Life in the NFL is tough. Seasons hinge on a select few pivotal games a year and any one result, positive or negative, can have a huge impact on how the season plays out.
This week, I'm looking at several teams that will have to deal with disappointing losses. Chief among them are the following three teams.
The Bears are "only" 1-2, but it feels like they could be much worse. Their offense seems disjointed and their defense hasn't been able to pick up the slack like they are used to doing.
Their woes will continue this week against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are the opposite of the Bears, with a record of 1-2, but it feels like they are much better than that. Cam Newton has been better than expected as a rookie and they have improved as a team with each passing week.
As I mentioned, the Bears' defense hasn't been all that bad this season, but they haven't faced a dual-threat quarterback like Cam Newton, yet. Newton will have success on the ground and through the air on the way to leading his team to a big win over the Bears.
The Redskins-Rams game this weekend is a game between two teams that have been surprising this season for different reasons. The Redskins have been much better than most expected and the Rams have been incredibly disappointing.
Water will begin to find its level in this game between the two on Sunday. The Redskins' level of play has to come down at some point and the Rams aren't nearly as bad as their record would lead you to believe. They have played a really tough schedule.
The key here will be the Rams' offensive line play. They have not done a good job of protecting Sam Bradford so far this season. They have talent on their line, so I know that they can play better as a group.
At this point of the season, the Cardinals have to hear opportunity knocking at their door. The Rams, the expected NFC West champs, have stumbled out of the gate and the 49ers are leading the pack thus far.
It doesn't look like it will take that much to win that division. Why not the Cardinals? Kevin Kolb has stabilized the quarterback position and any team with Larry Fitzgerald on it has a chance to win some games.
Their Week 4 opponent, the New York Giants, will force the Cardinals to pump the brakes on their hopes to make the postseason. The Giants' pass rush is ferocious and they play well enough on offense to exploit the weak Arizona Cardinals' defense.