I think a lot of us saw an 0-4 record for Jacksonville before the season started, but I’m pretty sure none of us saw the abominations that have become the Giants, Steelers and Buccaneers. Why are they here and can anything turn these teams around?
Tampa Bay – It’s one thing when you have a quarterback controversy when the team is around .500. It’s another one entirely when the team is winless and the former quarterback and head coach are at odds. That’s where the Buccaneers find themselves this week as they sit at 0-4 while Greg Schiano and Josh Freeman trade barbs.
While the Bucs are a respectable 12th in total defense, the offense is 31st and ahead of only Jacksonville. Rookie Mike Glennon is the quarterback for now and the rest of the season according to Schiano and that decision will greatly impact his job. If Glennon plays well and gets the Bucs back to respectability at 8-8 or so by season’s end then Schiano might survive. Otherwise, I think he and Freeman will be looking for work elsewhere.
Pittsburgh – Many thought the young offensive line would take time to come together and that’s been slower than expected. With the savior at running back Le’Veon Bell missing the first three games and team MVP Heath Miller missing the first two, the team was already behind the eight-ball. Ben Roethlisberger has turned the ball over six times in the last two games and while he can’t be blamed for all of those, he must take better care of the ball.
The defense has actually been a problem as well with poor tackling, poor coverage and the worst stat of all being they have zero takeaways. Pittsburgh has always been a stable franchise so don’t expect radical change during the season despite the fact they have some guys who they could part with as they are pending free agents. They will try to make a run in the average AFC North, but I don’t like their chances.
New York Giants – In past years, we would have all sat back and waited for the Tom Coughlin-led Giants to put everything together and make another late season run to the playoffs. I don’t see it happening this year though. The offensive line is struggling to give Eli Manning time to throw and the running game is non-existent as well.
On defense, the G-Men are struggling big time. They have surrendered an amazing 36 points per game through the first four weeks of the season and even though the NFC East may come down to a champion with an 8-8 record, there is just too much work to be done. If any of the four winless teams could make a run I’d say it’s this one but I believe this is the swan song for Tom Coughlin who has had a great run in New York.
Jacksonville – When you rank dead last in the NFL in offense and you rank 22nd in the NFL in defense, there’s a good chance your team is going to be without a win. Throw in very poor quarterback play and I give you the Jags of 2013. Factor in that the schedule they have faced in the first four weeks featured to unbeatens in Kansas City and Seattle but also 3-1 Indianapolis. Only the Raiders provided a chance to win a football game for the Jags.
Assuming Jacksonville is the worst of the 0-4 group, they’ll have plenty of options when the 2014 NFL Draft rolls around and I would have to think that quarterback will be the number one thing on their list. Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne just aren’t going to get it done consistently in the NFL and the franchise needs someone desperately to come in and light a fire under the team and the fan base.