“Winless” can be a flimsy term, especially after only two weeks of football. It by no means indicates a lost season, but more like a bumpy beginning. Ten teams or nearly one-third of the league have yet to reach the win column. You can see that path being a continuing trend for teams like the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants. Others like the Arizona Cardinals, who’ve logged a loss and tie, have displayed some signs of promise. Let’s take an even closer look at some other winless NFL teams who have the ability to climb out of the small hole.
Winless NFL Teams With Potential
It may be hard to remember a time when Cam Newton was not only league MVP but made it to the super bowl. Since that happened, Newton has not been able to capture the same magic that had this team at 15-1 in 2015. You could point at injuries being a reason for the struggles. We don’t really know how bad his shoulder is but visibly, it seems to be affecting him. Now with a foot injury surfacing that potentially puts him out for at least a week, the concerns rise higher. Either way, a team that some thought could make noise again in the NFC, is 0-2.
The good news for the Carolina Panthers is that five of their next six games are actually pretty winnable. Arizona, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans with the Texans being the possible loss, but hey, anything can happen. It’s a lucky draw on the schedule that they desperately need right now. Keeping it simple with whoever is passing the ball for them, and feeding Christian McCaffrey in a variety of ways will help the Panthers get back on course. Their defensive front with studs like Luke Kuechly and Gerald McCoy really helps keep opposing offenses off the field. Don’t forget this team gave the defending NFC champions a run for their money in week one.
Ouch, that was a last-second heartbreaker for Vic Fangio and that Broncos team. I will say Joe Flacco made a grave mistake in throwing a red-zone pick to Kyle Fuller when Denver was down 13-6 with 4:51 left in the game. At the same time, the former super bowl MVP still shows to be already be clicking with guys like Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton. The Chicago Bears front got the best of the Broncos’ run-blocking efforts in week two but expect their zone scheme to develop more as the season unfolds. Phillip Lindsay is off to a slow start with just 79 yards on 24 carries but he proved all throughout 2018 why he should mostly be getting the rock.
But the one side of this team you could always depend on is the defense. It looks to be the same old Denver allowing just 190 passing yards on average so far. They’ve had to face Derek Carr and Mitch Trubisky so I won’t get too cute here. Von Miller and Bradley Chubb could be the best pass-rushing duo but have been held in check, sackless. It’s only a matter of time before those two bombs blow up on quarterbacks.
The Jets are one team that probably doesn’t surprise you being winless so far. I prefer to call them fortune-less. It’s early but they’ve been missing a couple of key defenders, rookie defensive lineman Quinnen Williams and linebacker C.J. Mosley. The biggest blow was their quarterback Sam Darnold catching mono just after week one.
Hear me out on the Jets, as I’ve had some stock in them going back to the offseason. The window is already closing fast, especially being a division with the New England Patriots, this team can only really hope for a wild card spot. With that said, as long as Darnold doesn’t miss more than a few more games, the Jets have what it takes to be a part of the race. Gregg Williams showed that his defense, sans a couple of pieces, can still generate pressure and rattle offenses. Meanwhile, Le’Veon Bell remains one of the most well-rounded backs in the league. The Jets will be making sure they get their money out of him. They’re well underway with that, seeing he’s touched the ball over 50 times in two weeks.
Winless, Not Hopeless
Since 2007, 98 teams have started their season 0-2 and only 12 made the playoffs. A 12 percent chance that seems unlikely. But history shows that at least one of the 0-2 teams this year will find their way in the postseason mix. Maybe a deeper run is in store as well. Let’s not forget about the 2014 Indianapolis Colts who began winless the first two weeks and wound up in the AFC Championship game. Of course, there’s also the ‘07 Giants who started similarly and we all know how that ended.
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