NFL Week 3: What teams have disappointed after three weeks? Raiders, Texans, Saints, Seattle
The Texans and the Raiders are the only two teams still searching for their first win of the season, but they aren’t the only ones who have disappointed.
No one is going to be crowned Super Bowl Champion any time soon, just like no team is going to be knocked out of playoff contention in the next few weeks. However, there is cause for concern for some teams who have started their season off in disappointing fashion. A couple of these teams were expected to struggle, but others came into this season full of ambition.
Las Vegas Raiders: 0-3, last in AFC West
Last year the Raiders made the playoffs despite one of the most tumultuous regular seasons full of off the field issues in recent memory. Their coach was fired after Jon Gruden’s emails containing racist and homophobic language were made public. Then one of the top young receivers in the game was arrested after being involved in a DUI accident that killed another person.
This year they brought in a new head coach Josh McDaniels and one of the best receivers in the league Davante Adams who left Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Green Bay. With a cast full of studs on the receiving corp and Derek Carr under center with a quarterback oriented head coach on the sideline the Raiders seemed destined for success this season.
Their opening game was a tough one. The Chargers got the best of them in LA on the opening Sunday Night game of the season. The Raiders were in it until the end, but three Carr interceptions complicated things in Week 1. They had the Cardinals game in the bag until a fourth quarter collapse that saw Arizona claw their way back from 16 down to tie the game and eventually win it in overtime. It was their turn to try to steal a victory from the Titans over the weekend, but a slow start put had them battling up hill for the second half of play. Carr constructed a late touchdown drive that could have leveled the game in the final minute of the fourth, but the two point conversion was no good and the Raiders dropped to 0-3.
Coach McDaniels has seen things he has liked from his team, but after the loss to the Titans on Sunday said if his team doesn’t find out how to play a complete game they are going to continue to struggle. “We’re going to have to learn how to play a full 60 minutes and earn the right to win,” McDaniels said. “That’s where we’re at right now. There’s a lot of things we have to do better as players and coaches, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.”
New Orleans Saints: 1-2, third in NFC South
Questions surrounded the Saints start to the campaign as Jameis Winston was coming back from a season ending knee surgery. Long time Saints coach Sean Payton retired just a year after franchise quarterback for over a decade Drew Brees hung up the shoulder pads.
No one was sure how Winston was going to enter the season after mending the torn ACL he suffered in Week 8 of last year. Even if Winston came back to full strength, he has never led a team to the playoffs in any of his eight years in the league.
With a vamped up receiving corp the Saints offense looked like they would be tough to stop considering their rookie WR Chris Olave and offseason acquisition Jarvis Landry available for Winston. So far neither have made the difference in New Orleans.
The Saints needed a 17 point 4th quarter to make a miraculous comeback on the Atlanta Falcons who are forecasted to be one of the bottom feeders of the league this year. After the 27-26 win in Week 1, the Saints took 57 minutes to score their first touchdown in what turned out to be a literal slugfest with the Bucs. They had to wait until the fourth quarter to get into the end zone again this weekend against the Carolina Panthers, and by that time it was too late getting back into the game.
The Saints have been plagued by slow starts in the opening three games, and will need figure out a way to keep themselves from having to battle back in games if they want to get on the right side of the win column.
Houston Texans: last in AFC South 0-2-1
The Texans knew they were not going to have it easy this year. Lovie Smith has a young team, and he is going to need some time to turn things around in Houston. The Texans have had chances to win each of the games they have played, but they lack that killer instinct to put teams to the sword late in the fourth quarter.
They started the season with a tie against division rival, the Indianapolis Colts. As ugly a tie is for any team, avoiding a loss in the opening week of the season was seen as a plus for the Texans, especially against a team like the Colts who were thought to be one of the top teams in the AFC to start the season.
Houston got locked into a defensive showdown with the Denver Broncos in Week 2. They totaled just over 250 yards and failed to score a single touchdown in the Mile High City.
This week Lovie Smith took a chance on his young quarterback, giving him the green light to try to march down the field and win the game in the final minute. Unfortunately for the Texans, Mills threw a pick deep in Houston territory which led to the Bears kicking a game winning field goal.
The Texans are in a season where they are going to have to grow as they go. This trail and error period may look ugly at times, but it’s the best way for this team to mature at an expedited pace.
Seattle Seahawks: 1-2, tied for last in NFL West
On paper, Seattle look like one of the team that should struggle the most this year. They traded Russell Wilson away in the offseason, and didn’t look for his replacement, sticking with Geno Smith as their quarterback.
Smith has actually been one of the best Seahawks players this year. He is completing 77.5% of his passes, and has thrown just two interceptions with four touchdowns. But the Seattle’s offense needs help with from the running game which has yet to score a touchdown this season. Rashaad Penny is their leading rusher getting just 47 yards per contest.
If it wasn’t for two Denver fumbles on the goal line in the opener, we would be talking about Seattle being winless on the year.
The defense has been less then reliable, which makes sense when you look at how young their secondary is. The Niners and the Falcons put up 27 points each over the last two weeks. Neither team is known for their explosiveness on the offensive end.
The post Wilson era is off to a slow start, as the Seahawks look to be in a rebuilding year for the first time since they drafted Wilson in 2012.