The Baltimore Ravens and 6 NFL Teams on the Brink of Disaster
For a variety of reasons, the Ravens and other struggling teams could have their postseason hopes in serious danger. Injuries, slumping players and tough schedules are all legitimate reasons for these NFL teams to be worrying about the postseason in 2012.
While we are only heading into Week 8 the Ravens and these six teams are potentially on the brink of missing the postseason and experiencing an offseason full of disappointment and changes.
Let's examine six NFL teams on the brink of disaster.
6. Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia is only averaging 17 points per game with Vick at the helm, and he has caused fans headaches with his eight interceptions and six fumbles in only six games.
While the defense is playing great so far, Vick and the offense are seriously holding back Philadelphia's chances of making the postseason in 2012. It's getting to a point with Vick that there are some who think rookie quarterback Nick Foles should take over under center.
The Eagles are on the brink of disaster, and it shouldn't surprise anyone.
5. Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton had a monster rookie season that had Carolina Panthers fans everywhere excited about the possibilities of a postseason run or more in 2012.
The Panthers are currently at 1-5 and Newton has helped to clearly define the term "sophomore slump."
Newton hasn't had much help. The Carolina defense is mediocre in every sense of the word, ranking No. 19 or worse in every statistical category, including giving up 366 yards and 24 points per game.
While Newton has only completed 58 percent of his passes and been a major reason for the offense's lack of success, his immature actions in losses have had a massive negative impact on the roster as well.
The coaching staff needs to do a better job of putting Newton in a position to succeed, but he needs to grow up quickly. If he cannot, the Panthers aren't winning many more games in 2012.
4. Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders are different from other teams on this list in that the franchise is actually coming off a victory, but that does not change the fact the Raiders are arguably the worst team in the NFL.
The Raiders are a miserable 2-4 overall with an 0-2 record in the suddenly competitive AFC West. Quarterback Carson Palmer is holding the vertical-oriented offense back, and the running game has been non-existent despite such a talented back like Darren McFadden taking the handoffs.
Defensively, the Raiders are giving up 29 points per game, with the low point for the unit coming when it gave up 35 points in Week 2 against the mediocre Miami Dolphins.
The Raiders are clearly in a rebuilding mode, but were expected to be more competitive this season considering the franchise gave up a ridiculous amount to bring Palmer to Oakland.
As it turns out, the Raiders aren't competitive and have little in the way of draft picks to accelerate the rebuilding process.
3. Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals are in a free fall that is leading them straight out of contention for the postseason in 2012.
Cincinnati lost its third straight game Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, dropping its divisional record in the AFC North to a miserable 1-3. The Bengals were embarrassed on Monday Night Football by the Baltimore Ravens and also gave the lowly Cleveland Browns its only win of the season.
The problems for Cincinnati are numerous. Andy Dalton is having serious issues making anything happen in the passing attack and the running back position certainly isn't taking pressure off his shoulders with BenJarvus Green-Ellis only averaging 3.4 yards per carry.
Defensively the once-stout unit is miserable, having been gashed by the Steelers third-string running back Jonathan Dwyer for 122 yards despite running behind a backup center.
Cincinnati has been a major disappointment so far in 2012, and the free fall could continue if recent games are any indication.
2. Arizona Cardinals
It's been all downhill from there.
Arizona has lost three in a row, with the most recent loss coming to the Minnesota Vikings.
Quarterback Kevin Kolb was doing a great job managing the team but went down with an injury two weeks ago. John Skelton has been miserable as his replacement and the Cardinals are plummeting.
The Cardinals have an elite defense that only gives up 16 points per game, but pairing that unit with an offensive one that only averages 17 points a game is not exactly a winning formula.
Arizona has a brutal schedule remaining to round out the season, with tough divisional matchups with the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, as well as massive games against the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons on the horizon as well.
With a laughably bad offense, it may be time to start panicking in the desert.
1. Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens are 5-2, with a stellar 2-0 record in the ultra-competitive AFC North.
Thanks to a plethora of injuries and a shellacking at the hands of the AFC's best in the Houston Texans, it could be panic time in Baltimore.
The heart of the once-elite defense, Ray Lewis, is out for the year. While critics have considered Lewis ineffective because of age, his absence was readily apparent Sunday when the Ravens gave up a season-high 43 points to the Texans.
Offensively, quarterback Joe Flacco has continue to prove he isn't ready for the "elite" label, as he threw for just 147 yards on a ridiculous 43 attempts. He competed only 48 percent of his passes for a miserable 45 quarterback rating.
With Lewis out, Lardarius Webb out for the year, Ed Reed injured yet again and a hobbled Terrell Suggs just now returning, the defense in Baltimore is no longer scary.
Pair that with an offense limited by a mediocre quarterback and you get the exact definition of an NFL team on the brink of disaster in 2012.