Entering the 2023-24 NFL season, there were several teams that fans and gambling sites had high expectations for. Their odds were markedly better than the year before, and they looked poised to take the league by storm. While some of these teams have had great showings early on and look like real favourite contenders, others have fallen flat on their faces.
While the season has just started, some teams look like the offseason excitement around them might’ve been premature. While there is still time to turn it around, let’s look at nine NFL teams that seem set to let their fans down this season.
When the year started, many thought the Bears had a chance to dramatically improve. In fact, quarterback Justin Fields was the most bet-on player to win MVP on online betting sites. Let’s just say that has not happened through two weeks of action. Fields has looked lost, and the “new look” Bears look very similar to the team that was the worst in the league last year. Fans are despairing, and it looks very likely that the Bears will have another early pick in the draft this year. It is looking increasingly likely that Fields is not the starter next year.
New York Jets
This year was supposed to be different for the Jets. After years of quarterback purgatory, the team acquired Aaron Rodgers. They had a stacked defence, enough weapons, and now, a legendary quarterback. Through no fault of their own, those dreams were crushed. Rodgers tore his Achilles only four snaps into his Jets career and will not play for the rest of the season. Their odds of winning the Super Bowl have cratered, and now, the team will look very similar to the same group last year. Zach Wilson is not the answer at quarterback.
New York Giants
The New York Giants were one of the year’s surprise teams last season. They made the playoffs with a first-year head coach, revived the career of Daniel Jones, and even shocked the Vikings with a playoff win. However, the good vibes of that season vanished instantly in the first game of the year when the Giants were pummeled 40-0 by the Cowboys. Plain and simple, this team is not ready for the spotlight. Saquon Barkley is injured once again, the defence looks ill-prepared, and Jones has regressed. It will likely not be a fun year to be a Giants fan.
The Minnesota Vikings were a shock team last year, winning 13 games. They won almost exclusively in thrilling fashion, with a lot of good bounces going their way. This year that doesn’t seem to be the case. The Vikings have lost both of their first two games and while there is still plenty of talent, it might not be enough. Their defence looks out of sorts, and their offence has had costly turnovers. The luck that seemed to always go their way last year has not this year. They face a make-or-break game this week, and if they lose, they can likely be ruled out of the playoff picture.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers have consistently received significant amounts of hype thanks to the talent of quarterback Justin Herbert. But in general, they tend to put their fans through excruciating experiences. This year that might continue to be the case. The Chargers have lost to the Dolphins and Titans in close games, and head coach Brandon Staley is firmly on the hot seat. Their odds of winning have fallen apart on sports betting sites, and the same issues seem to be a problem: a weak defence and an inability to close out games.
The Dallas Cowboys have been on a rollercoaster ride of emotions for their fans. They started the season with an impressive 40-0 victory over the New York Giants, displaying a high-powered offense and a revitalized defense. However, they followed up with a disappointing loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, leaving fans wondering if inconsistency will plague their season. With a talented roster, the Cowboys remain a team to watch, but they need to find more consistency to be true contenders.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by the ageless wonder Tom Brady, are always considered Super Bowl contenders. This season, they have shown flashes of brilliance but also moments of vulnerability. A stunning loss to the Atlanta Falcons raised eyebrows, as the Buccaneers’ defense struggled to contain the Falcons’ offense. While Brady continues to perform at a high level, the Buccaneers need to shore up their defensive weaknesses to fulfill their championship aspirations.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs have been perennial Super Bowl contenders in recent years, thanks in large part to the exceptional play of quarterback Patrick Mahomes. However, their defense has been their Achilles’ heel. The Chiefs started the season with a high-scoring win against the Cleveland Browns but then suffered a shocking loss to the Denver Broncos, a team many considered an underdog. The Chiefs’ defense must improve significantly if they hope to contend for another championship.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Las Vegas Raiders have been a pleasant surprise this season. They began with a convincing victory over the Baltimore Ravens, followed by a thrilling win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Quarterback Derek Carr has been in top form, and the defense has shown improvement. The Raiders’ early success has ignited hope among their fans, and they look like a team ready to challenge the AFC elite.
In the unpredictable world of the NFL, these four teams add more intrigue to the 2023-24 season. Whether it’s the Cowboys and Buccaneers striving for consistency or the Chiefs and Raiders making waves in their respective divisions, football fans can expect more excitement and surprises as the season unfolds.
In addition to the aforementioned teams, the NFL season is filled with uncertainty, and as the weeks progress, the league’s landscape will continue to evolve, offering fans plenty of excitement and drama.