NFL: 4 Teams That Should Be Hitting the Panic Button

Trevor MedeirosCorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2011

Todd Haley's Chiefs could be the worst team in the NFL
Todd Haley's Chiefs could be the worst team in the NFLLeon Halip/Getty Images

When it comes to the regular season in the NFL, you can exhaust so many tired clichés about its longevity:  "It’s a marathon, not a sprint"; "Rome wasn’t built in a day"; "It’s not how you start, but rather how you finish."

Many football fans and experts will be re-hashing these clichés to provide a false hope for many of the league’s 0-2 teams this week.  Yes, your team may be winless two weeks into the season, but we still have a long way to go!

Of course, some teams that have started 0-2 shouldn’t panic, just like those 2-0 teams out there shouldn’t be patting themselves on the back.  But contrary to popular belief, there are some 0-2 teams out there who should be panicking at this moment, as their performances through two weeks are indications that they’re in some serious trouble.

In Miami, the Dolphins faithful are turning their backs on the hometown team in droves, and rightfully so.  If I’m a Dolphins fan, I don’t know what’s more alarming:  the fact that the defense has been overmatched against two quality offenses (New England and Houston) or the fact that Miami is 1-9 in their last ten home games dating back to last year.

That’s truly one of the most baffling NFL stats I’ve ever come across.  You’re supposed to win some home games, right?  Hell, even the bad teams win at home.  Miami better hope they still have some road magic left over from 2010, because right now, they desperately need to start winning to retain their dying fan base.

In Minnesota, it may be time to start the Christian Ponder era sooner than expected, given how Donovan McNabb’s decline continues at an alarming rate.  In an era where quarterbacks are putting up 400-yard games with ease, McNabb has yet to hit 300 passing yards through two games.

He may have a new uniform, but it’s clear that McNabb’s declining game followed him from our nation’s capital, and in a division (NFC North) fueled by great quarterbacks, the Vikings should be concerned knowing they have one of the worst in the league.

I say one of the worst, but the absolute worst may be Kerry Collins.  He had a slight improvement from his opening week debacle in Houston, but it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome a pedestrian Browns team at home.

If it’s any consolation to Colts fans, they get a much better team coming to town next week in the Steelers.  Just for the record, can we finally stop applauding the greatness of Bill Polian and start exposing him as one of the most overrated personnel figures in the league?

Football is a team sport, but evidently not in Indianapolis, where for years, one man—Peyton Manning—covered for a team loaded with flaws.  Now that he’s sidelined, it’s painfully obvious that the entire Colts roster is one big flaw.

I actually feel bad for Manning.  If he had a GM over the years surrounding him with real talent—particularly on defense—he would’ve won more than one Super Bowl to this point.

I can bash the Dolphins, Vikings, and Colts, but at least they’re putting up a fight, something I can’t say about the Chiefs.  I’ve never seen a team look as lifeless through two weeks of a season as Kansas City has.

They’ve been absolutely outclassed on both sides of the ball thus far in 2011, losing by a combined 89-10 to the Bills and Lions.  Now they get to travel to San Diego and face a fuming Charger team looking for vengeance after basically beating themselves in New England.

To add injury to insult (literally), the Chiefs have lost their best offensive (Jamaal Charles) and defensive player (Eric Berry) to season-ending knee injuries.  Given the lack of fight shown on this team, Kansas City’s season looks like it’s done before it ever really started.  Coach Todd Haley will be unemployed by Halloween.

Speaking of Halloween, these four teams should be really afraid right now.  They should be concerned that their seasons could already be up in smoke, given how frighteningly bad they’ve been on the field.