NFL: Worst of the Worst, Five Teams Destined for a Bad Season
This time of year is rife with "who will win it all" talk, and who will be the biggest surprise player, but it seems very few people want to spend too much time talking about who will be the absolute worst teams in the NFL this year. So let's take a look now at the teams only their most diehard fans could possibly love. There's an old saying that everyone is in the race on opening day. These five teams really aren't.
One tie that binds all the teams on this list together is that their front offices aren't the sharpest tools in the shed. Carolina has a lot of rebuilding to do following a 2-14 season and the one area where they actually have some real talent is at running back with James Stewart and Mike Goodson.
An area where they are going to have some real problems is wide receiver, especially since long time star Steve Smith is now saying he wants out. So what is the first thing the team does once the lockout is lifted? They re-sign a player they absolutely did not need in Deangelo Williams. The oft-injured back has had his production drop consistently over the last three years and the team has needs almost everywhere else.
Having Cam Newton under center might make this team worth watching, sheerly for the spectacle, but it's going to be a bad team again in 2011.
It's odd how often people overlook the Buffalo Bills when they talk about truly bad teams. Maybe it's because Buffalo is the only team in the league with a former Ivy league quarterback at the helm and because of this they feel some pity. Whatever the reason, there is little doubt that when Ryan Fitzpatrick is your best option behind center, you're going to be in for a long season.
The Bills offense was decidedly anemic for much of 2010 and their one offensive strength is one that can't really be exploited when your quarterbacks are so bad. Nothing could be a better example of just how bad the team was and will continue to be than their final two games of the season last year. The Bills finished the season losing 34-3 and 38-7. Another 4-12 season is on the horizon for New York's worst team.
Earlier I said that the worst teams in the league of course have some of the worst front offices. The Bengals might have the worst front office in all of professional sports. The team's star quarterback, the QB who actually seemed to be leading the team out of the dark ages, is so mad at owner Mike Brown he wants out and would rather simply not play than suit up for Cincy this year. The Bengals have also gotten rid of both of their starting wide receivers, with Chad Ocho Cinco being dealt for two FIFTH ROUND draft picks.
Thanks to the mismanagement of the team, the Bengals look quite a bit like an expansion franchise, with a rookie quarterback expected to line up behind center in Andy Dalton and his top target, A.J. Green, a rookie wide receiver. The Bengals number two wide receiver, Andre Caldwell caught a grand total of 25 passes last year. Despite this, the team refused to get involved in any real way in chasing ANY of the top free agent wide receivers that have been available.
How do you sum up how bad this franchise is in one sentence? The team is coming off a 4-12 season and it's head coach, sporting a losing career record, was given an extension. Expect an expansion franchise-like record with a max of three wins.
John Beck or Rex Grossman? Is there any NFL team that claims it wants to contend having to have a duel between two quarterbacks who less is expected of? The Redskins are going to need their defense to shut teams out in order to win, because the offense looks like it could be the worst in the NFL pretty easily.
The only spot where the depth chart battle could be less impressive is at running back where Ryan Torain and Tim Hightower are expected to duke it out for the chance to start. Perhaps that is why so many people are so high on the rookie from Nebraska, Roy Helu. There may not be a team where an unheralded rookie could make as much noise as Helu could. With the lack of offensive talent, it's a bit surprising that the 'Skins actually finished with six wins last year, until you notice that indeed their defense was the key. When the other team scored a paltry 17 or more points, the Redskins were an astoundingly bad 1-10 last season. And the offense probably got WORSE in 2011.
Remember when the Seattle Seawhawks were actually Super Bowl contenders? Remember when Pete Carroll was considered a genius head coach? Seattle backed into the playoffs last year, becoming the only team in the league's history to actually make the postseason while sporting a losing record and what did they did for an encore? Downgrade.
Matt Hasselbeck was let go and in his stead the team brought in...Tarvaris Jackson? Even the Minnesota Vikings, who certainly weren't stacked at QB before they went out and got Donovan McNabb, had enough of this guy. I guess the team wanted to bring in a familiar face for Jackson to throw to, because while the Seahawks receiving corps is pretty weak, they do have Sidney Rice who caught all of 17 passes for 280 yards last year in the six games he appeared in. In his defense, Rice caught 83 passes the year before, when he was healthy. Rice also had a much better quarterback throwing him the ball in 2010. How the team won seven games last year is a bit of a mystery. If they top four wins this year it will be nothing short of a miracle.