"SO, YOU'RE telling me there's a chance."

Just as Lloyd Christmas – Jim Carrey's character from the iconic '90s movie Dumb and Dumber – reacted to his one-in-a-million odds of charming the love of his life, four clubs can hold out hope of completing a September miracle.

Carlton, Sydney, North Melbourne and Melbourne are languishing on four premiership points, with just one win from the first six rounds of the season.

It's a precarious position, but one that isn't impossible to climb out of.

Of the 68 teams to have started with a 1-5 record or worse in the past 25 AFL seasons, dating back to 1994, two have clawed their way into the finals.

Hawthorn achieved the feat in 2010, starting 1-5 before winning 11 of their remaining 16 games, to go with four losses and a draw, to finish seventh in the home and away season

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Sydney went a step further in 2017.

The Swans' impressive run of finals appearances was on track to end after losing their first six games of the season.

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However, they rattled off 14 wins from their last 16 games to rise to sixth on the ladder and punch their ticket to September.

Two out of 68. That's a 2.94 per cent success rate.

That drops to 2.17 per cent when you narrow it down to teams which have started precisely 1-5 – with the Hawks the outlier among 46 teams with that record in the past 25 seasons.

The Swans haven't missed the finals since 2009, but after their 41-point loss to Greater Western Sydney last weekend, Swans coach John Longmire all but conceded a rebuild was in order.

The Blues are firmly in the 'green shoots' rebuilding phase, while the Kangaroos topped up with recycled players in the off-season but are off the pace.

That leaves Melbourne, last year's preliminary finalists.

Their best is good enough for a late-season surge, but time isn't on their side.

Unlikely, yes. Impossible, no.