YES I know were are only just reaching October, but one month of football is a decent sample size. That sample size has thrown us plenty of surprises and shocks early on in the 2018 season, with some teams falling flat on their face. It’s no surprise to learn that the Bills and Cardinals are struggling, but it might stun you to see some of these other five* teams in such a precarious position.
*Houston you are on thin, thin ice…
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Atlanta Falcons (1-3)
I’M not super concerned about the Falcons, with the real possibility that they played four 2018 playoff teams in the first month of the season. Still, the pressure is on Dan Quinn to steady the ship after a questionable start. Injury reserve stints for Pro Bowlers Keanu Neal (ACL) and Deion Jones (foot), plus versatile safety Ricardo Allen has left Atlanta’s defense pretty depleted moving forward.
UNFORTUNATELY, injuries are part of the game and early on the Falcons haven’t had anyone step up and fill the void, as they have given up 80 points in the past fortnight. If you throw in the red zone woes for Julio Jones and health issues to their running back duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, the rest of this season is looking pretty bleak for Atlanta. Not to mention the fact that they play in one of the toughest divisions in football. Time to pull your finger out ATL.
New York Giants (1-3)
THIS New York outfit looks like a shell of the 2016 team that won 11 games. That being said the 2016 season was a bit of an anomaly when you look at this teams work over the last six seasons. Since their Super Bowl triumph in 2011, the Giants have a combined record of 43-57, including their sluggish 1-3 start this year as offensive troubles continue to plague the franchise.
WITH Eli Manning declining with almost every game he plays, the Giants legend can’t get it done anymore as New York struggles to score points. Not even shiny offensive toys Odell Beckham Jr and Saquon Barkley can solve their woes. The fact that no blueprint seems to be laid down for the future is the biggest problem for the Giants as they seem lost and heading nowhere fast.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-2)
BY no means should Eagles fans be tearing up their Super Bowl LIII tickets they bought last February, but Philly had better wake up soon, The inevitable Super Bowl hangover reared its ugly head to start the season with the reigning champs starting slow. The return of Carson Wentz and others from injury should see the Eagles hit their stride sooner rather than later. They will be praying that things do fix themselves in a hurry after losing winnable games to the Bucs and Titans already this season. Minnesota this weekend will be a good test and Philadelphia needs to be careful they don’t let more winnable games slip away and risk falling too far back in the playoff race.
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2-1)
ANNUALLY we pencil the Steelers in for a spot in the playoffs and a likely 10+ win season. All good things must come to an end though and with the Le’Veon Bell saga dictating headlines drama has been at an all-time high in Pittsburgh. Without Bell, the team is leaning on 36-year old Ben Roethlisberger and I was surprised to learn that Big Ben has the most passing yards in the league through four weeks. It has come at a cost, with the 2x Super Bowl champ on track to throw 20+ picks for the first time since 2006.
Image from behindthesteelcurtain.com
LET’S be real honest though, their defense is the real Achilles heel with only two teams allowing more yards so far this season. They really miss the presence of Ryan Shazier in the middle of their D and while Bud Dupree is an emerging playmaker, simply put, they struggle to slow down opposing offenses. For that reason, the Steelers are being forced to play catch up, conceding a bunch of points early in games. I can’t see them matching teams in a shootout scenario for much longer given Big Ben’s age and injury history, especially if Bell stays sidelined until Week 8.
Indianapolis Colts (1-3)
ANDREW Luck was dragged to let backup QB Jacoby Brissett attempt a hail mary pass in Week 3. That’s about all you need to know about the Colts season to date. We didn’t expect them to really make some noise in the AFC South, did we? Despite playing in a weird division a healthy Andrew Luck (are we sure he’s healthy?) can only change so much for this Indianapolis team that has some glaring holes across the roster. There have been promising signs to open the season, but until they fix their shortcomings, this Colts team seems destined to pile up the L’s.
Banner from ajc.com