NFL 100: Which losing teams can turn it around and who is done for the year?
Every year you have NFL teams failing to reach the expectations fans have for them in the offseason, while others start off slow and end up going on a run. Just last season you had two teams, who were coming off Conference Championship me appearances, missing the playoffs entirely in the Vikings and Jaguars.
On the other hand, you had two AFC South teams in the Texans and Colts meeting in a matchup of 0-3 teams early on in the season, but then both putting together impressive stretches to finish with double-digit wins.
Because of that, I looked around the league for teams that have been disappointing so far and pointed out one squad, who I think still has hope to turn things around and another one, whose season is already over to me. I only picked teams at or below .500 record to do so of course. Three of these four were playoff teams last year, while another one might have just been the most hyped group in the entire league over the summer.
#1 Philadelphia Eagles – There is still hope
Nobody outside of Philadelphia is more annoyed by the Eagles’ 3-4 start than me. I had them representing the NFC in the Super Bowl and Carson Wentz battling it out with Patrick Mahomes for league MVP honors, but right now I only see them having a shot at the postseason by winning the East with how stacked the NFC is. With that being said, I wouldn’t rule them to do that at all, even with four losses in conference play and after laying an egg in Dallas.
This team still has one of the biggest quarterback talents in the league, there is no reason the O-line shouldn’t take a step up after getting embarrassed by their divisional rival and they will get their one true deep threat in DeSean Jackson back eventually. What I really want to see is less pressure on the quarterback by getting back to pounding people with the ground game and then creating easy opportunities off play-action and the RPO attack.
Defensively I was most disappointed with the way Ezekiel Elliott just rumbled through guys since that run D had been their strength. They are incredibly banged up at defensive tackle with Malik Jackson and Timmy Jernigan out, while Fletcher Cox simply hasn’t looked like himself. The same could be said about the secondary, but more importantly, I just think they have to figure out who they should put out there and Jim Schwartz needs to stop playing as much man-coverage and play according to their personnel.
With that being said, I still have hope for this team to turn their season around. They have a tough matchup against Bills Mafia up in Buffalo this weekend, but with how much of a mess the Bears are, they should be a game below .500 as they enter their bye week. After that, we will see what this team is made of with the Patriots and Seahawks coming to town, but if they win one of those two games, they could easily end up winning seven of their final eight games.
A trip to South Beach should definitely get them right and then they finish up with four divisional games and a chance to draw even in the head-to-head comparison between them and Dallas at Lincoln Financial Field. That Cowboys schedule looks a whole lot tougher with only one NFC North matchup in the books and a trip to Foxborough on the horizon. The biggest concern for me right now is all that talk about leadership questions and internal rumors.