Which NFL Team Lost the Most Hope on Sunday?
The first NFL Sunday is in the books, which means today is national Overreaction Day. Sports fans tend to be naturally pessimistic, so you have many fanbases today wondering if their season is already in jeopardy. With it only being week one, nobody is “out of it,” but some fanbases have a lot more reason to be concerned moving into week two than others. That’s what this article is about: Which NFL fanbase lost the most hope for their season after their week-one games?
Let’s start with the team who easily looked the worst yesterday: The Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins gave up the most points in franchise history for a regular season game at 59 and made Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson look like an MVP. Now this is not to say that Jackson couldn’t be good, but instead to reflect just how bad the Dolphins are. Trading away one of the best offensive linemen in the game a few weeks ago in Laremy Tunsil and many other questionable decisions have people all across America, including Dolphins players themselves, convinced the franchise is tanking the season. That’s why several of the players told their agents to find a way to get them out of Miami ASAP after yesterday’s game. But even though this franchise is an absolute mess right now, it’s not that surprising. Fans knew they were going to be in for a LONG season before it even started. Therefore, not too much hope was lost yesterday.
What happened to the Browns yesterday? They were hyped up so much throughout the offseason and flat out laid an egg against the Titans, losing 43-13. Baker Mayfield threw 3 interceptions, at a critical point in the game, and have some fans wondering if last season was a fluke. That type of thinking is definitely an overreaction, but I’m still scratching my head a little bit. The Titans are certainly a capable team, but it wasn’t like the Browns played the Chiefs yesterday. There was a small chance they were going to live up to all the hype, but they have to be better than that, right? Only time will tell. They do have some problems they must work out going forward, but they have enough skill players that Cleveland fans shouldn’t worry too much…yet.
The Jaguars surprised me and many others yesterday hanging fairly tough with the dominant Kansas City Chiefs. They only lost by two touchdowns, so for that reason alone, you can make the case that their fanbase should’ve gained hope. But the problem, and it’s a major one, is they lost their starting quarterback Nick Foles, who broke his clavicle. Although he isn’t predicted to miss the rest of the season, he will miss significant time (at least 11 weeks). Jacksonville’s quarterback situation now? Gardner Minshew and Josh Dobbs. Even though Minshew, a 6th-round rookie out of Washington State, came in and played very well, you know it won’t hold up for long or be consistent from week to week. The team just signed Josh Dobbs to back up Minshew and he has only completed 6 of 12 passes for 43 yards and an interception since being a 4th-round pick in 2017 by the Steelers. So for the quarterback situation alone, Jaguars fans have A LOT of cause to be concerned.
I was very interested to see how the Steelers would do this season without their major distractions of LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown. I predicted they have a very nice season and win the division. But now I’m wondering if they have what it takes to win the division. Last night’s 33-3 thrashing from the Patriots is pretty surprising. I figured the Pats would win, but I thought the Steelers would make a good game of it. With Big Ben getting older though, the team desperately needs other players to step up. I am waiting to see if JuJu and James Conner can do just that on a consistent basis. If they can, then the Steelers have nothing to worry about with other veteran presence. But if they don’t, then fans have plenty of reason to worry. The Browns looked very weak, but the Ravens looked very strong (although they played the tanking Dolphins), so it will be very interesting going forward and watching divisional games between those three teams. But Steelers fans can’t be feeling too optimistic today.
In my opinion, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ fans had the most hope taken away from them yesterday. The quarterback is the most vital position in sports and they had a good one in Nick Foles. To have him taken away from the team for any amount of time is going to really hurt, especially when you now are relying on a 6th-round rookie and someone who’s only thrown 12 passes in his career. We’re still waiting to hear exactly how long Foles will be sidelined, but the Jaguars’ season may be over before it hardly had a chance to get started.