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Green Bay Packers and 4 Teams in the Most Trouble After Week 5

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IJune 24, 2016

Green Bay Packers and 4 Teams in the Most Trouble After Week 5

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    The Green Bay Packers are in deep trouble after losing to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5, and this team isn't alone.

    The Packers weren't supposed to lose three games all year—let alone after five games. This team had seriously high expectations, and for good reason.

    Aaron Rodgers won the MVP award last year, and the team only lost a single game all season long. The team's horrible defense of a year ago was supposedly going to be much improved after devoting most of the 2012 NFL draft to that cause, and if anything, we all wondered if the Packers could go undefeated. 

    Instead, after five games the Packers are two games out of the NFC North divisional lead. The Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears are both 4-1 right now, and both teams are trending up. 

    The Packers are in danger of missing the playoffs altogether if they don't drastically improve on defense and in pass protection. 

    There are four other teams this season that aren't living up to expectations, and if these teams don't make a quick about-face, the playoffs will elude them in 2012.

     

    Note: I'm not including teams like the Cleveland Browns or Oakland Raiders, as teams of their caliber weren't expected to win this year, anyway. 

Carolina Panthers

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    Many wondered if 2012 might be the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers to break out and challenge for an NFC playoff spot (h/t ESPN.com's John Clayton). 

    Now, folks are just wondering if this team can win as many games this year as it did in 2011. 

    At 1-4, the Panthers are on pace to win just four games. Worse still for them is the fact that the Atlanta Falcons are undefeated, meaning that the Panthers are already four games out in the NFC South. 

    Newton is struggling mightily. His numbers are down from last year, albeit slightly, and he has looked exceptionally bad when the game's on the line. 

    Furthermore, the Panthers defense is ranked No. 25 in the NFL in yardage and No. 20 in points allowed

    Something's got to change in a hurry, or this team's chances at recovering will be gone for good. 

New Orleans Saints

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    There weren't many analysts who thought the New Orleans Saints would struggle so badly to start this season. In fact, some experts picked the Saints to win upwards of 12 games and win the NFC South (h/t SI.com). 

    After five games, the Saints are tied with the Carolina Panthers at the bottom of the NFC with a 1-4 record, and after four games, they were 0-4. 

    According to ESPN Stats & Info:

    According to Elias, of 183 teams to start 0-4 prior to 2012, only '92 Chargers made postseason #Saints #Browns

    — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 1, 2012

     

    Things are looking up since the Saints beat the San Diego Chargers on Sunday Night Football, but this team isn't out of the woods. Not by a long shot. 

Kansas City Chiefs

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    SI.com's Jim Trotter picked the Kansas City Chiefs to make the playoffs with a 10-6 record, and he wasn't alone in thinking the Chiefs would break through with a big season in 2012. 

    After five games, the Chiefs are 1-4, with more questions than answers. They are only two games out of their division, but given the way this team has been playing, it feels more like 10.

    Whether it's Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn or Ricky Stanzi, this team doesn't have a legitimate starting quarterback. 

    It's only going to get worse from here, from what I can tell, and the Chiefs will have a great chance to land Geno Smith with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.

Detroit Lions

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    It's easy to understand how the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers have struggled so far this season, but the Detroit Lions' putrid start to the 2012 NFL season is both unexpected and inexcusable. 

    After improving every season for the past four years, the Lions are in a full-fledged tailspin, and Jim Schwartz is on the verge of losing his team completely after starting the season 1-3.

    Whether it's his special teams giving up two touchdowns in two straight games, his defense surrendering big plays like they're getting paid to do so or his offense failing to put up points, Schwartz's team is in danger of completely falling apart. 

    Hopefully his players will come out with a vengeance after their Week 5 bye and turn their season around. If not, it's going to be impossible to keep up with the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings in their own division—let alone to contend for a wild-card spot in the NFC. 

     

    Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78

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