Here we are only four weeks into the NFL regular season, a quarter of the way through.
I'm not one to callously dash anyone's hopes or say their dreams are unattainable, but in the landscape of the NFL, some fan bases might want to consider taking up a new hobby. Come back to the NFL next year or try rooting for a new team this Autumn. Maybe you could try curling or cleaning up trash on the side of a busy interstate, that's a worthy cause. While no teams have reached mathematical elimination from the playoffs, I'm here declaring all hope is lost for some. Four games into the NFL season and already some fan bases have nothing to root for.
"Nothing to Root For" is a series ranking fan base despair. It's not just about a team's likelihood to reach the postseason. Sometimes you have a first year coach or a young quarterback on the team; you know reaching the postseason is unlikely, but fans of teams in said scenario stick with your team and look for growth for next year.
Then there are other teams, teams where maybe the coach and GM are already seasoned, the quarterback is a known quantity. Maybe the GM received a contract extension in the offseason. And now, through four weeks of regular season play, the team has come out looking like the inside of a porta potty atop a hill in a landslide. So which fan bases need to escape the abusive relationships they are in with their favorite football teams and find a new hobby?
1. New York Jets
Things are so bad for the New York Jets team that you have to be hoping for losses at this point. I'd be sleeping with my pajamas inside out and my fingers crossed hoping for another embarrassing loss. Maybe, just maybe, at that point ownership would wisen up and Adam Gase would be out of there.
Things in the NFL are hardly ever so predictable, so riddle me this: How is it that everyone outside of this Jets organization knew Gase needed to be vacated except the Jets themselves? When Ryan Tannehill left the Dolphins as an afterthought and became the centerpiece for an exciting team down in Nashville, the Jets should have seen the writing on the wall. Tannehill wasn't alone in running, not walking, away from Gase.
Whether it was Kenyan Drake, Damien Williams, Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, or Mike Gesicki, all these players broke out after separating from Coach Gase. This guy made Le'Veon Bell disappear, and now Jets fans are left to wonder if their $99 Sam Darnold jersey investment is officially...a waste of money. Gase was once seen as an offensive mastermind, but that all now seems offensive to masterminds.
Thank you for social distancing, @AtlantaFalcons https://t.co/0bLjzZxIYW— CheeseheadTV 🧀 (@CheeseheadTV 🧀)1601959676.0
2. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have started 0-4 to begin the 2020 season, and it's hard to even choose which loss would be most embarrassing. The competition is quite steep. There was the week 2 debacle against the Cowboys, whereby the Falcons lost after leading by twenty and showing they were professional athletes that didn't know the rules of their own sport. Or there was the Bears matchup in week 3, when the Falcons gave up a 16-point lead in 6 ½ minutes to Nick Foles, one week later.
But at least the Falcons were leading in those games, versus their games against Seattle and Green Bay, when they weren't even competitive. Dan Quinn is storing away embarrassing losses as though he were a squirrel storing away acorns for the winter. The guy's a defensive coach–where's the defense?
Falcons Head Coach, Dan QuinnPhoto by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
3. Washington Football Team
Fans of the Washington Football Team are in between a rock and a hard place. In a terrible NFC East, Washington is only half a game back from leading the division at 1-3. And Dwayne Haskins has only started thirteen games, so you want to stay tuned and see growth from the kid. But the more you watch of him, the more you become convinced the young QB already needs to be replaced.
While Haskins has shown some marginal improvement in his second year, he's also making mistakes that will leave you pulling your hair out. Take this last week when Haskins, midway through the 4th quarter on a 4th and goal and down by two touchdowns, threw a dump off to the nine yard line, where his receiver was shortly thereafter pushed out of bounds. You have to score a touchdown in that situation–what are you doing, Dwayne? With rumors beginning to circulate that Haskins will soon be benched, it's time to start getting excited about the 2021 draft and regular season Washington Football fans.
Dwayne Haskins, QuarterbackAP
4. New York Giants
It's hard to say what Giants fans should even be rooting for here. Quarterback, Daniel Jones, has shown potential at times, but he's also shown an affinity for fumbling the football. Through 17 games the young quarterback has fumbled the ball 21 times. General Manager Dave Gettleman is still trying to convince us that drafting Saquon Barkley 2nd overall was a stroke of genius. Now that Barkley is likely out the rest of the season, Gettleman's campaigning may be falling on deaf ears. Look for fans to begin calling for Gettleman's job if things don't begin to improve for the Giants down the stretch.
