Evaluating the 16 NFL teams with losing records through Week 3
The sky is falling in Tennessee, they're on suicide watch in Pittsburgh and dogs and cats are living together in Buffalo.
And that doesn't even begin to describe the angst and worry gripping fans in biblical proportions in Houston, Arizona, Washington and other NFL locales. Three weeks into the 2009 season, early trends have some teams that were expected to do big things flopping, badly.
Some teams with 1-2 or 0-3 records won't recover and everyone knows it. But others just might turn things around. Let's look at the chances of that happening.
In other ways, as much as the Steelers collectively vowed not to fall victim to a Super Bowl hangover, it very much looks like this team could use a couple of Advil and several strong cups of coffee. The dominant Steelers defense is having trouble creating turnovers and making crucial stops.
There is no doubting the talent in key spots on this team, beginning with quarterback
In Sunday night's nationally televised game against the Indianapolis Colts,
But alas, there
Besides two games against the lowly Rams, the Cards also will face the Lions and come off the bye week at home against the Texans, who have the league's worst run defense. Don't panic just yet. Arizona still could get there from here.
But when you step back and look at just how well the Bills have played in spurts, the soft upcoming schedule and the likelihood of key missing elements returning big, I'd bet on the Bills making a run before their division rival Dolphins, or even the 2-1 but struggling Patriots. Keep in mind, the Bills had the Pats flat-out beat before an ill-conceived kick return and fumble by McKelvin.
And look here: Their only other loss was to the sizzling New Orleans Saints. Also, rest assured that
As for the schedule, the Dolphins' misfortune of losing quarterback
And all of a sudden the Jaguars look a lot smarter and better than they did after season-opening losses to the Super Bowl-contending Colts and defending NFC champion Cardinals.
Besides Jones-Drew stepping into the featured-back role in a big way with a 61-yard touchdown blast in Houston, quarterback
After a few early burps, the defense also is finding a comfort zone in its switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense. They have found a gem at defensive tackle in third-round pick
The Jags may play in football's toughest division, but clearly are on the rise, while the Titans are winless and the 1-2 Texans have one of the league's worst defenses. Jacksonville still will be looking up at the Colts by season's end, but there is a definite opportunity to make a run.
There are more pressing personnel issues than quarterback, although don't be surprised if coach
Remember how the Titans figured it would be easy replacing
Remember how the Titans were groovin' to a 10-0 start to the 2008 season? They have gone 3-7 since. That's a trend.
And don't look now, but the Titans' next three games are at Jacksonville, at home against the as-of-now undefeated Colts and at New England. Don't bet on a return to the playoffs. The road is too tough and the odds stacked against them.
The Texans pulled off an impressive win at Tennessee in Week 2, but that was more because of the offense and quarterback
The schedule gets tougher after Sunday's home game against the Raiders, too. And considering Houston's horrible run defense, even the Raiders must be salivating with
Playoffs? Don't count on it, Texans fans.
Like Zorn, it's all over but the exit interview for this team. Turmoil rules the day, there is a severe disconnect between players and Zorn, who clearly is in over his head. At its core, this team has severe personnel and talent issues.
This was supposed to be a breakthrough year. Instead, this team was the Detroit Lions' slump-buster on Sunday afternoon. The Redskins' only win was over the horrible St. Louis Rams and that came without scoring a touchdown. No team has given up more third-down conversions than the Redskins, which is an indictment of defensive play-calling.
From where the Redskins are now, it would take the most miraculous comeback since Mount Calvary for this team to make the playoffs.
Sorry, Dolphins, Raiders, Chiefs, Browns, Lions, Rams, Panthers, Seahawks and Buccaneers. You'll be playing for draft position the rest of the way.