After a rough start in the first quarter of the NFL season, some NFL team’s fans may be looking down the tunnel and not seeing any light. Well, maybe your team still has a shot to climb back to the “in the hunt” category from the “bottomfeeder” category. Let’s take a look at some teams who may be able to fix their sails before the regular season (get it?) swallows them.
1. The New York Jets
Oh the Jets.
After a beautiful start, everyone in the Jets organization is thinking, “what the hell is going on”?
Sure, they had a tough schedule, playing 3 of the 4 NFC North opponents in a row, with the Packers, Bears, and Lions all taking their turns whooping them. But that doesn’t mean they weren’t expected to win.
This team has talent they just need to know how to use it. Also, Geno Smith needs to get his head screwed on right. You can’t leave the whole offensive chemistry up to Chris Ivory (who has played fantastic so far).
Michael Vick got some cheers last game, but it isn’t time for him just yet. If he comes in, then there will be no turnaround, just mediocrity. Who wants that?
The Jets have a great defense, a decent set of weapons, and a gunslinger who can be a great quarterback. These guys need time. They have the toughest schedule in the league for the next three weeks though, facing San Diego, then Denver, then New England. I can’t say for certain they win any of those games, but this team isn’t dead in the water yet.
2. The Cleveland Browns
That is how many points separate Cleveland from a 1-2 and 3-0 record. These guys, one could say, are just unlucky. Divisional losses to the Steelers and Ravens make things difficult for these guys, but they have just as much if not more talent than those two victors.
One good start to their turnaround will be getting RB Ben Tate back this week, who will assume starting roles immediately upon return, according to NBC Sports . His veteran talent will help lead this young offense, who have been relying on undrafted rookie Terrance West to lead the charge. The spirited play of Brian Hoyer will also play a huge role in getting more victories for the Cleveland squad.
The defense hasn’t been stellar, allowing a game winning field goal to the Ravens last week and the Steelers in week one. They also have not allowed less than 20 points once.
These are easy fixes though from the coaching staff. I still see the Browns competing for a playoff spot this season. Plus, if anything goes wrong, you can always throw in Manziel, right?
3. The Minnesota Vikings
Suddenly. after a week 4 victory over the Atlanta Falcons (which I predicted, echem), the Vikings look like a good team. All these weapons just popped out of nowhere. We know Cordarelle Patterson is a monster and can be used in every offensive way possible, but did you know about these guys?
Matt Asiata (78 rush yards, 3 TDS), Jerrick McKinnon (135 rush yards), and Jairus Wright (8 rec, 132 yards).
Those guys now give Minnesota more to work with than just Greg Jennings.
Teddy Bridgewater looked absolutely fantastic in his first NFL start, throwing for over 300 yards, rushing for a TD, not turning the ball over, and, most importantly, getting a win.
If Adrian Peterson ever comes back to this team, they will have a logjam at halfback,yes, but they will be one of the most talented offensive teams in the league. This team is already on the turnaround with Bridgewater at the helm, so look forward to some success for this squad.
4. The New England Patriots
The Kansas City Chiefs would be in this spot if they hadn’t won big against the struggling Pats, but they did, so they aren’t. Tom Brady and his struggling Patriot squad have looked, at many times, done. By done, I mean completely irrelavent. No longer will the Patriots be the scariest team on the schedule or the offense that defenses stay up all night thinking about. That is the way we are headed.
But have no fear, Bostonians and New Englanders alike. Brady, Belichick, and Gostkowski always figure out a way to storm back from the shadows.
The team itself really isn’t that bad. It has lots of talent at wide receiver for the first time in a while (Amendola, Edelman, Dobson, LaFell, Thompkins) and a pair of great tight ends (Gronkowski and Wright). They also have a pair of explosive weapons in the backfield with Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley. Tom Brady is quite the crappy form of himself this year, but he is still Tom Brady. The defense isn’t turning any heads, though, giving up 33 points to Miami in week 1 and 41 to Kansas City in this past week 4.
This team needs to work out a few kinks, but they will still finish atop the division once again.