Breaking Down the Winless NFL Team After Two Weeks

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Through two weeks the NFL has seem some serious Super Bowl contenders lose both of their first two games. Even if you didn’t buy the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks as title contenders in 2015, you at least figured they had the goods to make the playoffs.

Throw in teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions – three NFC teams that were expected to do big things, and you’ve got five squads that were at least borderline playoff teams and now, staring straight at an 0-2 start. An if we let history do any of our prognosticating, all of these guys (don’t forget about the 0-2 Baltimore Ravens) have just an 11% chance to make the playoffs.

That doesn’t sound too great. Naturally, with their odds so low, it’s only fair to think about which teams are totally screwed and which teams can bounce back and be an awesome success story. After all, we always hear about teams getting off to slow starts and then turning things around (cough* Patriots of last year *cough).

So, what winless teams are still in it this year? Let’s break all 9 of them down to find out:

Houston Texans

Houston might have J.J. Watt and a capable defense, but they don’t have the offense to compete at a high level right now. The return of Arian Foster (possibly week 4?) definitely provides some balance and even some upside, but Houston could easily still be 0-3 by the time he gets back. From there, we’re then depending on Ryan Mallett to guide this team out of the abyss? I’m not feeling it.

Verdict: Miss the Playoffs

New York Giants

Eli Manning and co. look like they’re in a bad spot, but we’ll find out truly how bad off they are when they take on the Washington Redskins tonight on Thursday Night Football. They’ve choked away two games to start the year, but the harsh reality is this is a 2-0 team that just needs to learn how to finish games. In an NFC East that has Tony Romo out for the next two months, their season is far from over.

Verdict: Playoff Contender

Chicago Bears

The Bears have been dealt a rough ticket, as they ran into two very good NFC teams in the Packers and Cardinals to start the year. Add in an injured Jay Cutler and a trip to Seattle, and things are looking mighty bleak for the Bears. Their offense was supposed to be their strength – and it still is – but it hasn’t prove to be good enough to make up for turnovers and a bad defense. Chicago is likely looking at another year on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs.

Verdict: Miss the Playoffs

Philadelphia Eagles

Chip Kelly was a genius and then he wasn’t. It can’t all come on him, but DeMarco Murray hasn’t found any running room and Sam Bradford has shown some serious rust. Fingers can easily be pointed all over the place, but the reality is the Eagles are in a bad spot and now they get what looks to be a very good Jets team in week three. Chances are, if the Eagles can’t suddenly find their mojo and get a big win in week three, their season is over.

Verdict: Free Falling

New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees isn’t 100%, New Orleans can’t run the ball and their defense is total trash. Sound familiar? This is really what we’ve been seeing over the past three years and not having Jimmy Graham or Kenny Stills around has really hurt this offense. Brees not being healthy doesn’t help and unless the Saints can score a huge road upset over the Panthers this week, they’re probably done.

Verdict: Miss the Playoffs

Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford has looked horrible, Ndamukong Suh was a bigger loss than anyone in Detroit wanted to realize and the Lions can’t run the ball. Their two losses to this point have not been by accident, as they have serious fundamental issues and can’t even get the ball to their wide receivers consistently. The Lions have always been a touch and go squad but with the Vikings on the rise I think the bottom drops out this year.

Verdict: Miss the Playoffs

Indianapolis Colts

Anytime you have Andrew Luck you have a chance, but there is a genuine fear the wheels are about to come off of this team. A big reason why is because head coach Chuck Pagano just isn’t a great coach and his defense still isn’t very good. On top of that, the Colts have gotten away from what they do best and off-season acquisitions – Frank Gore and Andre Johnson – have largely looked old and used up. I do think they still give it a go and blow out the Titans this week, but they’re definitely on shaky ground. The biggest thing working in their favor is they still operate out of the AFC South.

Verdict: Playoff Contender

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore lost a defensive battle in week one to the Broncos and an offensive shootout to the Raiders in week two. Neither had them looking at their best, and they also have to endure the loss of pass rusher Terrell Suggs (torn Achilles). I think they’re good enough and balanced enough across the board to turn things around, though, and they’ll have a great chance to start doing that at home against the divisional rival Bengals in week three.

Verdict: Playoff Contender

Seattle Seahawks

One of the few teams in this list that hasn’t looked completely terrible and absolutely could still turn their season around is the Seahawks. Not only was Seattle in both of their losses this year, but both came on the road and one came in overtime. Seattle was also playing without stud safety Kam Chancellor, so their usually nasty defense was certainly missing some bite. I think the turn around begins in week three, where they debut at home against the Chicago Bears.

Verdict: Make the Playoffs


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