NFL Top 3: NFC teams falling short of win totals
For as many pleasant surprises there have been in the NFL so far this season, there have been just as many stunning disappointments.
Between a pair of 2-8 teams in the NFC South and an East race where the winning team may finish at .500 or worse, the conference has seen its share of duds through the first 11 weeks. Several teams are in danger of missing their projected win totals, while one has already been mathematically crossed off the list.
Here are three teams who rank among the NFC's biggest letdowns (over/under courtesy LVH):
Atlanta Falcons (2-9; O/U: 10)
The Falcons would be the biggest bust in the entire league were it not for an equally poor season put together by the AFC's Houston Texans. The injury bug has bitten the Atlanta offense in a major way, knocking starting running back Steven Jackson out of the lineup for several weeks while claiming wide receiver Julio Jones for the season after just a month of action. Fellow wideout Roddy White has been banged up all year, leaving quarterback Matt Ryan with few healthy options. The Falcons' defense has also struggled, leaving Atlanta to play out the string over the final six weeks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8; O/U: 7.5)
The Buccaneers weren't expected to be as prolific as their division rivals from Atlanta, but their season is no less a disappointment. Tampa Bay has also been plagued by injuries - most notably to No. 1 running back Doug Martin - but had a bigger issue earlier in the season when quarterback Josh Freeman had a falling out with the organization, resulting in his release. The Buccaneers turned to Mike Glennon, who has been solid if unspectacular, and have played better in recent weeks - but they'll need to win out in order to get to eight wins. It's a tall task.
Washington Redskins (3-7; O/U: 8)
With the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles all plodding along, this should have been a cakewalk for the talented Redskins. And yet, they find themselves in the same situation as their division foes - trying to fix what's ailing them while at the same time keeping a close eye on the standings. Second-year quarterback Robert Griffin III has struggled to develop a rapport with his receiving corps, and doesn't have the same explosiveness that enhanced the Washington rush attack last season. Oh, and the pass defense may be the worst in the NFL. That doesn't help.