Sometimes, a season doesn’t go the way you planned. Underperforming players, locker room problems, or injuries can derail a promising season for any team. Fortunately, for teams that didn’t live up to their potential, there is always next year. Here are three disappointing NFL teams that will bounce back next season.
Three Disappointing NFL Teams That Will Bounce Back Next Season
New York Giants (3-13)
In 2016, the New York Giants ended the regular season 11-5. The team was eliminated in the wild-card round by the Green Bay Packers. The season left Giants’ fans with high expectations for 2017. ESPN staff writer, Jordan Raanan, predicted the Giants would go 10-6 on their way to the playoffs. Raanan wasn’t the only one with playoff predictions for the G-Men. Nobody could have predicted that the Giants would only win three games in 2017. The 3-13 record was the worst in franchise history.
The Giants greatest competitor was injuries. New York lost both Odell Beckham Jr and Brandon Marshall for the season with ankle injuries. Obviously, OBJ was a huge loss for the team, as he has been a premier playmaker in the NFL since his rookie season. However, losing Marshall didn’t make it any easier on Eli Manning and the offence.
On top of some major injuries, the Giants had multiple locker room problems. Ben McAdoo struggled to keep control of the team and it led to major problems. Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Eli Apple were all suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. The lack of control ultimately cost McAdoo his job.
The Giants started the off-season off by hiring Pat Shurmur as their new head coach. Their offence will be healthier next season and their defence will be more disciplined under Shurmur. The Giants could potentially draft Saquon Barkley with the second pick in the NFL draft which would finally give them a solid running back for the first time in a while. Also, don’t forget that they still have Evan Engram who has the potential to be a top tight end in the league.
New York will bounce back in 2018. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will make the playoff but fans can expect them to win at least double the games they did last season. They will have to win some tough divisional matchups but having OBJ on your team makes any game possible to win.
Green Bay Packers (7-9)
As long as the Packers have Aaron Rodgers, they are a threat to make deep playoff runs. Unfortunately, Rodgers suffered a collarbone injury in week 6 and his season, along with the team’s playoff hopes, was pretty much over. He would return in week 15 but it wouldn’t be enough to get the Packers into the playoffs.
For Packers fans, this was the story of the 2017 season. Brett Hundley just didn’t strike fear into defenses the way that Aaron Rodgers did. The offence struggled with Hundley at quarterback and was just the 21st ranked offence in points per game in the NFL. This was a different site for Packers fans who were used to watching Rodgers and the offence put on a show every week.
Since 2011, the Packers have been top 10 in points per game on offence, other than in 2015 when they were ranked 15th. There is no doubt that Aaron Rodgers is the greatest factor for that statistic.
The Packers have already made some big moves that will help them elevate their game next season. On the offensive side, Green Bay added tight-end, Jimmy Graham. They also released fan favorite, Jordy Nelson. Releasing Nelson should come as no surprise to fans, seeing that Davante Adams has become a huge target for Rodgers in the end zone. The addition of Graham gives Rodgers two big targets in the red zone and don’t forget about Randall Cobb.
Defensively, Green Bay added Muhammad Wilkerson. Wilkerson will be a nice addition to a defense that could use some help. The Packers are finally looking like a team that will buy free agents so fans can expect some more defensive additions before the season begins.
Green Bay lost Aaron Rodgers in week six last season and still managed to go 7-9. Their division will be tougher next season but when you have the best quarterback in football, playoffs are expected. The Packers will bounce back this season and be back in the playoff hunt.
Oakland Raiders (6-10)
No other team in the NFL had as disappointing a season as the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders ended 2016 at 12-4. They would have been a serious playoff threat if not for an injury that ended Derek Carr’s season right before the playoffs.
Going into the 2017 season, the Raiders were heavy favourites to win the AFC. Many people believed that they could be the team to dethrone the New England Patriots and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Instead, the 2017 season was a step back for the franchise, finishing with a measly 6-10 record.
The big difference between the two seasons was that the Raiders offence went cold this past season. In 2016, the Raiders were ranked 7th in points per game on offence. In comparison, they were just the 23rd highest scoring offence in the NFL in 2017. Wide receiver, Amari Cooper only had 680 yards receiving last season. This was the first time in his three-year career that he had under 1000 yards receiving.
Another problem for Oakland was turnovers. The Raiders had a -14 turnover differential last season. It is a problem that Jon Gruden will hope to solve in his first season back as a head coach in the NFL. On top of hiring Gruden, the Raiders also signed Jordy Nelson to help Carr. The Raiders will be a team to watch in an inconsistent AFC this season.
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