A full quarter of the season has been finished and things haven’t exactly gone according to plan. Teams that made the playoffs last year like the Texans and Vikings are playing horribly, there has been an absurd amount of injuries so far, and COVID-19 is starting to invade the league. Let’s get to the rankings to see how well these teams will do for the next 75% of the season.
32 New York Jets
Are you surprised? The team is horrible, Sam Darnold has no one to throw the ball to. The offensive line is horrible. The “offensive mastermind”, Adam Gase, isn’t doing anything to make the offensive play better (How did Bill O’Brien get fired before him?). The defense took a step up this week, although they still suck. It seems like star corner, Pierre Desir, carried that team with two picks, one of which were taken in for a touchdown. If the Jets can’t beat a injury ridden Broncos team I doubt they can beat anyone.
31 New York Giants
Teams need play makers, and the Giants have none. This is why Saquon was so important for this team. Now the team is relying on Devonta Freeman and Dion Lewis to be the generational talent that Saquon had, and that just isn’t going to happen. The running defense is absolutely the team’s biggest strength, this should be expected when the team has a player like Blake Martinez, who is tied for second in tackles this season. The pass defense is average, which is amazing considering that they lost, second round draft choice, Xavier McKinney.
30 Houston Texans
The Texans were already bad enough, getting rid of the head coach that led you to 4 winning seasons over the last 5 years is only going to make it harder to win. Bill O’Brien was a terrible GM but he was an exceptional coach. The Texans have a elite quarterback that can make plays out of nothing. The problem is that it doesn’t matter how well a quarterback throws if the wide receivers can’t catch. The offensive line is horrific, yet David Johnson can somehow get repeated solid gains. On the other side of the ball, they have a spectacular front 7 ruined by a horrible secondary.
29 Denver Broncos
Brett Rypien or Jeff Driskle? Doesn’t matter, the team has too many injuries to live up to the expectations that were set during the offseason. Jerry Jeudy is showing everyone why I was so high on him, but the loss of Noah Fant forces him to need to play a much larger role that he may not be capable of playing. Bradley Chubb is playing very well, but no one else is really helping him. Vic Fangio is going to need to do the best coaching he ever did before to get a winning record.
28 Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have the talent to make a playoff run, but they need a leader to rally them up and make sure they don’t blow their lead in the second half. This week was different. They didn’t even gain a lead against the packers, that game just showed the difference between a team that wants to win and a team that doesn’t. Matt Ryan and the offense isn’t the problem (although the offensive line is below average). The problem is the defense and their horrible secondary. Dan Quinn needs to step up as a leader for this team to play well.
27 Jacksonville Jaguars
Remember when the Jaguars beat the Colts and I really started to think they were going to surprise me. What happened to that team? Gardner Minshew has proved he’s the Jaguars’ franchise quarterback, D.J. Chark showed he’s an incredible receiver. James Robinson is one of the best offensive rookies in the NFL.
26 Washington Football Team
Start Alex Smith. They are in such a bad division that they are still contenders for the playoffs. This means that they should start Alex Smith and see how far they could get into the playoffs. I understand that Dwayne Haskins is supposed to be the quarterback of the future but as of now he looks like a bust. Their running game isn’t horrible, and they have a great wide receiver, Terry Mclauren, who will pair well with Alex Smith. Their front 7 are spectacular and the rest of the defense is playing great due to superb defensive playing calling. This team played decently against the Ravens so it really seems like the sky is the limit.
25 Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals’ offense will be one of the NFL’s best offenses in a couple years, but as of now it is nothing better then average. Joe Burrow seems like he was worth the number 1 overall pick, Aj Green and Tyler Boyd are a solid receiving duo, and Joe Mixon had a incredible performance this week, beginning to look comfortable in the offense. The defense is a huge flaw, especially with the absence of Geno Atkins and Mike Daniels. Zac Taylor needs to find a way for the defense to play well if he wants to get a winning record.
24 Detroit Lions
Classic Lions, nothing more then mediocre. Matthew Stafford isn’t playing like himself, he went from top tier to decent over the offseason, he still has a great supporting cast but it seems like the offense revolves more around running the ball with D’andre Swift, Adrian Peterson, and Kerryon Johnson. Although Matt Patricia is supposed to be a defensive minded coach the defense is horrible, allowing 127 points to be scored on them (3rd most in the NFL). Matt Patricia is not the coach that will lead this team to the promised land.
23 Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are doing much better this year then they were last year. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Devante Parker are playing much better now that they have a legitimate running game. The defense is the team’s biggest strength, with Jerome Baker and Kyle Van Noy leading the team very well. They will soon get star corner, Byron Jones, back. Brian Flores is a great coach and I believe he is showing that he is this season.
22 Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are starting to look like a solid team. Teddy Bridgewater is a smart quarterback that knows how to manage the game. Even without Christian McCaffery the running game, led by Mike Davis, is superb. The defense is starting to look good enough for the offense to win them games, despite not having a lot of talent. Matt Rhule coaches like someone who has been coaching in the NFL for 10 years.
21 Philadelphia Eagles
This team has a lot of injuries, just like last year, but the player that carried the banged up team to the playoffs last year, Carson Wentz, isn’t playing well at all. Miles Sanders is bringing balance to the offense, despite having a lot of injuries on the o line. The defense is above average, they have a elite defensive line and Darius Slay can carry the secondary. This team just needs Carson Wentz to step up if they want to be a contender.
20 Minnesota Vikings
They are now letting Dalvin Cook be the centerpiece of the offense. Adam Theilen and Justin Jefferson are good and all but they already have a 3 down back that seems like he can play 100 snaps in a row without getting tired. The defense is extremely talented. The amount of stars on this defense is absurd, but the corners are horrific. Mike Zimmer is a very smart head coach, but I’m not sure if he can turn this year around.
19 Las Angeles Chargers
The Chargers have a playmaking quarterback that revolutionized this team. Justin Herbert was a very raw prospect but he has changed a lot since the draft. Austin Ekeler may be gone but Joshua Kelley will fill his role very well. The defense is phenomenal with players like Joey Bosa, Linval Joseph, Desmond King, Casey Heyward, and Kenneth Murray. Anthony Lynn may make this team a playoff team with his new young quarterback.
18 Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray stayed in the pocket a lot more this game. When you have a quarterback as athletic as Kyler Murray you have to take advantage. This is the first game this year that Deandre Hopkins was shut down for a large portion of the game, and it showed. This game really showed that shutting down Deandre Hopkins is how teams can beat that offense. The defense is very lackluster, their top 10 draft choice Isaiah Simmons isn’t being used to his maximum potential. Kliff Kingsbury is going to have to fight to win such a tough division.
17 Dallas Cowboys
This team is too talented to be this bad. Don’t get me wrong, 17 isn’t a bad ranking, but this is one of the most talented rosters in the NFL so they should be at least 2-2. The problem is the defense, which lost star linebacker Leighton Vander-Esch, even without him the defense should be playing much better considering they have such a talented defensive line. Mike McCarthy and this stacked offense may be able to carry this terrible defense far in the playoffs.
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