Winless NFL Teams Need Not Make Any Playoff Plans
This is a special bulletin for the Houston Texans, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears—Don’t Expect to be Playing Football in January.
Statistics compiled by the National Football League reveal that ONLY nine percent of teams starting a season at 0-2 make the playoffs. Of course, there are some exceptions, but over the years that’s what has happened in the NFL.
A couple of teams like the Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints and especially the Philadelphia Eagles were preseason choices to win their respective divisions.
Chip Kelly readjusted his Philadelphia roster by making several trades and free agent pick-ups in hopes of having who he believed were the best personnel for his offensive and defensive schemes.
His biggest move was convincing DeMarco Murray to leave the Dallas Cowboys and become an Eagle after he got rid of a couple of good running backs to have enough room under the salary cap to obtain Murray.
And to show the Cowboys they made a mistake by not meeting his salary demands, Murray carried the football 13 times Sunday for a grand total of two whole yards.
Just to prove that wasn’t a fluke, he picked up a whopping five yards on nine carries in Game One. The Eagles gained the fewest rushing yards against Dallas since the 1961 season.
What Murray doesn’t have at Philadelphia that he maybe didn’t appreciate in Dallas was the Cowboys’ talented offensive line. Put a mediocre line in front of him and Murray becomes just a run-of-the-mill running back.
It’s almost understandable why the Seattle Seahawks aren’t living up to expectations. Their NFL-best defense is missing an important part–Orange’s Earl Thomas’ counterpart at the other safety position Kam Chancellor, who refuses to report to the team without a new contract.
It’s not that Chancellor is unhappy with the new numbers, the fact remains that he is still under the multi-year contract he signed as a rookie. It sounded good at the time, but he wants to be paid like some of his All-Pro teammates.
Throw in the fact the Seahawks lost a couple of stalwarts on the offensive line and it’s understandable why they are not doing as well as in the past three seasons.
The New Orleans Saints have the same problem they’ve had in the past few seasons—they have a poor defense because they have defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who has been fired from every NFL job he’s had due to his incompetence.
Throw in the fact they got rid of their best pass receiver and it’s easy to understand how they got overwhelmed 26-19 at home by Tampa Bay, a team picked to be one of the worst in the NFL this season.
The Baltimore Ravens are missing their offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak who joined his longtime pal John Elway who now is president of the Denver Broncos. Kubiak used to be Elway’s understudy and offensive coordinator.
The Ravens have suffered injuries to a couple of key players which showed up dramatically in Sunday’s 37-33 loss at Oakland, which is supposed to be one of the league’s doormats again this season.
Of course the 0-2 team we’re most concerned about is the Houston Texans who lost by a touchdown to both Kansas City and Carolina.
This is the first time they’ve started the season at 0-2 since 2008 “because of foolish penalties, dropped passes, missed tackles, questionable play calling and bad decisions”, according to Monday’s edition of the Houston Chronicle.
I believe the main reason the Texans can’t compete this season is inadequate quarterbacks and the absence of All-Pro running back Arian Foster.
Head Coach Bill O’Brien insisted on obtaining a pair of Tom Brady’s former back-up quarterbacks–Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett–to duke it out for the Texans’ starting quarterbacking job.
There was a reason why they served as backups at New England and after two games it certainly appears they are not ready for the big time with the Houston Texans either. And the fact two starters on the offensive line that are out with injuries doesn’t help the situation, either.
Houston averaged 4.2 yards per passing play in Sunday’s 24-17 loss at Carolina and a scrawny 2.7 yards per rushing play. Throw in the fact the Texans have failed on 25 of 33 third down attempts the first two games and it’s not hard to figure why they remain winless.
They are favored by seven points in Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay if that’s any light at the end of your tunnel
One bright spot for Texas NFL fans is the 2-0 start by the Dallas Cowboys. But that should get dimmer in a hurry with the Cowboys playing without a bona fide running back, a quarterback with a broken collarbone (Tony Romo) and an All-Pro wide receiver (Dez Bryant) who has a broken foot and isn’t expected to return for 10-12 weeks.
We’ll see how this void will affect the next eight games for the Cowboys. They still have a better chance of making the playoffs than the above-mentioned 0-2 teams.
KWICKIES…The Houston Astros all of a sudden are scrambling to get a playoff berth in the American League after leading the West Division for most of the season. Going into Monday’s game against the LA Angels, the Astros trailed the Texas Rangers by 1½ games and were 2 ½ games ahead of the Angels for the second AL wild card. So these final 12 games of the season are most crucial, especially the three-game series with the Angels that ends tonight (Wed.), three games with the Rangers to close the home stand, and then the final six games of the season at Seattle and Arizona.
And while on the subject of the Astros, assistant general manager David Stearns is expected to be named the general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, according to FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal.
Congrats are in order for the Lamar Cardinals football team which upset No. 5-ranked Sam Houston State 49-46 in Huntsville Saturday night. It was the Big Red’s first win in Huntsville since 1959. The Cards jumped out to a 35-14 halftime lead and then hung on for the upset victory over the team picked in the preseason to win the Southland Conference. After a well-deserved bye this week the Redbirds travel to Hammond and will take on the Southeastern Louisiana Lions Oct. 1.
The undefeated West Orange-Stark Mustangs (4-0) will have their work cut out for them Saturday when the meet once-defeated Richmond Foster (3-1) of Class 5A at neutral site Stallworth Stadium in Baytown. Kickoff is set for 6 pm.
Former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel threw a pair of touchdown passes to lead the Cleveland Browns to a 28-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans and their quarterback Marcus Mariota, last year’s Heisman winner. Manziel connected on a 60-yard strike and a 50-yarder to give the Browns their first win of the 2015 season.
JUST BETWEEN US…I want to thank all my friends and readers for their kind words, visits, cards, e-mails, phone calls and wonderful food and desserts during our time of bereavement last week. We appreciated it.