We are now a quarter of the way through the NFL season, therefore, we can now begin to make educated evaluations of each team. Although there is still a small sample size of games, we can start to tell who is real and who is not. We have also began to see teams who are stronger in certain areas of play than others, specifically defense. In 2019, some of the NFL’s best defenses are paired with some average and in a few instances just lousy offenses. Here is a list of excellent defenses that are coupled with offenses they do not deserve.
5.) Cleveland Browns
Here is someone you thought would never be on this list for a few reasons. Heading into the season, the Browns’ offense looked lethal on paper. Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, Antonio Callaway, David Njoku, and Kareem Hunt with Baker Mayfield under center, talk about a dream team! Unfortunately, Cleveland has been anything but. Starting out an average 2-2, the Browns have been disappointing to say the least. Lackluster offensive line play and poor decision making by Baker has taken this team down a notch in the eyes of many fans. Mayfield may have taken Kitchens’ advice of “Just toss it up to Odell” too literally and it has costed this team.
Meanwhile, Myles Garrett is having a Defensive Player of the Year caliber season and despite injuries to the two best corners on the team, the Browns are still playing competitively. It looks as if the offense is beginning to form chemistry and Antonio Callaway is officially back from suspension so we may be in for a wild ride for the remainder of the season. For the defense’s sake, let’s hope so.
4.) Tennessee Titans
The Titans defense has been solid in all four games thus far. The offense, which has been wildly inconsistent, can not have the same said about them. Mariota seems like he has not decided if he wants to be replaced after this season or not. One game he looks like he deserves a contract extension and other games he looks like the coaching staff should consider benching him for Ryan Tannehill. The offensive line certainly is not helping Mariota but with the return of Taylor Lewan from suspension, there may be hope in Music City. With every AFC South team currently 2-2, the division looks to be up for grabs. The Titans may be able to get a hold of the divisional title if they get their act together.
3.) Chicago Bears
This is like a meme where on one side it is what you expected and on the other, it shows what you actually got. The 2018 Bears and the 2019 Bears look like two different teams and that is not a good thing. This Chicago team might be the weakest 3-1 team in the league right now. Mitch Trubisky, who appeared to take a large step forward in his progression as a starting quarterback in 2018, looks like he has taken a huge step back in 2019.
In arguably one of the toughest divisions in football, there is little room for error and with Trubisky now suffering a shoulder injury, it may be a blessing in disguise. Trubisky’s injury may be the re-calibration this offense and Trubisky needs. It would be a shame to waste one of the league’s best defenses because the offense could not take care of their end.
2.) Buffalo Bills
While the Bills’ offense has been much improved this season, they are still not where they should be. No matter how you look at it, a 3-1 start is nothing to scoff at but this team should be undefeated. Buffalo’s defense is elite and that is a fact. Holding Tom Brady, the greatest to ever do it, to 18/38 for 150 yards and no touchdowns. They also held the running game to under 75 yards. That 16-10 loss put a sour taste in the mouth of all Bills fans because that game was winnable.
Josh Allen had what was certainly the worst game of his career, throwing interception after interception. Allen was not playing like himself and he clearly got in his own head when it came to facing this sturdy Patriots defense. Sadly, the offense is the only thing holding this team back from being a serious playoff contender.
1.) Minnesota Vikings
Alright, you have a great running back, two great receivers, two serviceable tight ends, a decent line, and an elite defense. Now, you add an average to upper-tier quarterback to your offense and pay him $84 million dollars. You’re feeling really good right? You’re definitely thinking divisional titles and Super Bowl trips and we like where your heads at. Unfortunately, you’re wrong. While I could write an essay on how disappointing Kirk Cousins has been with the Vikings, I will save that for later. To give this team credit, they are in a tough division, but they should be beating some teams by 20+. Instead, they find themselves in close games every single week because their offense is unable to keep up. With rumors of Stephon Diggs possibly interested in a trade, let’s hope Cousins figures things out soon.