One of the things the NFL and its commissioner Roger Goodell, strive for is parity (not to be confused with parody). According to the dictionary, parity means: the state or condition of being equal, especially regarding status or pay. They do this through rules like a salary cap, tampering penalties, the draft, and spending minimums. Overall they do a good job, preventing dynasties like the San Francisco 49ers with Joe Montana or the Dallas Cowboys with Troy Aikman.
The exception to the rule seems to be the New England Patriots that just keep winning as long as they have Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
This year the balance seems to be strong at the start and the '72 Miami Dolphins can start chilling the champagne early this year. The '72 Dolphins were the last team to go undefeated from the first game through the Super Bowl. The surviving members get together for a toast after the last undefeated team loses each year. Surprisingly, for this early in the season, there is only one team still undefeated: the 4-0 Kansas City Chiefs. And their latest victory came on a last second field goal by rookie kicker Harrison Butker that was signed just two weeks ago off of the Carolina Panthers practice squad.
The last time there was only one undefeated team left after four weeks was 2010 — and it was the Chiefs who went on to win their division. Good news for Kansas City fans.
But it's more than just the one team being undefeated. As we have reached the first quarter of the season, only eight teams have losing records. Which means that 3/4th of the teams are at .500 or above. Nine teams are sitting with 3-1 records, one with a 2-1 (due to hurricane Irma) and 13 at 2-2. No team has come out of the gate as the clear frontrunner, which means that almost every team has to feel like they have a shot at the playoffs — exactly what parity is supposed to do. Fans won't go to games if their team has no chance to win.
The teams that really need to get a win though are the New York Giants, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers. All of them are 0-4 and in a division with a 3-1 team… or in the case of the Chargers, a 4-0 team. Since the AFL/NFL merger, only the 1992 San Diego Chargers were able to make the playoffs after an 0-4 start by going 11-1 down the stretch. No 0-5 team has ever turned it around that much.
Good news for the Chargers and Giants — they play each other this week, and unless they tie, one of them will finally get a win. The Browns host the New York Jets while the 49ers travel to play the Indianapolis Colts. Both winnable games, but I wouldn't call them the favorite in either.
As for the 4-0 Chiefs… they're heading into Reliant Stadium to play the Houston Texans, who are 2-2, but just beat the Tennessee Titans 57-14 behind rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson. It won't be an easy game to keep their streak alive.