Anything can happen in an NFL season, so maybe it’s kind of silly to write off a team before the calendar flips to October. But do you think that’s going to stop us from doing it?
After three weeks of action, it’s easy to pick out the teams that aren’t going anywhere this season. All of the 0-3 teams? Yeah, you can start prepping for the 2020 offseason. Many of the 1-2 teams can join them in that endeavor.
So, which NFL teams should already pack it in? I’ve picked out 10 of them. Now, some of these teams might be a game or two back in their division, but we’re being realistic here. We’ll start with an obvious one…
1. Miami Dolphins
I mean, duh.
With a 30-6 loss in Dallas on Sunday, the Dolphins set an NFL record for the worst point-differential after three games. Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the league is celebrating its 100 season in 2019. That’s a lot of teams, and the Dolphins have been worse than all of them through three weeks.
This might go down as the worst team EVER. I should probably write them off for 2020 while I’m at it.
2. New York Jets
Let’s face it: The Jets’ season was over as soon as this graphic was made.
Didn't get to watch last night's game so just now seeing how hilarious this graphic was pic.twitter.com/bIx3VsifbU
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 17, 2019
Your franchise QB has a high school illness. That’s grounds for shutting down the entire operation.
Some more Jets fun: The defense has scored more points (14) than the offense has this season (12). And after a game in which his team averaged just over two yards per play, Adam Gase said this…
Adam Gase on his offensive gameplan vs Pats: “We would have been alright if we would have executed some of the stuff. There’s a few things in the run game that we got to clean up… that we got to give our guys a better chance on… If we go 3rd & 10, we’re not going to convert"
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) September 23, 2019
Gase may not be a good head coach, but he’s in the Hall of Fame for throwing his players under the bus.
3. Oakland Raiders
It was all good two weeks ago. Then the Chief scored 28 points on Oakland’s defense in one quarter and it’s been all downhill from there. Since going up 10-0 on Kansas City in Week 2, the Raiders have been out-scored 62-14 (-48). Not good.
Derek Carr is finally convincing Raiders Nation that he’s not the answer and that’s he’s certainly not worth the $25 million a year price tag he comes with. The rest of us could have told you that a couple years ago, but better late than never, I suppose.
4. New York Giants
This season was never about making the playoffs — at least I hope that wasn’t the expectation in New York. It was about figuring out the whole quarterback situation. About seeing if Daniel Jones was the quarterback to lead this team into the future. If Dave Gettleman’s priors were confirmed, the 2019 season would be considered a success for the Giants.
Judging by Jones’ first start, the 2019 season WILL be considered a success for the Giants. The rookie impressed with a four-touchdown performance in a win over a solid Bucs team.
It was a good (and completely lucky win) but the team also lost Saquon Barkley for a month-and-a-half. Even if the star running back was healthy, this team was going to struggle to win more than a handful of games. The defense is one of the worst in the league, and Jones doesn’t have much of a supporting cast. But none of that matters; the Giants might have a franchise QB on their hands.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
At what point in the season will we accept that the Steelers are just a bad team? I’m already there. The defense is fine but not good enough to carry a punchless offense that could muster only 20 points on a day where the 49ers handed it the ball five times.
Domination not seen in final score:
SF: 26 1st downs, 11 3rd downs
PIT: 11 1st downs, 12 3rd downs
SF: 436 yds & 6.0 yds/play
PIT: 239 yds & 4.7 yds/play
SF: 6 red zone trips
PIT: 1 red zone trip
SF: 5 turnovers
PIT: 2 turnovers
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) September 23, 2019
Mason Rudolph isn’t the answer at quarterback. JuJu Smitch-Schuster isn’t a true No. 1 receiver and nobody is stepping into the void created when he was elevated to the top of the receiver food chain. The offensive line is a mess all of a sudden. And Pittsburgh plays in one of the NFL’s best divisions.
It’s already over for this team, and it might be over for this entire era of Steelers football.
6. Arizona Cardinals
Kliff Kingsbury deserves credit for making the NFL’s second-worst roster (yes, we’re still counting the Dolphins as an NFL team) into an entertaining team but this was never going to be a good season for the rookie head coach. The Cardinals have Kyler Murray, David Johnson, a washed-up (but still very good) Larry Fitzgerald and … little else.
You can’t name one starter on the offensive line. The receivers can’t get any separation. The defensive secondary has been depleted by injuries and suspensions. On top of all that, the schedule is brutal.
This season was over before it began but at least it will be fun to watch.
T7. Bengals and Redskins
I’m lumping these teams together because they’re basically the same. Both defenses are bad. Both offenses seem to be coached well but limitations at quarterback drag them down a bit and it won’t matter because both teams will find a way to lose. Andy Dalton and Case Keenum are the same quarterback. If they switched uniforms, nobody would be able to tell the difference.
9. Tennessee Titans
I tried to temper expectations for this team after its Week 1 blow out of the Browns — a win that looks far less impressive now than it did two weeks ago — but even I didn’t expect the Titans to get pantsed by Garner Minshew on national television. New rule proposal: If you lose to the Jaguars by double-digits, your season is automatically cancelled.
Tennessee can only blame itself. Instead of kicking the tires on a new quarterback search, the team convinced itself that Marcus Mariota still has it in him to turn that corner and develop into a franchise quarterback. It’s not going to happen. Not this year. Not ever.
That decision squandered a pretty good roster.
10. Denver Broncos
I may have overrated the Broncos before the season. I thought Vic Fangio’s defense would look a lot better, but discounted the fact that it takes time to learn a complex scheme. It won’t be until Year 2 that his defense really takes off.
I also discounted the fact that Joe Flacco would be playing quarterback for the team while getting paid a lot of money to do so. That’s never a good combination. The veteran quarterback has been even worse than anybody could have imagined. He’s been inaccurate, immobile and his decision-making has been, well, Flacco-esque. OK, maybe I SHOULD have seen this coming.
The season was over as soon as John Elway made the “Joe is just entering his prime” comment and I blame myself for not realizing it at the time.