Sep 19, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) drops back to pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
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Here’s a look at the top five teams that have a chance of going winless for the 2016 season heading into NFL Week 3.
The 2016 NFL season is only two weeks old, but the picture is already becoming clear when it comes to seeing which teams fall into the category of contenders and which ones should be considered pretenders.
With eight NFL teams heading into Week 3 with a 2-0 record, there’s also eight teams who are currently winless at the moment—which means there’s plenty of pressure heading into next weekend. Not only is it tough to reach the playoffs after an 0-2 start, but no team wants to be the ones flirting with history when it comes to the possibility of going the entire season without a single win.
No team has gone winless since the Detroit Lions in 2008. And even though it’s still early in the season, it’s hard not to wonder if any of the current winless teams could end up making history in a negative way this year.
Of the current teams without a single victory, here’s a look at the five teams with the best chance to go winless in 2016 as they prepare for Week 3.
Sep 18, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and Redskins head coach (R) walk off the field after their game against the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field. The Cowboys won 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
5. Washington Redskins
It’s only been two games into the season, but the Washington Redskins have to be thrilled over the fact they never gave in to the contract demands of Kirk Cousins during the offseason.
Cousins is the perfect example as to why no team should reward players with contracts after just one season. After the quarterback had a breakout year in 2015, throwing for 4,166 yards with 29 touchdowns while leading the Redskins to an NFC East title, his start to 2016 has been paltry. Even after last year’s success, the Redskins knew repeating as division champions wouldn’t be easy. But nobody could have predicted two losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys to start off the season.
Instead of taking advantage of playing two home games to start off the year, Washington finds themselves in an 0-2 hole heading into a Week 3 matchup against another division rival in the New York Giants. As tough as it is to blame one individual for a team’s poor start, Cousins hasn’t helped his cause when it comes to his costly mistakes—especially the multiple interceptions thrown in the red zone.
Sep 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) throws a pass during the second half of the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego won 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
With all of the talent on offense, the Jacksonville Jaguars couldn’t possibly go the entire regular season without a single win, could they?
Keep in mind that this is the same team that only won five games a year ago. If things don’t turn around quickly, Gus Bradley could easily find himself on the hot seat. Not to mention the struggles of Blake Bortles—who already has four turnovers on the season—over the first two games certainly haven’t made things any easier for the Jaguars head coach.
The sad thing is the Jaguars actually looked like they were capable of competing with some of the top teams in the league following their first game of the season against the Green Bay Packers before falling apart against the San Diego Chargers. When looking at their schedule over the course of the season, Jacksonville could find themselves in trouble when looking beyond their Week 3 matchup against the Bears.
For the sake of the Jaguars, the results of their game against the Bears could play a big factor when it comes to how this season is going to turn out.
Sep 15, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan during the second half against the New York Jets at New Era Field. The Jets beat the Bills 37 to 31. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
3. Buffalo Bills
It’s amazing to think the Buffalo Bills managed to put up 31 points against the New York Jets, only to end up firing offensive coordinator Greg Roman on Friday.
Only time will tell when it comes to whether this was the right move by Rex Ryan and company, but it’s easy to understand the frustration behind the team’s 0-2 start. Not only has Buffalo lost each game by six points so far this season, but also their next two opponents happen to be the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots.
If anything, the argument can be made that Rob Ryan should be the one without a job when considering how bad the Bills’ defense looked against the New York Jets in Week 2. Lucky for Buffalo, the team could catch a break down the road with scheduled games against the Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns.
Unless of course, the Bills go on to lose those winnable games.
Sep 18, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson talks with Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Ravens defeated the Browns 25-20. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
One week after Griffin suffered a shoulder injury against the Philadelphia Eagles, McCown hurt himself against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday to put the team in a tough position heading into Week 3. While Cody Kessler is expected to start against the Miami Dolphins, the Browns better hope the rookie doesn’t suffer an injury of his own or the team will be forced to go with Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback.
The frustrating thing is Cleveland appears to have a young group of wide receivers on the rise between Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman. Not to mention the team hopes Josh Gordon can return to his dominant level once his suspension is up.
Of course, none of this is going to matter if the Browns can’t catch a break with keeping quarterbacks healthy.
Sep 19, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) makes a catch in front of Philadelphia Eagles free safety Jalen Mills (31) during the second half at Soldier Field. The Eagles won 29-14. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
1. Chicago Bears
To say the Chicago Bears were dropping like flies with injuries during Monday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles would be the understatement of the century.
As if the turnovers by Jay Cutler weren’t frustrating enough, the Bears quarterback was forced to leave the game early with a handy injury, and the team was forced to go with Brian Hoyer at quarterback instead for part of the second half. Cutler has always been one of the most criticized quarterbacks in the league, and depending on the seriousness of the injury, it could make Chicago’s quarterback situation interesting over the rest of the season.
Despite having one of the league’s most explosive wide receivers in Alshon Jeffery, this team just seems like a hot mess without any signs of improvement within reach. The fact that John Fox is now 1-8 at Soldier Field since taking over as head coach for the Bears shows how close this team is to hitting rock bottom with no improvements anywhere in sight.