The NFL is at the halfway point in the season and playoff chances for some are fading away very fast. What does that mean for these teams? It means the tanking games are underway. NFL teams who’ve realized that they are not good enough, will tank to get a top pick in the upcoming draft. Here are some teams that should strongly consider to join the NFL Tanking Games:
The New York Jets are Crashing Down
Since the beginning of the season, the morale around the Jets franchise has gone down gradually on a weekly basis. Last night, the Jets dropped to 0-9 in a loss on Monday Night Football against the Patriots. They currently sit at the bottom of the league in all statistical categories from offense, defense and special teams. Sam Darnold is having a pretty rough year so far, but that could be attributed to the offensive line who’ve allowed 19 sacks so far. The loss of Jamal Adams has affected the defense tremendously and they can’t seem to get stops.
Head coach Adam Gase has received criticism from fans and many former players about his ability to lead his team. However, it seems that the front office will not part ways and keep him there (for now). New York has no chance to make the playoffs but they will look to still play hard and win a game this season. If not, they’ll be the sixth team in league history to go winless in a season.
In contrast, there have been some positives. Frank Gore who is one of the oldest players in the league is the leading rusher for the team with 386 yards. The 37-year-old is currently 2,668 rushing yards away from passing the NFL career rushing record held by Emmitt Smith. Also, the rookies Mekhi Becton and Denzel Mims are showing some promise to be future assets for years to come. All in all, the Jets’ season is over and they will most likely recieve a top pick in the upcoming draft next year. They’re the clear front runners in the Trevor Lawrence Sweepstakes.
The Jacksonville Jaguars Are Stuck In Reverse
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been looking to recreate the regular season success they had in 2017 for a while now. Sadly, Doug Marone has not been able to right the ship. Jacksonville is sitting at a rough 1-7 record and are currently on a seven game losing streak.
The Jacksonville roster has been pretty banged up till this point. Wide receiver Dede Westbrook is out for the year and their quarterback Gardner Minshew has a thumb injury. Plus, they don’t have enough star power on their team to get wins without their main guys. Their season is just as bleak as New York right now.
Similar to the Jets, the Jaguars have a young quarterback in Minshew that they believe will be the future. However, with the lack of success in the wins column, the Minshew Mania hype is sizzling out very quickly. Jacksonville is clearly in tank mode and will definitely get a top five pick in the draft. Will the Jags look to get another quarterback or get the best player possible? Can they make a splash in free agency? Only time will tell.
Houston Texans ….We Have A Problem
The Bill O’Brien experiment is finally over in Houston, but not before he ruined the future of the team. The DeAndre Hopkins trade plus no first round picks for the next two years have left the franchise at the point of a rebuild. Although the Texans have had successful seasons and playoff runs, they are back to where they were a couple of seasons ago.
The defense is not good as it once was and the offense is in shambles. The Texans are sitting at 2-6 in the season with a two percent chance of making the playoffs. They have gone on winning streaks in the past but things are just different now. Their two wins this season have both come from beating Jacksonville, which isn’t saying much.
To make matters worse, J.J Watt said in an interview that he wants to stay in Houston but does not want to rebuild. Watt wants to win a Super Bowl here. If Houston knows what’s good for them, they need to look at making big moves in the offseason to refurbish the team with talent. If not, Watt could wise up and decide to join a contender. The Texans have already made teams aware that everyone is up for trade except for Watson, Tunsil and Watt. Be on the lookout for them to get some picks for this draft.
The Atlanta Falcons are Falling Off
With a team as talented on offense as Atlanta, they have not been able to win games. Instead , they’ve blown many games that they had leads in this year. Especially when they let the Cowboys come back from a 19-point deficit in week 2. Their defense has definitely been the Falcons crutch this year by far. Their defense is 28th in the league right now, which is what probably led to Dan Quinn’s firing.
The team has gotten better since the coaching change. Atlanta is on a two game win streak and has a 3-6 record right now. Their chances at the playoffs are very slim at an abysmal one percent. Their best chance would be a wild card berth but they would have to beat the Buccaneers and the Saints twice.
The chances of that happening are very unlikely but the Falcons will need to fix their defensive woes so they can hold onto wins. If only they had held their lead against Dallas and Chicago, they would be 5-4. Oh well, there’s always next year for the dirty birds.
Little Giants > New York Giants
The loss of Saquon Barkley early this season was a big blow to the New York Giants season. When he went down, the offensive production followed. New York’s offense is ranked 31st, which is barely better than the Jets.
Daniel Jones has made some big plays this year, but just like most quarterbacks on this list it hasn’t translated to wins. Then again, not all the blame should be on him. Jason Garrett was recently hired to be the offensive coordinator so it will take some time for him and the offense to become comfortable.
So how are the Giants playoff odds looking like? Although this team is 2-7, they have the highest odds to make a playoff berth on this list (11%). This is due to the NFC East being so bad collectively. The Eagles are the division front runner with a puzzling record of 3-4-1.
The Giants are not making it to the postseason. Therefore, they should use the rest of their games to see who is worth keeping and who should they move on from. They should definitely look at getting another running back in the draft just in case Barkley gets hurt again. Any defensive players that could help Leonard Williams and Jabrill peppers from the draft would be a priority as well.
New England Needs a New Team
With Tom Brady’s departure, the Patriots decided to give Cam Newton a chance to see what he can do. Newton’s play has been up and down as the weeks go by. He has a total of eight touchdowns (two pass, six rush) and seven interceptions at the halfway point. Nevertheless, he played well enough to help his team comeback and beat the Jets last night to make their record 3-5. New England is currently sitting third in their division which is something not seen very often.
The Patriots have the second highest chance on this list to make a playoff run at eight percent. If the team could somehow get back to their past form, they could make a push. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore has to get the defense on track if they want a chance. At this point, they would probably have to shoot for the Wild Card due to Buffalo’s lead. If any coach could lead a team like this to the postseason, Bill Belichick can.
The question is can and will he do it? Will Cam Newton do enough for New England to re-sign him? Maybe it might be time for Jarrett Stidham to get a shot. Maybe the Patriots will decide to tank and grab a quarterback in the draft. It’s safe to say this will all be decided by Belichick down the road.