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Fast start usually equals playoff berth

Originally Published: April 15, 2009
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Playoff berths, and even some Super Bowl championships, are won in November and December. It's an adage almost as old as the NFL itself.

How a team performs in the winter months -- the degree of momentum it builds up as it prepares to enter the playoffs -- is typically critical for a franchise.

But the numbers demonstrate that, although the season's first quarter isn't quite as important as the final two months of the year, it is still extremely crucial. In fact, a franchise's ...

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