Losing teams (cont.)
Not Looking Good
Tennessee Titans (0-3) -- Other than the offense, defense and special teams, the Titans appear to be in fine shape. Seriously, all three key facets of the game have alternately let down the Titans and the issues run much deeper than Kerry Collins suddenly playing like the aging quarterback he is, turning over the ball and failing to make enough plays with his arm.
There are more pressing personnel issues than quarterback, although don't be surprised if coach Jeff Fisher tries something different soon, considering not a single 0-3 team has made the playoffs since 1998. And don't be surprised if that change involves Patrick Ramsey and not Vince Young, who was inactive in Sunday's loss to the Jets.
Remember how the Titans figured it would be easy replacing Albert Haynesworth since they were so deep along the offensive line? Not happening. The defensive front is being pushed around, giving up 335 yards and nearly 24 points per game.
Remember how the Titans were groovin' to a 10-0 start to the 2008 season? They have gone 3-7 since. That's a trend.
And don't look now, but the Titans' next three games are at Jacksonville, at home against the as-of-now undefeated Colts and at New England. Don't bet on a return to the playoffs. The road is too tough and the odds stacked against them.
Houston Texans (1-2) -- Seemingly everyone's darkhorse pick to give Houston its first taste of playoff football since 1993, the Texans yet again look more like nags headed to the barn for a mercy killing. OK, so maybe that's only half right, but it's the important half. The Texans offense actually is playing acceptable, even playoff-caliber football the past two weeks. But the defense is atrocious, ranking last in the NFL against the run, 31st in total defense and consistently failing in big moments.
Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, the No. 10 overall pick in the 2007 draft, is on the verge of full-fledged bust. He can't fill a gap, create a pile or make a tackle. Every other defensive tackle on the roster is nearly as ineffective, including big-splash free agent acquisition Antonio Smith. In the secondary, the pouting Dunta Robinson has under-achieved, and missed tackles have been rampant and bad schemes have led to giving up too many big plays.
The Texans pulled off an impressive win at Tennessee in Week 2, but that was more because of the offense and quarterback Matt Schaub. The defense was shredded by Chris Johnson. If things don't get shored up, and fast, this Texans team won't even get to .500.
The schedule gets tougher after Sunday's home game against the Raiders, too. And considering Houston's horrible run defense, even the Raiders must be salivating with Darren McFadden and Michael Bush leading the way.
Playoffs? Don't count on it, Texans fans.
Washington Redskins (1-2) -- You're kidding, right? You don't already know the answer to whether the Redskins can rise from a 1-2 record and make a playoff run? You probably also believe in Jim Zorn and the Arbor Day Fairy.
Like Zorn, it's all over but the exit interview for this team. Turmoil rules the day, there is a severe disconnect between players and Zorn, who clearly is in over his head. At its core, this team has severe personnel and talent issues.
This was supposed to be a breakthrough year. Instead, this team was the Detroit Lions' slump-buster on Sunday afternoon. The Redskins' only win was over the horrible St. Louis Rams and that came without scoring a touchdown. No team has given up more third-down conversions than the Redskins, which is an indictment of defensive play-calling.
Quarterback Jason Campbell has thrown just three TD passes. The offensive line is a patchwork, overmatched group. And the two big-ticket items, defensive tackle Haynesworth and cornerback DeAngelo Hall, have not nearly brought the return expected on $64 million worth of guaranteed money.
From where the Redskins are now, it would take the most miraculous comeback since Mount Calvary for this team to make the playoffs.
Is it 2010 yet?
Sorry, Dolphins, Raiders, Chiefs, Browns, Lions, Rams, Panthers, Seahawks and Buccaneers. You'll be playing for draft position the rest of the way.
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