The NFL is only a quarter of the way through the 2018 season, but there are already four teams — five if you include the Browns* — that have no chance of making the playoffs this year.
*The Browns might be more talented than they’ve been in years, but Cleveland is still hopeless until they prove it on the field. Oh, and if they fire Hue Jackson and hire an actual NFL head coach.
These four teams have no choice but to finish the 2018 season, but all they can do is hope to play spoiler while developing their young talent. These squads are essentially done. They’re forked.
San Francisco 49ers
The Niners were already a flawed team, but after losing $137 million man, Jimmy Garoppolo, to a torn ACL, there is absolutely no doubt that the season is lost. When Jimmy G got forked, so did the Niners.
On top of losing their best player on offense, the Niners’ defense is filled with holes. The secondary loss of Richard Sherman to a calf injury, left the team wih absolutely no pass rush.
That’s OK, though. The Niners probably weren’t going to compete with the Rams, so they can use the remainder of the campaign to develop their youngsters. San Francisco should be picking in the top ten in the draft.
New York Jets
The J – E – T – S have some major building blocks on both sides of the ball — especially with top-five picks Sam Darnold and Jamal Adams. But New York doesn’t have a chance this season.
Darnold is still very raw, and will have his fair share of turnovers, even if they are attributed to a learning experience. And the defense might be feisty, but they aren’t even close to a playoff-level defense.
The Bills showed signs of life in their monumental upset of the Vikings in Week 3, but Buffalo doesn’t have a realistic shot of earning a playoff berth.
Sure, the Bills will have a few games this season where they will look like a competitive team but one must not fall for it. Buffalo has one of the least-talented rosters in the league. And Josh Allen, like Darnold, is extremely raw, meaning he’s going to be very inconsistent on a week-to-week basis.
The Bills are still years away.
The only winless team in the NFL, the Cardinals have a better chance at the No. 1 pick than they do at making the postseason.
The Cardinals have employed one of the most conservative coaching staffs in a league that is trending toward aggressive, offensive coaching. That’s a recipe for disaster when the Cardinals are already one of the most talent-deprived squads in the league.
While the Cardinals waste the end of Larry Fitzgerald’s Hall of Fame career, the 2018 season’s focus will be the development of rookie QB Josh Rosen.