With week three in the books, the NFL standings are starting to take shape. Forget about the conference and divisional play, let’s take a look at those teams that are struggling, working hard to achieve their first win of the season.
Miami Dolphins – Ownership stamped incompetent on the forehead of head coach Tony Sparano when they tried to hire another head coach while he remained on the job. When the coach being pursued decided to take a job with another team, that left Sparano a dead coach walking. This has had a trickle-down effect on the complete organization, front office, coaches and players. While this might not be the cause for their 0-3 start, it sounds like a good reason, because only a large rock on the track can send the train off the tracks.
Indianapolis Colts – With Peyton Manning on his third neck surgery in the last 20 months, the Colts organization and fan base are in a complete tailspin and a state of shock. Recently retired (2011) quarterback Kerry Collins was talked back into the fast-paced madness of the pass-happy offense. With the losses mounting and the team struggling to stay focused, despite high urgency level in their play on game day, it could be a long stretch before the first win. It just goes to show how one man’s ability can transcend wins and steer an organization for years. It is a proven fact: the NFL is a quarterback driven league, and if you don’t have one it makes a huge difference in wins and losses.
Kansas City Chiefs – If there is any one team devastated by injuries in 2011, the Chiefs are at the top of that category with season-ending knee injuries. In a span of 18 days, the Chiefs lost running back Jamaal Charles, tight end Tony Moeaki and safety Eric Berry to torn ACLs (anterior cruciate ligament). The Chiefs’ ownership, organization and fans must feel like they’re in an Alice and Wonderland movie, where the Mad Hatter is unable to help them through this hard time and they can’t wakeup from the nightmare. When you have three BLUE (playmakers/difference-makers) players lost for the season, placed on injured reserve with the same injury, it is strange. While the losses mount, none of the other 31 teams feels sorry for them, and not one will come to their rescue.
Minnesota Vikings – They have an aging defensive front, arguably one of the top five running backs in the NFL in Adrian Peterson, the construction of a billion-dollar stadium on the line and the losses keep coming like hits on the pop music charts. Quarterback Donovan McNabb won’t make it through the season as the starting quarterback. Look for a change by head coach Leslie Frazier to insert rookie Christian Ponder in favor of the veteran McNabb, and he better do it in a hurry because the Vikings ship will only float with wins.
St. Louis Rams – Arguably the best young elite quarterback in the NFL in Sam Bradford, that has only adequate talent surrounding him with the exception of Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson. There is a defense that has talent, but is struggling to stop the run. The team’s best deep-threat receiver is literally playing on one leg. As the injury bug hit hard early, the Rams self-destructed with countless turnovers and penalties, continuously shooting themselves in the foot too often, resulting in a 0-3 beginning. Of course, it didn’t help that the first three teams were pretty damn good.
Softli Week 4 Picks
Washington @ St. Louis = Rams
Detroit @ Dallas = Lions
San Francisco @ Philadelphia = Eagles
Tennessee @ Cleveland = Browns
Buffalo @ Cincinnati = Bills
Minnesota @ Kansas City = Vikings
Carolina @ Chicago = Bears
Pittsburgh @ Houston = Texans
Atlanta @ Seattle = Falcons
New York Giants @ Arizona = Giants
Miami @ San Diego = Chargers
Denver @Green Bay = Packers
New England @ Oakland = Raiders
New York Jets @ Baltimore = Ravens
Monday Night Football
Indianapolis @ Tampa Bay = Buccaneers
Remember, I’m not a professional at this, so please don’t bet the farm … LOL