Through three weeks in the 2019 NFL season, I’ve compiled the list of the most disappointing teams in terms of their expectations. Have a look at the teams listed and the reasoning behind the selections.
Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3)
Pittsburgh Steelers’ Head Coach Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season as the head man in Pittsburgh, though it looks like that could change with the way 2019 has started for the Steelers. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was lost to injury for the remained of the season, with backup quarterback Mason Rudolph being named the starter the rest of the way. The offense has been absolutely putrid, ranking 27th in points per game and 29th in yards per game. Conversely, the defense has been just as bad ranking 28th in both points per game allowed and yards per game allowed. The Steelers could come by their first win of the season with the Cincinnati Bengals coming to town as the Steelers are favored by 4, though a win against the division rival will do hardly nothing to inspire confidence in the lowly Steelers at this point.
Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)
Arguably the most disappointing team in the league, the Philadelphia Eagles are currently ravaged by injury with no clear injury report in sight. The team has lost defensive lineman, wide receivers, and offensive lineman, among others. The Eagles’ offense currently ranks 10th in points per game and 13th in yards per game, with the defense struggling and ranking 24th in points per game allowed and 17th in yards per game allowed. The Eagles look competitive and have competed in three close games, with the win coming in week one against the Washington Redskins and back-to-back losses against the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions. The Eagles have kept all games close, though the defense has struggled keeping teams off the scoreboard and the offense lacks any true firepower sans receivers Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson. The backup receivers and tight ends have been riddled with drops, and it doesn’t get any easier with the undefeated Green Bay Packers next on the schedule on Thursday Night Football. The Eagles could ultimately turn it around once their health returns, which would make them a good bet if you’re looking for a bit of a darkhorse in the NFC East winner stakes.
Atlanta Falcons (1-2)
Just like the Eagles, the Atlanta Falcons entered the season healthy with much higher expectations than their 2018 season, yet they’re off to a rough start at 1-2. The Falcons haven’t faced a cupcake schedule, though they also haven’t faced the toughest teams in the league. The schedule has led to a loss against the Minnesota Vikings in week one, a comeback win against the injury-ravaged Philadelphia Eagles in week two, and an ugly loss to the Indianapolis Colts in week three. The Falcons battled back this past week against the Colts in the second half, ultimately not being able to close the gap and losing the contest by three points. The offense currently ranks 21st in points per game and 10th per game in yards, with the defense ranking similarly as they land 21st in points per game allowed and 8th in yards per game allowed. The offensive line has faced some injury issues, though the team needs to perform better all the way around. The Falcons have the Tennessee Titans next on the schedule and are favored by between 4 and 4.5 points as the home team.
Chicago Bears (2-1)
The Chicago Bears came into the season after a heartbreaking loss in the NFC playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles, making the start to this season all the more disappointing. Many believed the Bears would take the next step in 2019 as a potential Super Bowl winner, yet they look like they’ll have a better shot at a .500 record (maybe even worse). The offense has been horrendous, ranking 26th in points per game and 29th in yards per game. Even with the loss of Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio, the defense has been fantastic ranking 3rd in points per game allowed and 8th in yards per game allowed. The disconnect between the offense and defense is a shame as the defense has enough talent to carry the team to the Super Bowl, though the offense is just so putrid it’ll likely hold the Bears back from making any serious run at the Lombardi in 2019. The Bears are favored by 2.5 over their next opponent in the Minnesota Vikings, as they’re the home team.
Three weeks is a small sample size, meaning there’s plenty of time remaining in the season for some of the disappointing teams to turn it around. Certain teams will ultimately be able to flip their fortunes while others won’t, making this list of teams intriguing as they could go either way.