New York Giants General Manager, Dave Gettleman
5. Jacksonville Jaguars
Is Gardner Minshew THE GUY or just the guy we wish was THE GUY? I mean the dude has got a killer mustache and a great Instagram, but he's also played dangerously inconsistent this year. After an efficient week 1 performance it appeared Minshew Mania was full steam ahead. Now after four weeks, it feels like Minshew Mania may have been a media creation that parallels "Lin Sanity."
Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback, Gardner Minshew
6. Chicago Bears
You could make the case the Chicago Bears could be higher on this list. And that's saying something considering the Bears are 4-1, and coming off a big win against Tom Brady and the Bucs. But I'm still not buying it. I think this team's in football purgatory. I just need to keep believing this record is hollow and imminently doomed.
This is a team still trying to outrun the fact they passed up on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson to draft Mitch Trubisky, trading up the draft board to do so, no less. Now Mitch is benched, and Watson and Mahomes are each top five quarterbacks. Now Nick Foles is at the helm at quarterback, but I just can't buy into Foles long term. Someone remind me: Why did this team not go after Cam Newton in the offseason?
If you ask me, there's nothing worse than getting "lucky" and stumbling into an erroneous good record for a bad organization. Such luck only worsens a team's draft position and ensures another year in football mediocrity. If the Bears can start collecting some losses, maybe just maybe they'll finally land a top-flight quarterback.
Chicago Bears Quarterback, Nick Foles standing with Head Coach, Matt NagyChicago Tribune
7. Detroit Lions
The Lions right now are the epitome of boring. It's an offensive attack in the first quarter of the season that has centered around geriatric running back Adrian Peterson. AP has looked almost spry. But what else can this offense supply? The Lions are the first team in NFL history to lose six straight games after leading by double digits. Matt Patricia is known to be a former rocket scientist. Maybe he should go back to the rocket science community. So far he hasn't been able to get the Lions off the launch pad.
Detroit Lions Head Coach, Matt PatriciaThe Associated Press
8. Houston Texans
What a shame it is adding the Texans to the back of the list. Especially when it feels like what this team is really missing is the top flight wide receiver they gave away for pennies on the dollar. And there's really no point in rooting for losses. The Texans don't own their first and second round picks for 2021 as those were sent to Miami for Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills. The regime change is already under way after Bill O'Brien was fired, so you may as well root for this team to bounce back. And yes 0-4 is ugly, but the Texans collected those four losses at the hands of the Chiefs, Ravens, Steelers, and Vikings. If there's any team that can bounce back after going 0-4, it's a team led by Deshaun Watson. There is still a glimmer of hope.
Houston Texans Quarterback, Deshuan Watson
Cincinnati Bengals - Just shut up and watch Joe Burrow work.
Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback, Joe Burrow; Los Angeles Chargers Quarterback, Justin Herbert, Miami Dolphins backup Quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa
Los Angeles Chargers - Remember what I said about Joe Burrow? Justin Herbert has looked even better. Man does this kid have a pretty deep ball.
Miami Dolphins - Fitzmagic is fun to watch. And when he ceases to be a delight Tua Tagovailoa won 22 of the 24 games he started in college.
This week, the league's greatest quarterbacks had a chance to battle it out: Tom Brady took on Aaron Rodgers in a surprise blowout win, while MVP candidate Josh Allen lost to Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes.
The lesson to be learned here is don't count those MVP votes before Week 6 (and never, never slander Tom Brady before a big game).
As Ferris Bueller might say: The world of sports moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around at least once a week, you could miss it.Here we'll review what you might have missed in the past week all in one place. Why spend hours scrolling through Twitter to catch up on the news you want? We've already done that for you, so remember to check back every Monday to get your dose of weekly sports review.
Fall is in the air—so are a hell of a lot of changes in the NFL.
Le'Veon went from worst to first, Dan Quinn is out of job, and like college athletes, sports journalists apparently aren't allowed to make money from sponsorships. Meanwhile, coronavirus is running in the background, taking out teams before opponents even get the chance.
Here are the oofs and ahhs in this week's edition of Shots Taken.