Now fully into the second half of the 2015 NFL season, it is painfully obvious that some teams are going to have us bashing our heads into walls in agony as they continuously underachieve. Others just have us scratching our heads wondering how in the world things got this bad, this quickly. There have also been many injuries, which naturally has devastated rosters and triggered heartbreak.
All these developments are extremely frustrating. With that in mind, Sportsnaut decided to take a look at the most frustrating teams of each NFL division.
AFC East: Miami Dolphins (3-5)
After an dysfunctional start to the season, former Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was fired after four games. Upon return from the bye week with interim head coach Dan Campbell in place, the team posted two massive wins over the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans.
Praises were showered over the rejuvenated team and it really appeared as if the Dolphins would continue along the right track. Not so fast.
The next two games saw Miami went into a tailspin. The Dolphins lost terribly to the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills with quarterback Ryan Tannehill going scoreless in both contests. Unfortunately, errors like the two safties committed by Tannehill and center Mike Pouncey stand out more than anything that has gone right lately.
Additionally, Miami’s defense has been atrocious lately and isn’t stopping anybody these days, as illustrated by the Bills unloading 266 rushing yards, 181 receiving yards and 33 points last Sunday.
At this point in time, it would appear that the Dolphins are no match for the league’s better teams. Unfortunately, the remainder of the season offers no reprieve in this regard.
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens (2-6)
It is highly unusual to see the Ravens situated at 2-6 after eight games, but injuries have ravaged this team in 2015.
Currently, Baltimore sits at two wins along with the Cleveland Browns who are all but anchored to the bottom of the division. With the Cincinnati Bengals undefeated after eight games, the Ravens realistically have no chance at making it to the playoffs with Pittsburgh stationed at 5-4.
Blown fourth quarter leads thanks to quarterback Joe Flacco throwing picks at the worst opportune times are a major factor in the Ravens’ losses.
One has to imagine this team wouldn’t be experiencing so many late-game collapses if not for the rash of injuries that has plagued Baltimore. Chiefest among them are veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs, who was lost for the season in Week 1 after tearing his Achilles, and Steve Smith Sr., who also sustained a torn Achilles.
The Ravens are in a sad state, and fans must be truly frustrated. The good news is, Baltimore faces some beatable teams down the stretch when perhaps they can at least tighten their win/loss record gap and save face in a lost season.
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts (4-5)
The Indianapolis Colts have dominated their division ever since quarterback Andrew Luck was drafted but now have the 3-5 Houston Texans breathing down their neck.
And, when things just started to look up after the Colts upset the Denver Broncos in Week 9, unfortunate news broke that Luck will miss the next several weeks because of a lacerated kidney and torn abdominal muscle sustained in that game.
With Luck sidelined, 40-year old backup Matt Hasselbeck, who did lead the team to two wins in his two starts, will saddle the load for the next couple months. An injured starting quarterback on a team with a fired offensive coaching staff is surely not what the franchise and its fans signed up for at the beginning of the season.
AFC West: San Diego Chargers (2-7)
Building on what’s already been a disparaging season for the Chargers, the team managed to lose at home to the Chicago Bears in what sounded more like a game played at Soldier Field in Week 9.
— Ryan Watson (@ozarkboi323) November 10, 2015
With a possible move to the Los Angeles area, it would appear that local Chargers fans have already given up on their team for the season. Watching quarterback Philip Rivers throw for miles every game without producing wins appears to have been an exhausting experience.
At the pace Rivers has been slinging the rock, he is on course to top 5,000 passing yards for the first time in his career. This would certainly be a proud accomplishment he could enjoy if the team was winning, rather than losing.
Adding insult to injury, the Chargers lost their best wide receiver, Keenan Allen, for the season to a kidney injury. Unfortunately, Allen’s absence, coupled with a lagging run game and a 26th-ranked defense, doesn’t bode well for the team’s future forecast heading into the last half of the season.
As it stands, San Diego has fallen behind in the AFC West and actually sits two losses below Oakland. which is producing, for the first time in years, a team worth cheering for.
NFC East: Washington Redskins (3-5)
Choosing between either Washington or the Dallas Cowboys as the most frustrating NFC East team was a toss-up.
