The NFL Preseason is a time when fans are at their most hopeful. They’ve gotten a little taste of what their team looks like and are ready to take on the world. You tout your teams’ draft picks and/or free agency acquisitions and you defend any changes that were made or weren’t made in the offseason citing that “This will be the year!” it will all come together. Then, the season kicks off and it’s a whole different story. Maybe a big name player gets injured right off the bat. Maybe a new offensive or defensive scheme doesn’t quite work as well as hoped. And maybe the team just plain stinks. Those high hopes turn into bitter disappointment pretty quickly and at the halfway point in the 2013 NFL season, here are some teams that are the biggest disappointment.
Granted, the Eagles weren’t expected to outperform this season by very much. At the start of the season, ESPN had ranked them #25 overall in their first Power Rankings. But the buildup for Chip Kelly’s offense was intense and promising. Especially after their thumping of the Redskins in Week 1, it looked as if this offense was just going to take off and get better and better. Instead, it’s stalled and gotten worse. The Eagles’ defense is terrible and that just makes it worse and more obvious that the offense isn’t raining touchdowns like we all thought they might. Possibly, once Kelly gets to draft and obtain personnel more fitted to his style of offense, things will take off. We all kind of jumped the gun thinking it might be so soon.
The Steelers weren’t expected to be very successful this season either, by most accounts. Unfortunately, that is little consolation to Steelers fans who expect nothing less than a Super Bowl Parade every season. The Steelers were coming off of an underwhelming 8-8 season, are in just the second year under OC Todd Haley, and their offensive line (which was filled with top draft picks) were to play their first season together as a unit. The line has already been decimated by injuries and the team is struggling on all phases of the game to pull out wins. The Steelers could be heading towards their first losing season under Tomlin and the object would be to just finish better than the Browns to save some dignity.
The Giants weren’t expected to dominate the NFC by any means this season but no one expected Eli to turn into a turnover machine through the first six games. Seemed like nothing could go Big Blue’s way through the first quarter of the NFL season. Their offensive line is bad and their defensive line is possibly worse. They’ve just won back-to-back games but they certainly have more problems remaining. An 8-8 record might just win the NFC East, but it’s not likely that will be the Giants that achieve that this season. They very much so have dug themselves into a hole in the first half of the season that they’re not likely to get out of.
The Texans were thought of to be one of the best teams in the NFL, not just the AFC before the 2013 NFL season kicked off. They won their first two games but then Matt Schaub turned into a pick-six machine and the wheels continued to fall off. Now the team has injuries to add to the major disappointment their season has already been and set them back some more. They’re going forward with Case Keenum at quarterback so the future for the Texans could be in question as well if he doesn’t perform well.
This team by far had the highest pre-kickoff rankings of all the teams. ESPN had them ranked #2 overall. They were tied for the best record in the NFL last season and were a few plays away from the Super Bowl. The Falcons have one of the crappiest defenses in the league and the injuries sustained have fans wondering if an above .500 finish is even possible. This is a downward spiral that no other team is on but they can most likely rebound from it next year.