Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ranking The NFL's 10 Biggest Disappointments

The Lions Matt Stafford has already been benched in a game this season.

What is a disappointment?  A team that didn't meet our expectations for where they should be at after Week 6 of the NFL season.  There is a variety of reasons the teams who are featured here are on this list.  Injuries have hit a few hard.  Age has hit a couple.  Tough schedules have felled others.  Some, it is just perception.  Some of these might snap out of it while others will realize that they are as bad as their record indicates.  So let's check out the list.


Sure, if before the season began I told you that the Cowboys would be 2-3, you'd put them much higher on this list.  However, the fact is that Tony Romo and Dez Bryant have been out and will be out for a while.

Good news:  They have already beaten Philly and the Giants, which will pay dividends down the road.  They get both again plus the Redskins twice.  At some point, they'll get Romo and (hopefully) Bryant back.  It isn't like the NFC East is a runaway by any means.  As long as Dallas can stay afloat, they can win this division.

Bad news:  But when will those two get back?  And how good will they be when they do?  The Eagles are warming up and the Giants let two games get by them or they'd be ahead by a nice margin.  And staying afloat means navigating through the next few weeks when they get the Giants (in NYC),  Seahawks and Eagles.  They could be at 2-6 really quick and needing an exceptional finish to make the postseason.  That will be hard to do with the Panthers and Packers down the line.


The only reason they are on this list is because a few weeks ago, people had this team buried.  Chip Kelly was crazy and the Eagles were lost.

Good news:  They are only 3-3, but are sitting atop the NFC East.  With the Cowboys injury woes (see above) and the Giants not taking full advantage, the Eagles are right where they want to be.  Plus, this defense is only giving up 18.3 ppg.  Look at the last two games and they blew out the Saints and Giants.

Bad news:  They have a tough schedule.  They must travel to Carolina, New England, Dallas and New York plus host Arizona.  All teams have some tough games but if Philly wants to stay on top, they got to pull a few of those out.


The Texans weren't picked to be much more than a possible wildcard team, so it isn't like we are all wondering what happened.  Still, this team was supposed to be a solid defensive unit with an offense that had playmakers.  Problem is that they don't have a quarterback.

Good news:  The AFC South is so bad that the Texans still have a good look at a division title.  It isn't like the Colts are running away with it.  If they can get anyone to step up behind center then they have a shot.

Bad news:  Who could that possibly be?


The Chargers have been exciting to watch, but that means nothing in the record column.  Five of their six games have been nail biters, but close means nothing unless you're throwing grenades.  Two of their losses have been at Cincinnati and at Green Bay, no slouches.

Good news:  The offense works and the defense hasn't been awful.  Again, they've been in nearly every game so they are close.  Plus the AFC West, outside of Denver, is bad and there is opportunity to move up.  Plus, the Chargers get to face Denver twice and can pick up ground.  The rest of the schedule is soft.

Bad news:  The Browns are also soft, and they went into San Diego and beat the Chargers.  I'd be a bit more hopeful about the Bolts chances if not for that glaring defeat.  Those Denver games are the only ones against a winning team the rest of the way, so they cannot have another letdown like that.


The Dolphins were a trendy pick to make some noise in the AFC East.  However, their hopes for the Patriots being without Tom Brady were dashed and the team got off to a rocky 1-3 start.  That retooled defense was failing and Ryan Tannehill wasn't getting better.

Good news:  Joe Philbin was fired and the team has seemed to wake up under Dan Campbell.  In reality, they're only 1.5 games back of a wildcard spot (not that we're tracking that right now).

Bad news: You couldn't have had an easier schedule to start the season.  Redskins, Jaguars, Bills, Jets and Titans?  Coming up they'll have a three-game road trip to New England, Buffalo and Philly.  They also have to go to the Jets and Chargers and have the Cowboys, Giants, Colts and Pats coming to South Beach.  Not ideal.


The defending two-time NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks are currently sitting at 2-4.  Honestly, if not for a blown call at the end of their 13-10 win over the Detroit Lions, they should be at 1-5.  This offense hasn't clicked and the defense has melted down two straight weeks to lose 4th quarter leads.  You are your record, but it isn't like those Seattle losses are horrid.  They lost to the Bengals and Panthers late after holding leads late.  They also lost to the Packers.  Those three teams are a combined 17-0 this season.  Add in the opening week loss to the Rams in overtime and there are your losses.

Good news:  Seattle is just two games back of the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West and they will face off two times.  The schedule also gets easier, which isn't saying much given who they have faced thus far.

Bad news:  That schedule still isn't a slam dunk.  Again, there are two games against the Cardinals, two with the dangerous 49ers and trips to Dallas, Minnesota and Baltimore with a game hosting Pittsburgh stuck in there.  Also, Seattle has made Super Bowl runs due to having the postseason come through them and that likely won't be the case again this year.


The Chiefs were viewed as a possible challenger to the Broncos in the AFC West.  With Peyton Manning declining, it was there for the taking.  Like Seattle, the Chiefs have had a tough schedule so far (they've faced the Broncos, Packers and Bengals ... combined 18-0) but the back-breaker was the last second loss to the Chicago Bears at home.

Good news:  The schedule isn't that daunting the rest of the way.  They only have two games against teams currently over .500.

Bad news:  Jamal Charles is out for the season and so much of what they do revolves around his production.  It allows the defense to stay fresh and Alex Smith the luxury of managing games.  Now they lack a playmaker.


Can you figure out the Saints?  They can lose at home to Tampa Bay but then beat previously unbeaten Atlanta.  The offense is averaging just over 22 points per game which is stunning for a Drew Brees led team.

Good news:  Well, Brees is there.  They also have a soft schedule with the Redskins, Titans, Texans, Buccaneers, Lions and Jaguars.

Bad news;  They also have the Panthers, Falcons, Giants and Colts as well.  With Carolina and Atlanta off to great starts, New Orleans needs to get it in gear quick.


No one ever trusts the Lions.  They do this to you.  However, it isn't like they've stunk it up against bad teams.  I mean, when you have the Chargers, Vikings, Broncos, Seahawks and Cardinals right out of the gate, it is tough.

Good news:  They should've beaten Seattle.  Okay, that's all I got.

Bad news:  They've been blown out by Arizona and still have the Packers twice.  This once proud defense is allowing a lot of points and Matthew Stafford is making a lot of mistakes.


I felt this team had a shot at a Super Bowl.  Not as a favorite, but at least make a playoff run.  That's all but gone for these Ravens who have lost to the Raiders, Browns and 49ers.  I can't believe I'm saying this, but the Ravens defense is bad since losing Terrell Suggs for the season.

Good news:  This is a veteran team that could theoretically get their act together and turn it around.  The AFC's wildcard leaders aren't locked in by any means.  Right now, that's the Jets and the Big Ben-less Steelers.

Bad news:  That won't happen.  They do have a soft part of the schedule between Weeks 10-13, but it will probably be too late by then.

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