The Cowboys cannot do anything about their injury struggles at the quarterback position. That’s not the case with Washington, however, which has other options besides turnover-prone Kirk Cousins.
Watching Cousins in action this season is like riding a roller coaster. One week he’s fabulous and branding t-shirts after a successful win, then the next he is up to his predictably putrescent passing. To date he has a only scored 10 touchdowns compared to nine interceptions.
As for Washington’s run game, there really isn’t much of one established with the team managing only 91.3 yards and .625 touchdowns on average per contest. And with Washington’s defense yielding 372.9 yards per game to opposing teams, it is no surprise that Washington’s win-loss record rests upside down.
While all of the dysfunction is taking place, Washington’s former 2012 first-round quarterback (whom the team paid a king’s ransom to land) Robert Griffin III is pining away, manning the clipboard in street clothes. With so much room to make improvements offensively, many cannot figure out why head coach Jay Gruden will not give RGIII another opportunity.
Hint: He does not like him.
NFC North: Detroit Lions (1-7)
If the Detroit Lions could play the Chicago Bears every game this season, they would be a winning team (the Bears are the only team the Lions have managed to beat this season). Barring that lonely positive accomplishment, the Lions have been extremely depressing for their fans and almost unbearable to watch. From Matthew Stafford getting benched, to fans dissing the team, to the firing of coaches, the Lions have been this season’s worst dumpster fire team by far.
Stafford, whose job could be in jeopardy after the close of the season, sports the worst overall quarterback rating in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Top that off with Detroit’s worst-ranked rushing offense that has managed an average of only 69.6 yards per game and a defense that ranks 24th overall, and it’s easy to see why the team has only one measly win.
The Lions will look to turn their dreary season around when they return from a bye in Week 10 and face the Green Bay Packers. Good luck with that one, guys.
NFC South: Atlanta Falcons (6-3)
The Atlanta Falcons look much better on paper than they actually are this season, as demonstrated by the embarrassing loss to Blaine Gabbert and the Jim Tomsula-coached San Francisco 49ers last Sunday.
Folks everywhere are still scratching their heads over the decision to kick a field goal on the last drive, especially when there are dynamic go-to guys like Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman perfectly capable of scoring.
Atlanta’s loss to Gabbert and crew comes on the heels of the team losing the prior week to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in overtime. And, the team’s third loss occurred in Week 6 when the horrible New Orleans Saints defense kept Matt Ryan and team scrambling all evening long.
Additionally, the Falcons barely scraped by with a win in Week 7 against the Tennessee Titans, 10-7, with Zach Mettenberger under center. Something is just not right when a team led by Ryan and coached by Dan Quinn is losing to inferior teams that feature below-average quarterbacks and poor defenses.
Perhaps a bye week to regroup is just what the doctor ordered to get the Falcons looking less inept when they return to face the Indianapolis Colts, led by yet another backup quarterback, in Week 11.
NFC West: Seattle Seahawks (4-4)
The Seattle Seahawks so far this season are beating their easier opponents but are losing against some of the NFL’s tougher teams.
In the win category, Seattle first shut out a Jimmy Clausen-led Chicago Bears. Then they beat a toothless Detroit Lions, a floundering San Francisco 49ers and lastly there was a very close victory, 13-12, over Matt Cassel and the Dallas Cowboys.
As far as losses go, Seattle has been beat on the road three times at St. Louis, Green Bay, and Cincinnati. Loss No. 4, which was a painful one, came at home when the Seahawks had no answers for stopping an on-fire, and still undefeated, Carolina Panthers.
We could easily see this pattern repeating itself the rest of the season. Seattle’s Legion of Boom isn’t nearly as frightening as it once was and we’re still waiting for the offense to explode. So far this season, Seattle ranks No. 4 in rushing yards, but hovers near the bottom with only three rushing scores.
Worse is that Seattle’s passing attack ranks 28th in the NFL and this is with tight end Jimmy Graham on the team. Why the Seahawks aren’t attempting more passing plays involving Graham remains one of the NFL’s unsolved mysteries at this time.
Oh, and the offensive line is still a dumpster fire. Wilson would be recovering in the training room on a regular basis if not for the fact he has eyes in the back of his head.
With so many unanswered questions surrounding a team that has made it to the Super Bowl the last two years in a row, we’ll be waiting to see if they can step things up for the remainder of the season.