As we embark upon the first Sunday of the NFL season we’re at a high point for many teams. Only the Rams have a losing record at the moment whilst the unrealistic dreams of an unbeaten season live on for the fan bases of 31 other teams.
In the real world though, there are fans that know their team is in for a tough year and so I asked a few people I know who the teams are that 100% will not be playing football after Week 18. None of these results have any statisitical significance, it’s just opinion!
Chicago Bears – the Bears were most people’s favourites not to make the post season and you can see why when you take a look at their roster. Second year QB Justin Fields is in for a tough season with few weapons, an inexperienced and defensive minded head coach and an o-line which looks weak on paper.
Seattle Seahawks – the Seahawks equal the Bears in the lead & with Geno Smith named as the starting quarterback, you get why. He does at least have two good wide receivers though both starting tackles are rookies in a division where there are some decent pass rushers and the roster looks very young and inexperienced.
Houston Texans – another obvious one to vote for and as with the Bears, there’s little on the roster which gives you confidence. Davis Mills’ performance in 2021 was encouraging and the one good thing the Texans have done in the off season was decide to back him and not bring in anyone else. Is there anyone on the roster that you look at think ‘I wish he was on my team’? No, I thought not.
Washington Commanders – Not a lot of confidence in Carson Wentz. Probably based on the fact that most people I asked have watched more than a game or two of the NFL. The defence in Washington could be could be the high point of the season but in a division with the Eagles and Cowboys I too find it hard to imagine the Commanders commanding much respect this year.
New York Jets – I made the case last week for why it could be a better season for the Jets this year and I stand by that. But I too wouldn’t go as far as saying they’ll be in the playoffs. There’s work still to do and really, the QB needs more experience in the league before we’ll really believe he can get a team into the playoffs.
New York Giants – I was a little surprised by this but then I also got shouted down when I announced that the Giants could be a surprise package in 2022. Along with the Commanders, they’re in a division with two front runners, have question marks about the QB and have had a few seasons where things just don’t go right. Unlike the Commanders though there are a few more green shoots of hope from a new coaching team.
Cleveland Browns – With a backup QB starting 11 games you get why the Browns are on this list. They’re also likely to be the team that everyone wants to see lose every week. The Browns could use that to their advantage and if Brissett gets them four or five wins and the divison is tight, they could be in the mix come December (though I hope not!)
Atlanta Falcons – Thought they’d get more votes given the lack of talent on the roster and the Saints and Bucs in their division. Getting seven wins last year felt like an over achievement and I don’t think Arthur Smith gets enough credit but I agree that it’s a tough ask for the dirty birds to get much more than they did in 2021 and it’ll be a shock if they got into the playoffs.
Jacksonville Jaguars – New head coach but probably one heck of a hangover after the Urban Meyer debacle. I think they could be in for good years ahead, but not this year. This year it’s about developing Trevor Lawrence and getting him settled in the league.
Detroit Lions – Despite the hype from Hard Knocks, this is still a team under construction and with a question marks still around. Jared Goff is a good game manager but he’s not going to light up the league. The defence looks like it’s improved but the proof is in the pudding. Hard division as well with the Packers and some predicting big things for the Vikings.
Carolina Panthers – the division they’re in is the biggest hurdle here as well as a new quarterback who no one is really sure about. Mayfield tends to play best with a chip on his shoulder and I’d hazard a guess that that chip is pretty big at the moment. Big question marks remain about the head coach though.
Pittsburgh Steelers – I don’t get this one but wouldn’t be true to the voters if I didn’t include it. Trubisky is new to the system and generally there seems to be a lack of confidence in the o-line. Fully expect that the defence will be one of the top units in the league. The division is tough as well so maybe it’s that. Anyway, I don’t agree.