Week 3 NFL Power Rankings: The 0-2 Teams
Power Ranking the NFL's Winless Teams
Even after only two games, being winless is never a good position to be in as an NFL team.
That’s the exact situation for eight franchises, though, as we head towards Week 3’s round of action. Fortunately for at least a couple of them, there won’t be a zero in the win column when all is said and done this weekend.
All eight of these teams took different routes to get to 0-2. One team came within inches of winning both of their first two games, but got the short end of the stick on each occasion. Another team has suffered from the tremendous struggles of their quarterback, who appears to have made a premature return from a serious knee injury. The worst team, however, has simply tanked since taking the field this season – it’s like watching a high school team trying to compete in the NFL.
No matter how they got here, though, all eight of these teams are in the same boat. They’re all facing increasingly-long odds of earning a spot in the playoffs. Throughout the history of the league, only 10 percent of teams who start 0-2 are still playing when the postseason rolls around. Even worse, only 2 percent of teams who start 0-3 earn a playoff spot. That’s what makes earning a win this upcoming weekend so crucial.
So here we go. Here’s a look at the eight 0-2 teams at this point and where they rank heading into Week 3 based on the strength they have moving forward.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars
At this point in the season, the Jaguars are the worst team in the NFL. They’ve managed a measly 11 points in two games and have a non-existent offense. Their best player, Maurice Jones-Drew, is hurt and even their above average offensive line is putting together subpar performances. With a defense made up of no-name players and a Week 3 matchup with the top-dog Seattle Seahawks, it’s not going to get any better for the Jaguars anytime soon.
Week 3: @ Seahawks (2-0)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Who knew that Darrelle Revis would bring all of his drama from the New York Jets with him to Tampa Bay? Okay, you’re right; it’s not that big of a surprise. Revis isn’t happy with Greg Schiano’s style of coaching – a structured one – and starting quarterback Josh Freeman appears to have mentally checked out. Unless something changes real soon it’s going to be a long season for a Buccaneers team that not long ago was considered a playoff contender.
Week 3: @ Patriots (2-0)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
Drama doesn’t have anything to do with the Steelers’ sudden lack of success. The team simply is devoid of talent capable of putting Pittsburgh in the win column. Ben Roethlisberger isn’t getting any help on the offensive side of the ball, while the defense is being forced to shoulder way more of the load than they’re capable of carrying. The Steelers need to find a running game before this season becomes a lost cause.
Week 3: vs. Bears (2-0)
5. Cleveland Browns
Once referred to as the NFL’s Preseason MVP, Brandon Weeden face planted when the games that mattered rolled around. Now that Brian Hoyer is in control of the offense, the Browns aren’t any better off. Even though the defense has been decent, the offense has been non-existent. Hoyer might find some semblance of success as the new starter, but Cleveland is going to have a hard time finding room to compete in the AFC North.
Week 3: @ Vikings (0-2)
4. Carolina Panthers
In both of their losses this season, the Panthers have been right on the cusp of coming away with a victory. If only a few plays had gone in a different direction, they’d be 2-0. Instead, Ron Rivera and Co. continue to struggle in crunch time and it’s put them in a less-than-ideal situation. Cam Newton has done his best to make the offense effective, but the defense’s inability to keep opponents out of the end zone is killing the Panthers.
Week 3: vs. Giants (0-2)
3. Washington Redskins
It ends and begins with Robert Griffin III, who hasn’t been himself since returning from an ACL tear. His mechanics have gone out the window, which is causing major problems in the passing game. On the other side of the ball, the defense is playing with a saddening sense of lethargy. The talent is definitely there to put notches in the win column, but until the offense starts clicking, the losses will continue to pile up.
Week 3: vs. Lions (1-1)
2. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings clearly have the talent to compete with contenders, evidenced by last week’s last-second loss to the Bears. They got the short end of the stick starting the season off with two road games against conference foes, but are still making mistakes of their own. Minnesota needs more from Christian Ponder, who is wildly inconsistent. If the passing game can get going, Adrian Peterson will have more room to run and the Vikings will be right back in the race for the postseason.
Week 3: vs. Browns (0-2)
1. New York Giants
Eli Manning is off to a rocky start in 2013, throwing seven interceptions in the first two games and putting his team in a bad position to be competitive. To make matters worse, No. 1 runner David Wilson can’t seem to muster enough confidence to be an effective weapon in the ground game. Manning will shake off the rust, but if the Giants are going to get back on track, Tom Coughlin needs to take Wilson out of the doghouse and let him run.
Week 3: @ Panthers (0-2)