So early in the season, it can be a little hasty to earmark teams as almost dead certainties to finish at the bottom of the standings and go for the first overall pick in the next draft, however, early NFL 2018 results are giving strong indications as to which teams are set to battle for the top picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.
One star can’t carry the Cards
Last season, the Arizona Cardinals lost superstar running back David Johnson in week one, which pretty much gave them a pass for their lackluster offensive performances. The defense managed to hold the team together and pull them to a better-than-expected 8-8 record. This season, however, everything has fallen apart.
Due to a lack of a passing game with Sam Bradford at the helm, David Johnson has been unable to get the ball moving. The defense has also been embarrassingly bad despite being full of talented players. This may come down to head coach Steve Wilks changing from the formerly successful 3-4 alignment to a very weak-looking 4-3. There simply hasn’t been anything good for the Cardinals, which is epitomized by their tally of six total points through the first two games.
A good way to see which teams are the worst in the league is checking out the odds for them to win the Super Bowl as these effectively act as power rankings influenced by experts and the betting public. Somehow, the Arizona Cardinals aren’t the lowest-rated team in the odds, and so are considered to have a better chance of creeping up the standings than one other team.
The lowest rated team in the NFL
Despite reaching the end zone, it’s the Buffalo Bills who come in as the lowest rated team in the NFL after their shoddy performances early in the season. First came the Baltimore Ravens with their revamped passing attack. But no means is it an elite-level team of quarterback and wide receivers, but the Ravens tore apart the Bills as though they weren’t even there, winning 47-3. Then the Los Angeles Chargers came to town and, despite letting their foot off of the pedal a bit, still clocked in a 31-20 win.
The Buffalo Bills made it to the postseason in 2017, but being in a division with the New England Patriots, who are favored to win Super Bowl LIII at +650 in the American football odds, is always going to be troublesome. It’s the fact that the defense has crumbled so significantly in 2018 which has them rated lower than the Cardinals – who boast a decent defense on paper.
Defense is key to any team being strong in the NFL. Without a defense that’s sturdy against at least one of the two forms of offense, the team will just get picked apart. Last season, the Bills managed to put up decent numbers against the pass, ranking as one of the toughest teams to pass against. But now, aspects such as their coverage against play action has them ranked as one of the worst defenses in the league.
Neither the Bills nor the Cardinals look able to recover from the poor showings displayed in 2018 so far, and will most likely continue to tussle for the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. As it stands defensive end Nick Bosa, brother of the Chargers’ Joey, and defensive lineman Ed Oliver rank as the top projected picks, and we all know how much these two teams need reinforcements on defense.