It's been a strange season thus far, in which several teams that were thought to be SB contenders, or, at least good teams, have crashed and burned. Here's my list of the five most disappointing teams in the NFL:
1.) (2-4) Houston Texans: Entering the season, the Texans were thought to be a sure bet to win the AFC South. In fact, many "experts" had picked them to represent the AFC in the SB. But my, my, have the wheels fallen off on this franchise. In truth, the Texans are extremely lucky to have won their first two games. Though they were badly outplayed by both San Diego and Tennessee, they managed to escape with a win. Since then, they have lost four straight, most recently suffering a 38-13 blow-out loss at the hands of the St. Louis Rams, in Houston. QB Matt Schaub has set records for futility by throwing a Pick-Six in four straight games. Though he didn't throw one last week before leaving the Rams' game with an injury, his back-up, T.J. Yates, did. It's getting so bad in Houston, that a Texan fan reportedly went to Schaub's home to heckle him, and quite of few Texan fans cheered, when Schaub injured his ankle last week. It appears clear that head coach Gary Kubiak has lost control of his team, and may be on his way out: http://blog.chron.com/ultimatetexans/2013/10/texans-coach-gary-kubiak-not-worried-about-job-status/. Check out this John McClain Report Card on the Texans' performance against the Rams: http://blog.chron.com/ultimatetexans/2013/10/john-mcclains-report-card-for-the-texans-loss-to-rams/ . BRUTAL!!
2.) (1-4) Atlanta Falcons: This (13-3) squad from last year came within an eye-lash of beating the 49ers in the play-offs last year, and advancing to the SB. It was thought that the additions of DE Osi Umenyiora and RB Steven Jackson would get them over the hump this season. But injuries, poor OL play, and a complete defensive break down have reduced the Falcons to rubble. Losing to rookie QB Geno Smith and the Jets at home speaks volumes: http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/atlanta-falcons/2013/oct/10/falcons-woes-traced-poor-offensive-line-play/;
3.) (0-6) New York Giants: With Eli Manning at the helm, RG III less than 100% in Washington, and Philly and Dallas having questions defensively, many "experts" had predicted that the Giants would win the NFC East. But, horrific OL and DL play have contributed to an (0-6) start. Ever since suffering a back injury, DE Jason Pierre Paul has been a shadow of what he was in 2011, having just eight (8) sacks in the past 26 games he's played. Without a running attack ans adequate OL ptotection, Eli has become a PICK machine, having thrown 15 interceptions over those six losses! YUCK!!: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/giants-insider-eli-shouldn-play-safe-article-1.1486939;
4.) (1-4) Minnesota Vikings: The Vikes, led by the dynamic RB, Adrian Peterson, were coming off a playoff season, in which they gave the NFC North champion Green Bay Packers all they could handle. During the 2013 draft, Minnesota traded their 52nd, 83rd, 102nd, and 229th selections to the Patriots for New England's #1 pick, the 29th overall selection. This deal gave the Vikings three (3) first round picks in the draft, the 23rd, 25th (from Seattle in the Percy Harvin trade), and 29th overall selections...which they used to select DT Sharrif Floyd, CB Xavier Rhodes, and WR Cordarrelle Patterson. Optimism was high to say the least. But, the Vikings have been derailed primarily to poor QB play...as they #1 pick in the 2011 draft (12th overall), Christian Ponder, has turned out to be a BUST. Last weeks' 35-10 loss at home to the Carolina Panthers was particularly disheartening: http://www.twincities.com/vikings/ci_24316295/tom-powers-are-vikings-underachieving-or-just-plain?source=rss;
5.) (1-4) Washington Redskins: The excitement over RG III and the Redskins in our nations' Capitol has hit like a government shutdown on steroids. It doesn't appear that Griffin is anywhere near 100% in his alleged recovery from last years' serious knee injury. His accuracy is off, and what was his lighting bug speed, quickness, and elusiveness is now reduced to just straight ahead speed. Worse yet, his confidence has seemed to take a hit. Speaking of hits, the Washington defense has few of those, as most teams have run up points on them like Tommy playing a pinball game: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins-are-dejected-at-1-4-but-not-demoralized-with-11-games-still-to-play/2013/10/14/74d4cc98-34fb-11e3-8a0e-4e2cf80831fc_story.html;
6.) (0-5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Though not considered a team ready to challenge for a division title or make the play-offs, no one expected this awful start for reg Schiano's Bucs. after all, it appeared that they had shored up their main weakness...their secondary...by acquiring Revis Island, and safety Mark Barron, and safety Dashon Goldson. But, poor QB play and an early giveaway, momentum draining loss to the Jets, has seemingly derailed their season: http://www.tampabay.com/sports/football/bucs/will-bucs-ever-win-search-is-on/2147343;
7.) (1-4) Pittsburgh Steelers: Though it's no great surprise that the aging Steelers have taken a step back, no one expected them to step off a cliff. But the Steelers can't run the ball, they can't stop the run, their OL is porous, and their aging defense no longer is forcing turnovers: http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/4856048-74/steelers-games-quarter#axzz2hsvNs6Tu