NFL Losing Season Franchise #2: Denver Broncos
Sean Payton's philosophy has not worked out for the Denver Broncos. His comments towards Nathaniel Hackett this off-season could also describe his work with the team thus far. Fans are not happy, and they have reason to complain. This season, Denver ranks 30th in overall grading (60.2) behind the Carolina Panthers (61.1) and Pittsburgh Steelers (61.2). They sit at the bottom of the AFC West, and it doesn't look like that will change soon.
Failure to protect the endzone has cost the Broncos this year. Vance Joseph's defense ranks 32nd in overall rating (42.3) and coverage (35.9). It is a shock for fans who witnessed Patrick Surtain II lock down receivers last season. He was a part of former defensive Eviro Ejero's top-five defenses in 2022. These men are no longer with the franchise. It shows on the field.
Joe Lombardi's offense is not off the hook. They've failed to stay ahead of opponents when leading on the scoreboard - including a Week 2 loss to the Commanders. Russell Wilson shows signs of a revival, but how long will that last? Lombardi's unit must outscore the Chiefs, Bills, and Vikings in the upcoming weeks. I do not see that happening.
NFL Losing Season Franchise #1: Chicago Bears
Off-season transactions convinced Chicago Bears fans the new campaign would be productive. Ryan Poles' front office used their first-round pick to protect their quarterback. It was the right decision for a franchise to make while developing a former first-round pick. Darnell Wright was not the only addition to the roster. D.J. Moore and Cole Kmet were also solid investments - yet the Bears are winless.
The future does not look bright for Justin Fields in Chicago. He ranks 23rd in passing grade (65.2) and ties 20th in offensive rating (70.6). It's been hard for Fields to find open receivers because he's always on the ground. Fields ranks third alongside Desmond Ridder and Ryan Tannehill in total times sacked (16). Luke Getsy's offense ranks 18th in overall grading (67.2) and has a slate of tough incoming opponents. The Commanders, Vikings, and Raiders are hungry to jumpstart their season - making it hard for Chicago to earn their first win.
Great franchises know how to refocus amid a rocky start. It's hard to vouch for these groups. They show inexperience at crucial moments, which could end the season before its midpoint.
All statsistics courtesy of pff.com