Coming into the 2013 NFL season I thought I had seen everything that could possibly happen in football, the first three weeks of this season has changed that. Both the Chiefs and the Dolphins are 3-0, three top playoff teams in the 49ers, Falcons and Packers are 1-2 and lastly, the Redskins, Steelers, Vikings and Giants are all 0-3. While the beginning of this season has been very unpredictable, I will be solely focusing on the three most disappointing teams as of this moment.
1. New York Giants:
No, the Giants didn’t make the playoffs last season. However, each and every year they are expected to make a run at the playoffs and to have a double-digit number in their win column. The reason the Giants are on this list is because they went from being a playoff contending team to looking like one of the worst teams in football. The New York Giants are currently 0-3 and tied for last place in the NFC East.
This is the first time since 1996 that the Giants have started a season 0-3; that’s 17 years! There have been many factors to the Giants going win-less through week three. Let’s start with the injuries. The Giants have been a very injury ridden team this year, with many key players on the injury-reserve list, such as, Andre Brown, Stevie Brown, Ramses Barden, Henry Hynoski and Dan Conner. Starting Tackle David Diehl has also been sidelined with an injury and he is said to be returning mid-season. Another huge problem is the Giants’ rushing attack and run-blocking.
The Giants are currently ranked dead last in the NFL in rushing yards with a mere 133 yards in three games, averaging 2.7 yards per carry. To round it all off, Quarterback Eli Manning hasn’t been performing to the level we are used to seeing him at. Manning currently leads the league in interceptions with nine, has only thrown five touchdowns and has a completion percentage of 58.5 percent, which is one of the worst in the NFL. The Giants are currently coming off a week three loss to the Carolina Panthers, being shutout 38-0 and they will need to turn things around in their upcoming game against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs or else they can toss their playoff hopes right out the window.
2. San Francisco 49ers:
Ah, the San Francisco 49ers, the team everyone seemed to have as the favorite to win a superbowl this year, has fallen to 1-2. They began the season looking just as great as everyone predicted them to be, beating a very good Green Bay Packer team. Newly acquired receiver Anquan Boldin looked like an all-star. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick also had a stellar game, throwing for 412 yards, three touchdowns and completing 69.2 percent of his passes.
After that week one game it has been all downhill for the team. The biggest problem for the niners has been exactly what shined for them in week one, Colin Kaepernick and the passing attack. In the team’s last two games against the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts they have looked horrendous, in those games COMBINED, Kaepernick has passed for 277 yards, zero touchdowns, four interceptions and has completed approximately 47 percent of his passes. Besides the problem being Kaepernick, the 49ers uncharacteristically have been having trouble stopping the run. They have given up 419 rushing yards which is the third worst in the NFL and they have also allowed six rushing touchdowns, which is the worst. Nevertheless, the 49ers are 1-2 and a win tonight against the St. Louis Rams will put them at .500 and right back in the hunt.
3. Washington Redskins:
Another NFC East team makes the list. The Washington Redskins surprised many last season when they won the division with a 10-6 record, as well as winning their last seven games of the regular season in a row. There are really only two contributing factors as to why the Redskins are 0-3 right now.
First and foremost is the issue of their defense, they have looked just pitiful stopping both the run and the pass. Let us begin with the pass defense, the Redskins’ defense has allowed 999 passing yards which is the second most in the league, they have allowed eight passing touchdowns which is also second most in the league and lastly, the defense has only amassed one single interception. Now let’s talk about their defense against the run. Throughout these first three games the Redskins have allowed 465 rushing yards, which is again second most in the league and they have allowed four rushing touchdowns to be scored on them which is third. The second problem with this team is with their Quarterback, Robert Griffin III aka RG3, well it’s moreso his injury.
It’s very clear that this second year Quarterback isn’t the same player he was last year after tearing his ACL. While RG3 has put up some good passing numbers with 975 yards, five touchdowns and a 63.3 completion percentage, his injury is giving him some difficulties. Last season RG3 put up 815 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns, so far this year he has only put up 62 rushing yards along with no touchdowns. The knee injury is stopping him from being as dynamic as he was and is forcing him to be more of a pocket-passer, which he’s obviously not.
The proof is in the pudding, as last season he threw only five interceptions in 15 games, in three games this year he’s already thrown four; not having the option to run the ball at any given time has definitely done some damage to RG3’s game. However, the biggest problem for this team is by far the defense, if they can somehow find a way to pull it all together, they still have a fighting chance in a weak division.
Honorable Mentions: Atlanta Falcons & Green Bay Packers