With two weeks left in the NFL season, there’s a lot for some teams to play for. There are also many teams that have nothing to play for and have glaring issues that need to be fixed in the offseason. As a fan of the NFL, it’s aggravating to watch teams that don’t fix personnel issues that have existed for a long time. Before we get to this week’s picks, here are five teams that need help for what appear to be obvious problems.
New York Jets
We’ll start with everyone’s favorite team to bash. We all know the team has a quarterback problem, but that’s not the only issue. They need to improve the receivers because Tom Brady couldn’t make the current receiving core look good even with an eventual return from Santonio Holmes. They need more talent in the backfield because Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell are not explosive. It would help if they improved their offensive line to actually open up some holes. The defensive is good, but it can definitely improve. The team hasn’t had a legitimate pass rusher in years.
The Cardinals have the worst quarterback situation in the league. They’re obviously in need of a signal caller, but that’s not their only offensive issue. In order for whoever starts at quarterback to be upright, Arizona needs to invest free-agent money and draft picks into one of the worst offensive lines in the league. There’s no quarterback in this draft who stands ou, so it’s not worth wasting a first-round pick on one. It’s also not the best draft for elite offensive linemen, but the Cardinals are better off filling that need and trading down if they have to. They’d also do well to find a good pass-catching tight end to improve the chances of whichever veteran quarterback they eventually decide on starting.
San Diego Chargers
Here we have another team with a massive offensive line problem. Yes, their coach sucks (he’ll be gone) and the quarterback is prone to mistakes, but there are bigger problems. The offensive line was an issue before the season started, it wasn’t addressed, and San Diego has now given up the third-most sacks this season. On the other side of ball, the Chargers need to chase the sacks they give up on the offensive end. They drafted Melvin Ingram to be a dominant pass rusher last season, which may or may not ever happen, but they need to continue to improve that area. They only have more sacks than six other teams in the league.
St. Louis Rams
If you’re going to draft a quarterback with the first overall pick, you might as well give him some weapons to throw to. The Rams have failed in that area since taking Bradford in the 2010 NFL Draft. While Danny Amendola is obviously a good NFL receiver, he can’t do everything and his recurring injuries have been a problem. They’re reaching the point of Bradford’s career where they need to figure out if he can elevate his game and drafting receivers won’t help. They need to trade or sign a legitimate receiver this offseason, (Greg Jennings or Dwayne Bowe?) and it wouldn’t hurt if they find a veteran tight end with ability either.
There are a lot of teams who need secondary help (New Orleans and Tampa Bay come to mind), but none is as frustrating as the Miami Dolphins. They traded away cornerback Vontae Davis to the Colts before the season started and didn’t have a suitable solution to replace him. While Sean Smith can hold his own at the other cornerback spot, their safeties are in need of a major upgrade. The Dolphins need a ball hawk out there, as is evidenced by the fact that they’re tied for 26thin interceptions. The offense isn’t devoid of issues either. You know that wide receiver problem St. Louis has for its first round quarterback? Brian Hartline and Davone Bess aren’t helping Ryan Tannehill get to an elite level either.
There are three Bros tied with two weeks left in the BroBible NFL Pickem Challenge. Eric Putz, Jerry Rivera, and Zachary Viskovich all have picked 120 games correct through 15 weeks, but they have many a Bro snapping at their heels. Chuck Daleiden isn’t in the running for the season crown, but he pulled off 14 correct picks in Week 15.
I admittedly haven’t had my year picking games. Last week’s performance was the worst I’ve had in five years. One guy who isn’t having such trouble this year is ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd. His “Blazing Five” NFL picks of the week are coming in at a ridiculous 70 percent and he came in as the best pundit for 2012. Like any smart person, I’m willing to admit when someone’s doing better than me and I’m riding Cowherd’s picks with my own this week. Hopefully I won’t be the mush.