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Winless teams go head-to-head in Vikings-Panthers, Broncos-Bears Week 4 matchups

When the NFL schedule-makers finalized the 2023 slate, they likely did not predict they'd perfectly pit the only four 0-3 teams against each other in Week 4.

The schedule oddity matches the 0-3 Minnesota Vikings against the 0-3 Carolina Panthers and the 0-3 Denver Broncos against the 0-3 Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon.

It marks the first time since 2020 that two winless teams will play each other in Week 4 or later, when the Vikings faced the Houston Texans in Week 4 (a 31-23 MIN win).

While the numbers suggest things are already in dire straits for these four clubs, a loss this week all but ends their postseason hopes. Since 1990, 34 of 235 teams to start 1-3 made the postseason, with 18 winning the division and one going on to win a Super Bowl. Of the 103 teams to start 0-4, a single club made the postseason. Only the 1992 San Diego Chargers began 0-4 and made the playoffs, finishing 11-5 and losing in the Divisional Round.

The Vikings have started 0-3 for the second time in four seasons. The last time they started 0-4 was 2011, finishing 3-13.

The last time the Panthers started 0-4 was in 2010 when they began the season 0-5 and finished 2-14 before selecting Cam Newton No. 1 overall in 2011. Carolina head coach Frank Reich described his team as feeling "urgent" following three-straight losses to start the season, but "we're not desperate. You don't want to get in desperation mode," per The Athletic.

The Broncos have started 0-3 three times in the last five seasons (also 2019, 2020). They started 0-4 in 2019, 1999, 1994 and 1964.

The Bears have started 0-3 for the first time since 2016 and haven't started 0-4 since 2000.

One positive stat for Minnesota and Denver: Since 2017, the road team is 6-1 in games between winless teams in Week 4 or later, per NFL Research. The Broncos have lost six straight road games.

The Broncos (70 at MIA) and Bears (41 at KC) allowed a combined 111 points in Week 3, tied for the most points allowed in the previous week by opposing teams in NFL history.

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