Since 1978 when the NFL went to the 16-game schedule, and excluding the 1982 abbreviated strike season (9 games), teams win the first game of the season are more than twice as likely to make the playoffs as teams that lose in the opener:
Of the 490 teams that won openers, 258 went to the playoffs (152 won division titles).
Of the 490 teams that lost the opener, 111 went to the playoffs (66 won division titles).
Last year, seven of the 12 teams that made the playoffs were winners in the first game β Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, New England and San Francisco.
In the 2010 season, eight of 12 teams in the post-season took the opener β Baltimore, Chicago, Green Bay, the Chiefs, New England, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Seattle.