All four of the teams below had something in common this preseason, and that is the fact that none of them won a game. Since the preseason was created no team has gone 0-4 in the preseason then went on to win the Super Bowl, excluding the Washington Redskins who did in 1982 after a 9 game season due to a holdout by the entire league. Now, these four teams will face this challenge against the odds. Familiar Faces the Cowboys and Falcons have both been in this situation before and fell short in the playoffs.
1. The Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys finished 9-7 last season after an up and down season in which they never really found consistency. I think one thing that hurt a lot was the controversy around Ezekiel Elliot, but that should be well in the past this year. The Stat that was in the Cowboys favor last year is that quarterback Dak Prescott had the best passer rating when facing a blitz. The Cowboys lost big-name players in Wide Receiver, Dez Bryant, who was released and Tight End, Jason Witten, who retired. I think that will be a tough road for the Cowboys who will have won two games versus the Defending Super Bowl Champions and also play the Jaguars on October 14th those will be important to there success.
2. The Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons finished 10-6 last year, the first year in the new stadium which is also the home of the Super Bowl this season. If Atlanta is to make it to the Super Bowl and win this year, they won't only be the first team to win the Super Bowl after a win-less preseason but the first team to win a Super Bowl in their own stadium as well. The Falcons fell short to the Eagles in the 2nd round of the playoffs and the Eagles went on to win the Superbowl. Matt Ryan, quarterback for the Falcons, led the league in passer rating of passes more than twenty yards in 2016. As a result, they went to the Super Bowl. As for last year, he finished 21st in the same stat. The Falcons start the season against the Eagles which should be an entertaining game. Though Carson Wentz, the Starting Quarterback for the Eagles, won't be playing. Also November 18th the Falcons will take on the Cowboys which should be a defining moment in their season.
The Seattle Seahawks finished 9-7 last year which caused them to not make the playoffs for the first time in seven years. The Seahawks lost more key players than they replaced this off-season, but according to them, it was a good thing. these players include CB-Richard Sherman, DE-Michael Bennett, and S-Kam Chancellor, all key members of the back to back Super Bowl runs. The story of the Seahawks offseason is headlined by the drafting of LB-Shaquem Griffin, who is the first player to play with only one hand he is also projected to start in the first regular season game. The other big story is will that they play FS-Earl Thomas who has been holding out for a long-term deal. He finally returned to the team this week before facing a $500,000 a week fine. The Seahawks didn't look that good in the preseason and didn't really address the O-Line issue it will be an interesting year for the Seahawks who have a pretty tough schedule including the stacked Rams twice, the un-beatable Jimmy Garoppalo twice, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Greenbay Packers.
The Tennessee Titans finished 9-7 last year and escaped a first-round playoff loss to take a big loss to the Super Bowl Runner-ups. The Titans looked rough in the preseason and while it is the preseason the secondary, who are led by S-Kevin Byard, looked particularly bad. In 2017 S-Kevin Byard led all NFL safeties at 31.3% of the passes thrown his way were either intercepted or deflected. The Titans, like the Seahawks, also lost more players than they brought in this off-season this will be a season in which a lot of players will have to step up to contribute to the success of the team. The Titans shouldn't have that much trouble winning their out of conference games. Their most competition should come from playing in conference. Those games will be crucial if they want to go far. Besides that just mark September 30th and November 11th on your Calendar because those will be the biggest out of conference games. They play The Eagles at home September 30th and The Patriots November 11th at home as well.