in 2017. Games against Seattle, Kansas City, Minnesota, Denver and San Francisco from Weeks 4-8 will be no picnic, either.

6) Buffalo Bills

Buffalo is undoubtedly the NFL’s worst team. It became clear in the first half of their 47-3 loss to Baltimore in the season opener, and their 31-20 Week 2 loss to the Chargers was barely competitive. The team lost so many key contributors from last year’s playoff team in the offseason, including three starting offensive linemen. With no protection and little depth at wide receiver, Josh Allen doesn't have much chance to succeed as a rookie, especially after he couldn’t complete 60 percent of his passes in college.

The 2018 season for Buffalo is about hoping Allen can grow and making sure he doesn’t get killed. That second part might be easier said than done.