Hope thrives in the NFL.
Just ask any of the teams that have erased leads of at least 16 points and won a game in 2020: the Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Football Team or the Chicago Bears, who’ve actually done it twice. This year is the first in which at least one team has overcome a deficit of 16-or-more points and won in each of the first four weeks of the season in NFL history.
Several teams that missed the postseason last year are also on the comeback. Six teams that missed the 2019 playoffs have started this season with three wins: the Chicago Bears (3-1), Cleveland Browns (3-1), Indianapolis Colts (3-1), Los Angeles Rams (3-1), Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1). Since 1990, at least four teams each season have qualified for the playoffs after missing the postseason the year before.
The Week 5 schedule highlights two games involving those clubs. The Buccaneers travel to Chicago for a Thursday Night Football matchup (8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFLN/Amazon) while the Colts head to Cleveland on Sunday to meet the Browns (4:25 PM ET, CBS).
Coming off a 49-38 win in Week 4, Cleveland has the AFC’s top scoring offense (31.0 points per game) and lead the NFL in both takeaways (10) and turnover margin (plus six). The Colts, meanwhile, have the NFL’s top-ranked scoring defense (14.0 points allowed per game).
Only five rookie head coaches since 2009 have guided their teams to a season-opening record of 4-1 or better. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski can join that group with a win this week.