NFL: 5 Teams With The Most to Lose in Week 2
Another week of football is upon us as Thursday starts the second week of the National Football League regular season. While there are still fifteen games left for thirty-two teams, it is never too early to take a look at five teams that could use a win.
5. Houston Texans
There was no shame in the Houston Texans losing to the Saints in the Superdome in New Orleans. Despite Deshaun Watson’s fourth-quarter heroics, going two plays for seventy yards, connecting with Kenny Stills late, they could not close the show in the final thirty-seven seconds defensively. A fifty-eight-yard field goal by Wil Lutz was long and straight enough as time expired to give the home team a 30-28 Monday night victory. Emotionally they have to get off the mat. They will host the Jacksonville Jaguars, who saw their starting quarterback Nick Foles get injured Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
NFL divisional games at home, particularly for teams with high aspirations are of great importance. Like in tennis jargon, holding serve in football terms could mean taking care of business when the crowd is behind a team. Houston needs the reassurance of a win to get the ship steering in the right direction.
4. Carolina Panthers
Like Houston, the Carolina Panthers had a tough assignment to start the season as they hosted the NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams. In the same manner, they have a team in their own building in Week 2 from a team they play twice a season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The difference here is that the Charlotte-based team will have played two of their eight games at home. They do not want to enter their first road game in Glendale, Arizona desperate on the afternoon of the twenty-second of September. The Arizona Cardinals may be young, but after their tie with the Detroit Lions, they might not have gotten the memo that they are supposed to be pushovers. That could spell trouble if Carolina does not beat the Bucs over the weekend.
3. Detroit Lions
The Lions had a 24-6 lead in the early seconds of the fourth quarter before letting the Cardinals come back to get an unflattering 27-27 result. It was the second straight year there was a game that ended in a stalemate on the first Sunday of the season. The good news is they will be back in friendly surroundings in their home opener against the Los Angeles Chargers. The bad news is they are in the midst of a stretch in these next three weeks, where they likely will need to score a lot of points. The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are waiting in the wings in this first month of play.
2. Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns entered Sunday hoping to get just their second win in a season opener since returning to the NFL in 1999. However, undisciplined play along with five consecutive turnovers ended their chances of doing just that. A 43-13 defeat certainly leaves some soul-searching for a team filled with talented players on both sides of the ball. Next Monday, the franchise that hosted the first Monday Night Football game travels to play the New York Jets seeking their initial win. It was last year in Week 3 that the Browns ended a long losing streak which dated to Christmas Eve of 2016. With the Rams coming in next week before a visit to Baltimore, Cleveland can ill afford another early stumble in the final game scheduled to be played in Week 2.
1. Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears offense did not give a good account of themselves in the first game of the 100th season of the NFL. They were held to three points despite containing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense all night. So much rests on the shoulders of a high-caliber defense as many think it is talented enough to be a major player in the National Football Conference. They have a stiff test against the Denver Broncos in the high altitude of Colorado. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will not have to deal with a home crowd turning on him in this game before a partisan crowd.
A win against a great defense like the Broncos can go a long way towards putting him back in a good place between the ears. The schedule does not seem overwhelming in the first half of year, so this could be the start of a potential winning streak for Chicago, something I think is needed if they want a shot to get to Miami in February. Home field in the playoffs for them is massive towards reaching that goal.
Which 5 NFL teams do you think have the most to lose? Leave a comment below.
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Works cited: televisions at Red Rock Bar and Grill, home television DVR, NFL YouTube channel highlights