Let’s take the San Francisco 49ers (1-2) for starters. With injuries to key players (mainly receivers), a 25th ranked pass defense, Aldon Smith’s personal issues and a struggling Colin Kaepernik, the most popular pick to win it all in 2013 struggles early.
Then there are Atlanta Falcons (1-2)! Their inability to provide a power running game and close out opponents after jumping out to significant leads are the primary reasons why their record is identical to San Fran’s.
The Green Bay Packers (1-2) have been able to carry something from last season into 2013 that they would love to leave behind. Their defense is susceptible to big plays down field. Much like Atlanta, the hope for the Pack is their rushing attack secures a respectable identity. Aaron Rodgers is still arguably the best quarterback in the game, but he’ll need help if things are to get better for his 1-2 squad.
Much like their division rival, the Minnesota Vikings (0-3) have that one guy you can count on. While early numbers indicate that a 2,500 rushing yard season is a lofty goal, it can be counted on for Adrian Peterson to do what he does best, barring any injuries. If only Minnesota’s passing game complemented its running, Minnesota’s start to 2013 could be opposite.
Finally, the Washington Redskins (0-3)! It’s easy to blame Robert Griffin III for the team’s surprisingly disappointing start. Although he’s lacking the mobility he had in his rookie campaign, and has made some questionable decisions, Griffin ranks fifth among quarterbacks in yardage at 325 yards per game. The issues run deeper than RG3! The defense can’t seem to tackle or cover opposing offenses. Receivers are dropping passes. Special teams returns result in poor field positioning for the offense.
The only team that’s showing any resemblance of a playoff team from last season is the Seattle Seahawks (3-0). After being shutout offensively by the Carolina Panthers in a 12-7 win, Pete Carroll’s outfit is doing what they are supposed to do…WIN. The defense remains imposing, Russell Wilson still manages games well and Marshawn Lynch has been able to reward himself with Skittles after finding the end zone.
Even with Seattle’s stellar play early in the season, it still isn’t enough to help bolster the win percentages of its counterparts. Washington, San Francisco, Atlanta, Green Bay, Minnesota and Seattle have a combined 6-12 record to start the 2013 campaign. While that is an unexpected start for a group of playoff teams, redemption is available.
Will all these teams turn things around as the season progresses? Stay tuned!
For now, let’s see which of them are able to add another win, or in the case of Washington and Minnesota, their first mark to the win column.
Here we go:
*49ers over Rams
*Ravens over Bills
*Bengals over Browns
*Bears over Lions
*Texans over Seahawks
*Colts over Jaguars
*Chiefs over Giants
*Steelers over Vikings
*Buccaneers over Cardinals
*Titans over Jets
*Broncos over Eagles
*Redskins over Raiders
*Cowboys over Chargers
*Patriots over Falcons
*Saints over Dolphins
Week three, I broke even at 8-8. The quest for the upward climb continues!
By Antoine Hoffman