Uphill Climb

Teams who start 0-2 have a tough road ahead

by Contributing NFL writer Brian Akins @BrianWNML Mail@3PSMag.com

Take a trip back through the years in the NFL and you will see that there have been many teams get off to an 0-2 start, but only 11% have made the playoffs.

I am going to look at the teams currently in the NFL that hold an 0-2 record and give my thoughts on who I believe will make the playoffs.

Right now in the NFL, there are seven teams that have an 0-2 record.  Arizona, Seattle, Detroit, New York Giants, Oakland, Houston, and Buffalo currently hold a winless start.  Seattle, the Giants and Houston are honestly a surprise to me that they have gotten off to an 0-2 start.  But there is still time for things to be turned around for all seven teams.

The worst team among these seven in my opinion has to be Arizona.  Through two games the Cardinals have scored a total of six points offensively and given up a whopping 58 points on defense.  The Cardinals are dead last in the NFL in total yards on offense with only 350 total.  They are by far the last team among these seven to have an opportunity to make the playoffs.

I have two teams of these seven that I believe have the best shot to make the playoffs this season, and it is the Giants and the Seahawks.  Yeah call me crazy thinking that Giants are going to make the playoffs since Eli is struggling to stay upright, but New York has legitimate talent on the field.  Second overall pick in Saquon Barkley has shown why he was picked in the second spot in this past draft.  Don’t forget OBJ and what he is capable of on the field.  Not to mention that he finally got the extension that he wanted that made him a Giant for the next five years and pays the talented receiver $95 million and nearly $65 million guaranteed.  If that’s not incentive to step up, then I don’t know what is.  Lastly, there’s Eli Manning.  Eli is one of the best QBs in the league when he has the protection.  There’s a reason that he is a two-time Super Bowl MVP.  I believe that he will become much more effective as the season moves along that ultimately makes New York a legitimate threat in the NFC East.

The other team that I believe has a shot to make the playoffs is Seattle.  The Seahawks are not naive to what it takes to make it to the playoffs.  The 2013-14 Seahawk teams are proof that Seattle knows how to not only make the playoffs, but win a Super Bowl and lose a Super Bowl in one single play.  Quarterback Russell Wilson has not had his best start this season, but he has plenty of time to improve to the level we all know he can play at.  There’s no doubt that Seattle is lacking in supporting talent, but they still have talent.  Receiver Tyler Lockett and RB Chris Carson are key contributors to this Seahawk offense.  The defense is not even close to what it was during the “Legion of Boom” days with Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.  Thomas is the only remaining piece of the legion because Sherman was dealt to San Francisco and Chancellor announced his retirement from the league.  Defense will be the toughest hurdle for Seattle this season, but I do believe that they have a shot.

With all of that being said, the one team of these seven teams that I believe will end up in the playoffs is the New York Giants.  New York has a great amount of offensive talent sprinkled throughout.  If the offensive line led by Nate Solder can get things gelled together, then they can be great.  Also, that allows future HOFer Eli Manning to do what he does best and that’s distribute the ball effectively.  Combine that with the skill set of Odell Beckham Jr. and the ability of Saquon Barkley and you have multiple threats.  I think that New York is too talented to not make the playoffs this season.  I know it has been a slow, sluggish start but I do believe that come week 16 the Giants will be getting ready to play in the postseason.

My Pick: New York Giants

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