Photo credit: Mike Morbeck
Author: Joey Carr
The 0-2 Teams that are in the Most Trouble No matter how you script it, there will always be teams that start the season slower than others. These sluggish starts sometimes can be attributed to injuries, personnel turnover, or just sloppy play. Many expected the Titans and Bucs to lose their first couple of games due to the fact that they have two rookies under center who are still trying to get the lay of the land. However, they’re both 1-1 and have looked decent thus far, with Jameis Winston outshining Drew Brees in New Orleans this past Sunday. The Titans and Bucs join a few other lower tier teams from last year in the 1-1 club, including the Jaguars and Browns. In fact, the only teams that are 0-2, with the exception of the Bears, had high playoff aspirations coming into this year. But after some turbulent starts, they’re just trying to stay afloat in their divisions. Out of the 0-2 teams, which include: the Seahawks, Colts, Eagles, Saints, Giants, Lions, Bears, Ravens, and Texans, there are a few teams in particular that should be hitting the panic button sooner rather than later.
Eagles- The Philadelphia Eagles are arguably the most disappointing team out of the gate. They have no running attack, even though they landed 2014 rushing champ DeMarco Murray in free agency, an average passing game with Sam Bradford, and a defense that has nothing too special about it. The additions of Bradford and Murray paired with the offensive mind of head coach Chip Kelly was supposed to elevate this offense to new heights but instead they’re ranked 25th in the league in total yards with 312.5. However, that number is a bit misleading due to the fact the Eagles have a pitiful 70 yards of rushing on the year. DeMarco Murray has 11 of those yards. 11. LeSean McCoy on the other hand has 130 yards rushing, who was traded by Philly to the Bills in the offseason for linebacker Kiko Alonso, who is now out for some time with a partial ACL tear. To sum it up, the Eagles have nothing going on offense, looking stagnant most of the time due to the issue that the offense Chip Kelly wants to run isn’t working because he doesn’t have the right personnel to execute it. The defense is giving up an average of 377 yards per game, which isn’t going to cut it with the offense averaging a mere 17 points per game. If Philly can’t right the ship within the next couple of weeks, we might be seeing a roster overhaul come midseason. However, if they can turn things around, they have a decent shot at winning the NFC East with the Giants at 0-2 and the Cowboys without Tony Romo.
Ravens- Last year, the Ravens were one interception away from reaching the AFC Championship. This year, they’ve lost to an aging Peyton Manning in week 1 and the Oakland Raiders in week 2, resulting in an 0-2 record. Their defense looked tremendous against Denver, allowing only field goals and one touchdown late in the game. However, they lost their anchor on defense, Terrell Suggs, for the year with an achilles tear, which is a huge blow to morale and performance overall. The loss of Suggs really showed in their next game against the Raiders, when they allowed 37 points to last year’s 26th ranked offense. Derek Carr picked apart the Ravens secondary, passing for 351 yards and tossing 3 touchdowns in the process, including a 68-yard bomb to Amari Cooper. This is obviously a concern, as the Raiders shouldn’t be able to dissect a defense that was supposed to be top 10 in the league. The offense is also an issue, as it has been very inconsistent over the past two games. Justin Forsett, who was one of the top rushers a year ago, hasn’t been able to get anything going on the ground, managing only 111 yards on 29 carries. If the Ravens want to capture that elusive AFC North Title, they’ll have to shore up their defense and run game and find a way to start winning games, as they have suffered last minute losses in both of their games.
Colts- “Finally their year to reach the Super Bowl.” “Andrew Luck is the favorite to win the MVP Trophy this season.” “This offense could possibly be the best we’ve ever seen.” All of these were things we heard before the season about the Indianapolis Colts. Each year they’ve had Andrew Luck, they’ve progressed one round in the playoffs, and this year was their year to reach the Super Bowl after falling to New England in the AFC Championship last year. They added proven skill players in Frank Gore and Andre Johnson in the offseason, hoping age wasn’t going to be an issue with either of them. They would be getting Robert Mathis back, who in 2013 had 19.5 sacks but missed all of last season due to injury. They added a couple more players to their defensive and offensive lines and of course, still had Andrew Luck, who led all quarterbacks in yards last year. The talent on the roster seemed like it was a recipe for success and Indy could book a plane ticket to Santa Clara, California. But so far, the Colts are living a nightmare instead of a fairy tale. The offense that was believed to be one of the best in the league has only scrounged up 21 points in two games, almost getting shut out by the Jets on Monday night. Andrew Luck has thrown 5 interceptions and coughed up one fumble. Frank Gore has shown to be ineffective so far and even fumbled on the goal line in the loss against the Jets. The defense is letting the opposing offenses walk over them, as they are giving up 343 yards per game so far. The offensive line can’t protect Luck at all, causing him to throw erroneous passes into No Man’s Land half the time. This team is anything but a Super Bowl favorite right now. The high aspirations Colts fans had going into the season are disappearing and some fans are surely pounding the panic button. Some boos could even be heard from the crowd on Monday night. Indy has got to find a way to get their offense back on track otherwise they’ll let Marcus Mariota and the Titans steal away the AFC South from them.
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