Week one of the NFL regular season is in the books and some teams looked as good as we expected them to. Others came out and surprised us (see Washington and the New York Jets) and then there were teams who plain and simple looked awful.
In this series, my fellow We Got This Covered colleague Lester Wiltfong and myself will be taking at look at the NFL’s best and worst teams over the coming season.
Last week, Lester’s bottom three were:
30. Minnesota Vikings
31. Miami Dolphins
32. Cleveland Browns
This time it’s my turn to tell you which teams are sitting ugly at the bottom of the barrel. Here it goes.
30. Carolina Panthers
Sorry Panthers fans, but your performance this week against Tampa Bay was pretty bad. After several months to look at the tape, perhaps defences have figured Cam Newton out, at least in terms of him rushing the ball. He carried it five times for just four yards. While his passing numbers weren’t too bad (though he did throw two interceptions), taking away his ability to run the ball makes him much less of a threat.
And the designated running game from Carolina was nothing to write home about either. With Jonathan Stewart out injured, the rushing duties fell to De Angelo Williams, and he somehow managed to run the ball six times for negative one yards.
The Panthers have a tough game against New Orleans next week, who are looking to rebound from a surprise loss to Washington. Following that, they have games against Atlanta and the New York Giants. They will have to improve on last Sunday’s loss to the Bucs if they want to climb out from the bottom of this barrel.
31. Cleveland Browns
They were in the bottom three last week and they’re here again. What can you say about their loss against the Eagles in week one? It was a pretty ugly game all round, with both teams combining for eight interceptions.
Four of those were thrown by the Browns’ rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, and he finished the game with a pitiful 5.1 QB rating. He completed just a third of his pass attempts, averaging just 3.4 yards per completion. It was clearly not the start he or the Browns were looking for.
Many expected good things from Cleveland’s rookie running back Trent Richardson, but that never materialized either. Richardson ran the ball 19 times for just 39 yards and never showed any of the explosiveness we thought we might see.
To say the Browns are in a rebuilding stage is kind. They play in a tough division, and if they carry on the way they are going, it could be a long season for them. Do they make it out of this bottom three any time soon? Only time will tell.
32. Miami Dolphins.
Lester had them at 31 last week, but I have moved them right down to the bottom following their loss to the Texans.
Like the Browns, Miami are putting their faith in rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Perhaps he is just beginning to show why some pundits thought the Dolphins over-reached, drafting him where they did. He didn’t look quite as bad as Weeden, but he was sacked three times and threw three interceptions, passing for 219 yards.
I have to say at this juncture that all the blame can’t be laid at the feet of these two rookie QBs. When are teams going to realize that you can’t throw these inexperienced players into the fray of the NFL without surrounding them with some competent receivers to throw the ball to?
The Dolphins are woefully lacking in the wide receiver department. Perhaps running back Reggie Bush will prove to be their only shining light this season as he carries on in trying to rejuvenate his career.
The Dolphins have several winnable games on their schedule, but nothing except a win against Oakland this coming Sunday will do, if they want to start clawing their way up this ranking.
Take the time to read Lester Wiltfong’s take on his top three teams by checking out his cream of the crop article.