Last week I wrote an article about three teams I thought could over perform during the 2020 NFL season. I wanted to also include three teams I thought could underperform, but after thinking about it for a while, I decided that this topic deserved it’s own article. We talked about optimism and positivity last week, but now it’s time for a bit of pessimism with the teams I’m going to discuss.
3. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
You might be reading this and say, “The Saints? What is this guy thinking?” Which is perfectly understandable. The Saints are a fantastic team. That’s why it’s going to be extremely easy for them to underperform.
In an article by ESPN analyst Seth Walder, New Orleans was given a 83% chance to make the playoffs along with a projected win total of 10 games.
The Saints have been in the Super Bowl hunt for the past few years, being very close multiple times. The Minneapolis Miracle and the no-call-pass interference in 2018 are evidence of this. The time for the Saints to win is now with Micheal Thomas and Alvin Kamara ready to bounce back. For a team whose goal has been Super Bowl or bust for years, anything below a Super Bowl is just that; A bust.
The Saints are undoubtedly the best team you will see on this list. The Saints are spectacular, and are only here because I have monumentally high expectations for them and they’ve shown they have trouble getting it done in the postseason.
2. LOS ANGELES RAMS
I hate to say it, but “The Greatest Show on Turf” is long gone. After the Rams’ Super Bowl appearance in 2018, they’ve done nothing but stall as a team. ESPN is currently giving the Rams a 45% chance to make the playoffs along with a projected win total of 8.3 games.
The two biggest things that make me think the Rams will play below their expectations are the absence of Todd Gurley and Jared Goff’s QB play. The Rams made the choice to move on from star running back Todd Gurley earlier this year, and now have young Cam Akers in the backfield. Akers is a good athlete, but will have a lot of the workload on his shoulders. This could spell disaster if he gets injured, or doesn’t live up to the hype.
Secondly, there is the topic of Jared Goff. Goff has put up good numbers over the past two years, including a 32 touchdown season, but there is a general consensus among fans and analysts that Goff cracks under pressure. The Rams will need a solid leader if they expect to try and make the playoffs, and I just don’t think Goff can be that guy. I expect a lot of dysfunction from the Rams this year, and think they will not live up to their hype.
3. DALLAS COWBOYS
Finally on our list we have my least favorite team in football. The Cowboys may be known as America’s team, but they’ve accomplished nothing but mediocrity over the past decade. This team is always swirling with drama instead of results, and with how tough their schedule is this year, I don’t think the Cowboys will play to their ceiling.
ESPN is giving Dallas a 69% chance at making the playoffs along with a 9 game win projection, which I think is very generous. If you take a look at Dallas’ schedule, they have some tough match ups throughout the entire season. In the early portion of the season they play at LA, at Cleveland, and at Seattle. Those are all hard stadiums to play in on the road.
In the middle portion of the season they have to play at Philly, at Pittsburgh, and at Minnesota. Again, all very tough places to play. Then to round out the season they have to play at San Francisco and at Baltimore. Do you see what I’m getting at now? The Cowboys would have to play out of their minds to win nine games this season.
Although, I could be wrong. There is a long season ahead of us, with the illustrious Super Bowl waiting for us in February. Most teams will have ups and downs, but the teams I listed could be in for more of the latter.