Five teams that made the playoffs in 2014 lost in Week 1. The Seahawks struggled against the Rams without Kam Chancellor. The Colts couldn't stop Tyrod Taylor -- who hadn't started a single game in four prior NFL seasons -- and failed to score until late in the third quarter against the Bills. The Steelers' offense faltered at the end of their matchup with the Patriots. The Lions gave up a commanding lead in San Diego. The Ravens stalled on offense and lost Terrell Suggs for the season in Denver.
Of course, it was only Week 1. But that doesn't mean these five squads don't have legitimate worries. Which former playoff team has the most cause for concern?
Seattle is missing a piece and is playing in a division where the other teams aren't scared of the big, bad bully anymore. All of a sudden, the kids at recess saw the bully get knocked out, so,
No more taking my lunch money, is what the
Rams are saying.
Andrew Luck didn't look good. The fact that he's going to have to carry this team, again, is putting more pressure on him. Gore is supposed to take some of that pressure off and add more balance to the offense. Also, the defense is still having the same problems with the run.
Because of the defensive changes, Detroit is going to have to rely on its offense to carry the squad. The
Lions have found themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs more times than not, and I think they're a team that probably won't make it this year.
Indy was one of my picks to go to the
Super Bowl this season, but after seeing the
Colts play Sunday, it's clear to me the line of scrimmage is not at a championship level.
And while the protection certainly needs to be better, so does Luck. He's still attempting throws that he just shouldn't be making, especially in Year 4. We're so in love with Andrew Luck the man, the talent, that we let him get away with mistakes we wouldn't let other quarterbacks get away with.
The other thing that concerns me about the Colts is their inability to stop the run. I'm a huge Chuck Pagano fan, so it pains me to say this, but he's a defensive-minded coach leading a team whose defense simply isn't getting better.
In Week 1 we saw all the mistakes that crippled the Colts last year: They can't stop the run, can't be tough when called upon and have a quarterback who is making significant bone-headed errors. That's not a recipe for a championship-winning team.